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Brandis fails in attempt to jail Queenslanders involved peaceful Pine Gap protests

Queensland Greens Senator Andrew Bartlett has welcomed the decision of a Federal Court Judge in Brisbane today not to jail six Queensland residents who engaged in peaceful protests at the Pine Gap Military Base.

The Federal government and Attorney-General George Brandis tried to escalate their charges using a draconian Cold War era law and urged the Judge to jail the protestors.

"Today marks a failed attempt by the Attorney-General and the Federal government to stifle the Pine Gap protestors' freedom of speech and freedom to express their religious beliefs.

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Parliament must debate whether to follow unpredictable Trump’s Afghanistan backflip

Australian Greens Defence spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, commented today on the worrying implications for Australia of Donald Trump’s backflip on Afghanistan.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “We can expect that in coming days Australia will, yet again, be asked to commit more troops and more resources to the longest running conflict in our nation’s history.  Already we can see our Government preparing to capitulate - Defence Minister Marise Payne has refused to rule out sending ADF personnel back into a combat role.

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Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee

I was very proud to work with the Senate to initiate this inquiry. It may surprise some people why the Greens would be interested in initiating an inquiry into veretans' mental health. Like anyone in this chamber, I was shocked by revelations on about veteran suicide and veteran homelessness. I did my own research and felt that this was an issue that the Senate could scrutinise and make some constructive, positive recommendations into. It seemed to me that it was an issue that was going unrecognised in the broader community.

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Greens to create firefighting capacity within the Australian Defence Force

The Greens have pledged to establish a specialist firefighting unit within the Australian Defence Force and bolster Australia’s aerial firefighting fleet.

Greens Emergency Management spokesperson Nick McKim said the recent fires in Tasmania’s wilderness had shown the increasing fire risk that Australia faces from a warming climate.

“The science is clear - global warming means hotter, drier summers, with more dry lightning strikes, and therefore more bushfires,” Senator McKim said.

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Pontville secrecy must end

Greens spokesperson for Defence, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson says the Defence department must stop insisting that the identity of the buyer of the Pontville detention centre remain secret.

Senator Whish-Wilson, “The Defence Department are keeping the buyer’s identity of the Pontville detention centre secret on the final day before we enter the caretaker period before the election.

“The Pontville centre was a major public asset and the public have the right to know who bought it and how much they paid.

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Defence cash splash obliterates future budget surpluses

Greens Defence and Finance Spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, has released analysis from the Parliamentary Library showing that the new Defence spending outlined in yesterday’s White Paper has obliterated future budget surpluses.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Scott Morrison’s and Mathias Cormann’s ‘credible path to surplus’ appears to have taken a detour via the South China Sea.

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