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Climate science moves on while politics stalled

New reports from the global Argo project, showing how fast the oceans around Australia are warming, are just the latest new science backing up the need for urgent and serious action on the climate crisis.

"We are relentlessly heating our oceans and atmosphere while politics has stalled," Australian Greens Acting Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.

"We cannot afford right now to let climate politics stall, but neither can we afford to simply accept policies which are so poorly designed that they lock in our polluting economy for years to come.

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Same-Sex Marriages

Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (3.40 pm) - I move:

That the Senate -

(a) notes:
(i) the first same-sex marriages were celebrated in Mexico City in the week beginning 7 March 2010, following the recent passage of legislation removing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, under that city's Marriage Act, and

(ii) Mexico City joins Portugal, Canada, the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, Spain, South Africa and many states in the United States of America that already recognise same-sex marriage as a reality;

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ABC journalists should ignore Chair Newman's anti-science nonsense

The Australian Greens today urged ABC journalists to ignore the anti-science nonsense peddled by the Chair of their board and instead increase their strong coverage of climate change.

ABC Board Chair, Maurice Newman, today told senior ABC staff that climate change was an "emotional issue" and that journalists were too "intolerant" of climate sceptics.

"I trust that ABC journalists will not be cowed by the anti-science speech delivered by the Chair of their board," Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.

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Government procurement and open source software

Senator LUDLAM-I have some questions I would like to ask about government business and ICT. I am looking at software procurement. I am following up on issues that got a bit of an airing in the Canberra Times, I think last week, on open-source software and government. Rather than focusing on a specific department, I am interested in the whole-of-government approach. The article left some real ambiguities in terms of what it costs government annually to run IT in a building but across the whole range of Commonwealth departments.

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Attorney Generals Department

Senator LUDLAM-First of all, I am seeking some information, not for this session but probably for the next, as far as the structure of the department is concerned. What is the name of the office or the section within the Attorney-General's Department that supports the coordination of information sharing between state and territory police departments? Is there such an office of coordination?

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Questions on UN climate submissions, carbon accounting and IPCC


Senator «MILNE» -I have 12 minutes and my time starts now. I understand Australia has to put in its Fifth National Communication on implementation of climate change actions to the UNFCCC. I thought it had to be in by 1 January. I have been to their website and yours and I cannot see that it is in. Can you confirm whether you have submitted that report and when it will be publicly available on one website or the other?

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Greens welcome Garnaut backing

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown has welcomed Professor Ross Garnaut's support for the Greens proposal for an interim carbon tax until the nation finalises its carbon emissions reduction strategy.

Professor Garnaut called the proposal ‘another politically practical way forward'.

Senator Brown and Greens climate spokesperson Senator Christine Milne wrote to Prime Minister Rudd last week flagging the $23 per tonne carbon tax, to begin this July and apply only to the 1000 worst polluters in Australia.

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