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Speech: Report on toxic contamination at RAAF Base Williamtown

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (16:12): I rise to speak on the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee report on contamination caused by firefighting foams at RAAF Base Williamtown and Australian Defence Force facilities. On behalf of the Greens, I moved for this inquiry and was pleased to get the support of the Senate. We moved to do that because of the rising concerns of residents at Williamtown, and many other people as well, that the Department of Defence was not being responsible in how it was responding.

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Liberal Government watering down environmental conditions for mining mates

Revelations today that the Liberal Government has watered down the environmental conditions of 21 projects, including coal mines, in the past nine months are incredibly concerning.

 

“The Liberal Government is trying to fool communities by saying they have set so-called strict conditions when approving mines that threaten our land, water and climate,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and environment spokesperson, said.

 

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Turnbull Government ignores experts and community in push to stifle enforcement of environment law

The government-dominated Senate Inquiry into the government’s bill to limit public enforcement of environment law has ignored community opposition, scientific evidence and legal advice by recommending the bill in its report today.

The Australian Greens’ dissenting report highlights community opposition and legal experts’ arguments against the bill.

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National MP dumps on his own community with backing of nuclear dump in NSW

Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon has rejected plans to build a nuclear waste dump at Sallys Flat in western NSW as irresponsible and dangerous and another attempt to breathe life into the discredited nuclear industry.

“Local National MP John Cobb has shown he does not know what it means to be a local member. He should be standing up for the health and well-being of his constituents not giving quick endorsement to a nuclear dump only 65 kilometres north of Bathurst,” Senator Rhiannon said.

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Proxy vote shows Senate for public enforcement of environment law

The Senate has voted down a Turnbull Government motion in support of its bill to limit who can take the government to court when it breaks environment law.

"Thanks to Senator Canavan's motion, we've just had a proxy vote on the standing bill, and we now know it's dead in the water," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.  

"The Senate clearly disagrees with the Turnbull Government's blatant attempt to silence the community for the sake of its big mining buddies.

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Turnbull takes Abbott’s axe to World Heritage, water and endangered species

The Australian Greens are urging the cross-bench Senators to continue to block the Turnbull Government's plan to give all federal environmental approval powers to state or even local governments.

"It is deeply disappointing that Malcolm Turnbull is pushing Tony Abbott's plan to take an axe to environmental protection," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and environment spokesperson, said.

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Minister Lynham wants to make himself the judge, jury and executioner of Land Court cases

The Palaszczuk Government's reported plans to give the Minister more power to influence the outcomes of mining disputes in the Land Court and stifle community rights to uphold environment law are an attack on democracy.  

Queensland Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and environment spokesperson, said:

"Minister Lynham already has the final say on mining applications and Queensland's Land Court can only make a recommendation to the Minister.  But even this doesn't seem to be enough. 

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