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Peace & Nuclear Disarmament (covers Defence)

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Coalition votes against its own amendment and sells out Australian universities

The major parties have colluded to throw Australia's research sector into a bipartisan black hole, the Australian Greens said today after the Coalition voted to defeat its own key amendment to the Defence Trade Controls Treaty Bill.

"Tony Abbott's ‘just say no' madness now even extends to amendments moved by his own side. It looks like Mr Abbott got pulled into line by the US Government overnight," said Greens Senator Scott Ludlam.

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Entitlement changes for wounded troops commonsense

The Australian Greens today supported calls for changed entitlements so wounded Australian soldiers can continue to accrue tax-free pay and leave while in rehabilitation or outpatient treatment.

 Australian Greens spokesperson for Veterans Affairs Senator Penny Wright said the changes, recommended by the South Australian Veterans Affairs Advisory Council, were a matter of fairness and common sense.

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Include peacekeepers on the Honour Roll

The Australian Greens today will be calling for Australian peacekeepers who died as part of their service, to be included on the Honour Roll at the Australian War Memorial.

Greens spokesperson for Veterans Affairs, Senator Penny Wright, will move a motion in the Senate later today, calling on the Government to request the Australian War Memorial Council to consider this move. Senator Wright said she encouraged, and expected, both the old parties to support this important call.

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Motion to include Australian peacekeepers on the Honour Roll

Senator WRIGHT: I move:

That the Senate:

(a) notes that:

(i) Approximately 70,000 Australian Defence Force and Australian Federal Police personnel have been deployed on over 60 peacekeeping operations throughout the world;
(ii) Forty-eight Australians have died on peacekeeping missions overseas;
(iii) Australian peacekeepers have made a significant contribution to international peace and security;

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Lessons of history must be applied to defence planning for the future

The Australian Greens today urged the Federal Government and Opposition to learn the lessons of history on defence policy.

The Greens spokesperson assisting on Defence, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, said the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott "raised important points at his RSL speech today but failed to draw the important conclusions".

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Time to properly recognise our peacekeepers

On Australian Peacekeepers Day, Australian Greens spokesperson for Veterans Affairs, Senator Penny Wright, said greater recognition was needed for the valuable contribution Australians made to the international peacekeeping effort.

 "Our peacekeepers have the important - and often dangerous - task of maintaining and restoring peace and security in conflict and post-conflict zones around the globe," Senator Wright said.

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Fairer Indexation of Military Pensions Speech

Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (17:11):

As the Australian Greens spokesperson on veterans' affairs, I am very aware of the cause of fairer indexation of military superannuation pensions. I have spoken at length to organisations representing veterans and their families and I, along with many other MPs, have received extensive correspondence from the veterans' community about this issue.

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Defence procurement report raises the alarm

A Senate committee report into defence procurement initiated by the Australian Greens has made essential and unanimous recommendations to simplify the system.

In the wake of a series of costly blowouts and project cancellations that has degraded Australia's defence capability, the Greens have called for the recommendations to be applied and new thinking brought to bear.

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