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Govt uses overseas aid dollars to grease wheels of PNG’s Manus Island detention centre

Shifting aid money around as a sweetener for PNG reopening Manus Island is an inappropriate use of aid money, said Greens spokesperson for overseas aid Senator Lee Rhiannon.

Senator Rhiannon was responding to this morning's announcement that Australia will target an increase in aid for PNG to upgrade roads, schools and hospitals on Manus Island under a deal with the PNG government to host a refugee processing centre.

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Launch of national campaign to get Hydro Tasmania out of destructive Sarawak Dams

Indigenous leaders from the Malaysian state of Sarawak joined today with Australian Greens Senators Christine Milne and Lee Rhiannon to launch a national campaign calling on Hydro Tasmania to pull their support out of controversial dam proposals in Sarawak that will displace tens of thousands of people from their homes and flood large tracts of forests and farmland. 

Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne said: "Hydro Tasmania cannot walk away from their responsibility for the damage these dams will cause to thousands of villagers in Sarawak.

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Motion: Lynas

Australian mining company Lynas may be looking for new countries to export refinery by-products after being embroiled in lengthy environmental disputes in Malaysia.

ABC Network News reports, including interview with Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon.

Senator Rhiannon also moved a motion in the Senate with Senator Scott Ludlam.

Senators Rhiannon and Ludlam: To move-

That the Senate-

(a) notes:

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Budget estimates - Lee questions AusAID on aid for Nauru or Manus Island

Senator RHIANNON: Thank you. The foreign minister, in response to a question I asked him in the Senate about the use of foreign aid to manage people seeking asylum in this country, stated:

It could well be that there are areas of support for asylum seekers where, according to the international tests, that is considered appropriate and other areas where it would not be appropriate.

Can you confirm that no aid money will go to building, staffing or maintaining detention centres on Nauru or Manus Island?

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Government and Coalition fail to protect endangered orangutans

The Australian Greens today condemned the Government and Coalition for refusing to request the Indonesian government to fully enforce its law that protects the Tripa forest in Indonesia.

Reports that palm oil companies and Indonesian police have been intimidating villagers and clearing and burning the Tripa forests in Indonesia are shocking, the Australian Greens said today. The protected Tripa forest is home to the threatened Sumatran orangutan, and people have reported grave health problems from forest burning, as well as threatened livelihoods.

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