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Cash for yesterday's technology instead of tomorrow's

It makes no economic or environmental sense to subsidise brown coal and this new $90 million injection into yet another brown coal subsidy undermines the federal government's climate credibility, the Australian Greens said today.

 

 "Why are the Commonwealth and Victorian governments wasting money on yet more hand-outs for yesterday's polluting energy instead of investing in clean renewable sunrise industries like solar and wind power?" Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said today.

 

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SKA decision good for Australian Science

Greens Deputy Leader and science spokesperson, Adam Bandt, has welcomed the decision to include Australia as a site for the Square Kilometre Array astronomy project.

The giant global radio telescope project will be sited in Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.

"This is a great decision for Australian science. Of course we would all like to have seen the whole project in Australia, but there are benefits to having multiple sites. This will now be a truly global project. Collaboration is the future to science success."

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Fee hike for maths and science stupid: Bandt

Greens Deputy Leader and science spokesperson Adam Bandt MP has criticised a government bill to almost double uni fees for maths and science students introduced into Parliament today.

The Higher Education Support Amendment (Student Contribution Amounts and Other Measures) Bill saves the Budget $316 million by increasing fees for maths and science courses at university.

"Almost doubling university HECS fees for maths and science students is economic stupidity. Science and innovation are central to our current and future economic prosperity," Adam Bandt said.

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Qantas decision threatens maintenance future for Australia: Bandt

Greens Deputy Leader and industry spokesperson Adam Bandt MP says Qantas' decision to cut 500 heavy maintenance jobs threatens the future of airline maintenance in Australia.

 

Mr Bandt said Qantas' heavy maintenance was central to keeping the critical mass of skills needed for maintenance across the industry and the Federal government needs to take steps to secure a future for maintenance in the country. The government needs to establish the Industry Roundtable called for by the unions to address the future of the industry.

 

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Synchrotron funding long overdue: Bandt

Greens MP and science spokesperson Adam Bandt has welcomed today's announcement of continued funding for the Australian Synchrotron saying it is long overdue.

Mr Bandt said the eleventh hour funding would enable the Synchrotron to continue, but the stand off between the State and Federal government shouldn't have been allowed to threaten the viability of the research facility.

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Govt auto assistance fails to shift gears to electric cars: Bandt

Greens MP and industry spokesperson says the government cannot continue to prop up the failing car industry without commitments from the industry to move to electric vehicles.

Mr Bandt says the Greens support assistance but future co-investment in the auto industry needs to set goals and milestones on electric car development by the industry.

He also offered to work with the government to secure car industry assistance and put it beyond the reach of Tony Abbott, if the government is prepared to secure a future for electric vehicles.

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Skills shortage solved by investing in public VET, free education

 Federal Labor's proposed overhaul of skills training provides a great opportunity to boost skills and jobs, but the government must avoid forcing students to pay more, says Greens Senator and higher education spokesperson Lee Rhiannon ("Shortage of skills slowing NSW economy", p 2 Daily Telegraph today).

"The extra 320,000 skilled workers NSW needs has been exacerbated by federal Labor policy which is focused on privatising the VET sector and increasing the amount students pay on fees and charges," Senator Rhiannon said.

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Government failing on maths and science: Bandt

Greens MP and science and research spokesperson Adam Bandt says the low growth in maths and science enrolments show government policy is failing. Mr Bandt repeated Greens calls for budget cuts to school science funding to be reversed and university fee discounts for maths and science students to be restored.

The Unhealthy Science? University Natural and Physical Sciences 2002-2009/10 released by the Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb yesterday shows the growth in maths and science enrolments falling behind most other areas of education.

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Greens to send Murray Darling Basin draft plan to Senate inquiry

 

The Greens have today announced they will move for a Senate inquiry into the Murray Darling Basin Authority's draft plan when Parliament resumes next week so parliamentarians can scrutinise what is being proposed.

 

"We want an answer to the basic question why did the MDBA choose 2,750 GL when the science says the river system needs at least 4,000 GL," Greens' water spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

 

"The basin authority has yet to justify that figure.

 

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