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Coalition’s delay on food labelling hurts consumers, farmers, themselves

The Australian Greens are calling on the Coalition to stop bickering and vote for clearer food labelling.

"The Country of Origin food labelling Bill that is currently before Parliament is the result of years of consultation with the industry. It deserves this government's support," said Greens Leader Christine Milne.

"This issue has cross-party support. Why would Barnaby Joyce deliberately reject the help of others who have a long-standing commitment to it?

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No extra food safety checks after Hep A outbreak

Under questioning by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert, the Department of Agriculture has confirmed berries being imported to Australia are not being subjected to any extra safety checks, in spite of contaminated products sparking an outbreak of Hepatitis A.

Department of Agriculture Secretary Dr Paul Grimes has told a Senate Estimates hearing this morning, "We have not made changes on surveillance rates broadly at this stage."

Senator Siewert has described that as a completely ludicrous failure.

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Liberals, Nationals, Labor give win to coal industry - block vote against protection for unique Gardens of Stone

The Liberals, Nationals and Labor have voted down a Greens' motion calling on the NSW state government to extend national park protection for the Gardens of Stone in the Greater Blue Mountains.
NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said "Labor, the Liberals and the Nationals have sided with coal companies and the Baird government in refusing to support the growing call for an expansion of national park protection for the Gardens of Stone.

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Greens say urgent efforts needed to spare Australians on death row

Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne says further, urgent efforts must be made to save Australians Andrew Chan and Mayuran Sukumaran from execution in Indonesia, and changes are needed to ensure their situation is not repeated.

"I'm calling on Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to make one last trip to Indonesia to try to intervene on behalf of these men, who have now been told they will be killed within three weeks," said Senator Milne.

"Let's not talk about the ‘fate' of these men while we may still have the power to change it.

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Press freedom worth fighting for

Greens Leader Christine Milne says it is great news and a democratic victory that Australian journalist Peter Greste has finally been released from prison in Egypt.

"I am so happy for Peter and his family, who have all been so strong and stoic throughout these 400 days of injustice," said Senator Milne.

"Journalism is not a crime, and we must keep up the pressure on Egypt to free Peter Greste's Al Jazeera colleagues, who have suffered alongside him for simply doing their jobs.

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Greens call on President Widodo to honour human rights pledge

Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne has written to the Indonesian President urging him to reconsider his determination to apply the death penalty to Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukamaran.

"I have asked President Widodo to remember his election pledge to improve respect for human rights, which gave rise to great hope in Indonesia and around the region," said Senator Milne.

"I have shared with the President my hope that his commitment to honouring human rights will extend to the matter of the death penalty.

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Government should recognise the state of Palestine

The Australian Greens will move the following motion when Federal Parliament resumes in 2015:


*581 Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Milne): To move-That the Senate-

(a) notes that:

(i) on 13 October 2014, the British House of Commons passed a motion to recommend the United Kingdom recognise the state of Palestine, and

(ii) the state of Palestine is currently recognised by 135 states; and

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Senate backs Greens motion in support of Peter Greste

The Australian Senate has declared support for Peter Greste and freedom of the press, endorsing a motion moved by Greens Leader Christine Milne.

"Today the Senate has called on the Egyptian Government to ensure a fair, just and timely resolution to Peter Greste's appeal process," said Senator Milne.

"There have been many encouraging signs along the way that have not come to fruition but we welcome the recent news that Egyptian President al-Sisi is considering a pardon for Peter Greste.

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