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Greens secure further support for small companies in R&D bill

The Greens will support the government's research and development reforms because they increase support for small and medium sized businesses engaging in R&D, particularly after the Greens secured amendments to help the cash-flow of these companies which are the engine room of innovation in Australia.

The agreement to make quarterly cash payments to small and medium-sized companies, instead of annual tax credits, was reached after a lengthy consultation by the Greens with a broad range of industry representatives.

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Attack on campaign is hypocritical

Tens of thousands of people attended peaceful rallies around the country on Sunday in support of action on climate change, despite the Coalition and News Ltd media empire's negative campaign against cutting pollution via a carbon tax.

I am writing this from Christmas Island and could not attend the rally in Adelaide. I am gladdened Australians were not intimidated from speaking out.

The Sunday before the rallies, the News Ltd press attacked proponents of taking action, such as actress Cate Blanchett, for publicly supporting efforts to combat climate change.

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Bandt congratulates climate commission on forum

Greens MP Adam Bandt joined the Prime Minister, members of the Cabinet and other MPs at today's public forum held by the Climate Commission at Parliament House.

Mr Bandt congratulated the Commission on a fantastic forum and said it reinforced the need for urgent and profound action.

"The Commissioners are to be congratulated on an excellent event", Mr Bandt said.

"The Climate Commissioners clear answers to my question about the climate impact on Australia's agriculture show we have no time to waste."

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Greens concerned about possible school chaplaincy guidelines breach

The Australian Greens are concerned by reports a ministry in Victoria may have breached federal guidelines covering the chaplaincy programme in public schools.Access Ministries has been accused of trying to convert students into "disciples", contrary to federal regulations.

"We await the review of Access Ministries by the Federal Education Department, something Peter Garrett has indicated will happen because the federal guidelines as 'crystal clear' on proselytising in schools," the Greens' education spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

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Old economy wins while new economy loses

Public mental health and private mineral wealth are the big winners out of this year's budget, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"The Greens are celebrating the $1.5 billion boost to mental health funding, although we are shocked to discover that almost $0.5 billion is outside the forward estimates. There is a bias in the overall budget to the influential mining barons who are unelected and send massive profits overseas. While the mining corporations gain, programs for Australians, including the environment have been cut by billions," Senator Brown said.

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Statement from Greens on federal bonus payments to teachers

The Australian Greens encourage and support excellence in the teaching of our children.

"We want our school environments to be the best possible," Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, Greens spokesperson on education, said.

"We don't believe a one-off payment to teachers, based on the performance of students according to NAPLAN test results, is the best way to reward them.

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Woodside commercially-in-confidence reports put the lie to “clean gas” myth

The Australian Greens say Woodside-commissioned confidential reports into the carbon footprint of Australian gas have revealed industry claims that gas is a clean fuel are greatly overstated.

Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said the gas industry had significantly exaggerated the benefit of LNG production as a substitute for coal-fired power generation.

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