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Landmark PFAS Settlement Welcomed While Government Response To Inquiry Disappoints

Australian Greens Senator for NSW Dr Mehreen Faruqi has welcomed today’s news that class action participants have reached a settlement of $212.5 million with the government over PFAS contamination, though has labelled the recent government response to the federal PFAS inquiry as extremely disappointing.

Senator Faruqi said:

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Hanson-Young welcomes Greens portfolio announcement

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has welcomed the announcement she is continuing as spokesperson for Environment and Water, and Media and Communications, and adding Tourism and Dental Health to her portfolio responsibilities under the new leadership of Adam Bandt MP.

“This year will be defining for our environment. We are experiencing environmental collapse in the face of a climate crisis and the people in charge are riddled with division and have no plan. There’s a lot of work to do,” Senator Hanson-Young said.

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Coalition, Labor and One Nation let NSW get away with floodplain harvesting

The Liberals, Nationals, Labor and One Nation have refused to support the Greens call for the NSW Government to reinstate the moratorium on floodplain harvesting and water pumping.

Greens Spokesperson for Water Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the Federal Parliament could not wipe it’s hands of this issue.

"The New South Wales Government has selfishly lifted its moratorium on floodplain harvesting and water pumping, jeopardising the entire Murray-Darling River system," Senator Hanson-Young said.

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Motion: No Confidence in Handling of PFAS Contamination

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

   (i) that the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade tabled its report on the Inquiry into the management of PFAS contamination in and around Defence bases in November 2018, to which the government response is overdue by a year,

   (ii) that in a resolution of 29 July 2019, the Senate called on the Government to provide a response to the aforementioned report,

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Greens response to Norwegian oil giant Equinor's announcment it's scrapping plans to drill in the Great Australian Bight

Senator for South Australia and Greens Environment Spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young said:

“This is a huge win for the community, the environment and SA’s tourism and fishing industries. It is good for the planet and jobs.  

“The community who cherish our pristine coastline, the tourism industry that depends on it, and the fishing industry that relies on clean waters have all fought so hard against these environment-destroying plans. Congratulations goes to them.

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'Climate Trigger' laws off to Senate Inquiry

Debate commenced in the Senate today on the Greens ‘Climate Trigger’ Bill which would require climate impacts and carbon emissions to be assessed before large-scale projects are given environmental approval.

The Bill will now go to the Senate Environment and Communications Committee for consideration through public hearings and written submissions.

Greens Environment Spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, who introduced the Bill, said:

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Environment restoration rorts to be referred to Auditor General

The Greens will refer the Environment Restoration Fund and the Communities Environment Program to the Auditor General for investigation, after The Saturday Paper reported today the $100m grants were used by the Coalition for pork-barrelling.

Greens Environment Spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the Government's use of the funding looks and stinks like 'sports rorts'.

"A $100m grants program for environment restoration projects has reportedly been restricted to 25 preselected projects, most of them in key seats for the Coalition," she said.

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'Climate Trigger' laws introduced to Senate to stop making climate crisis worse

New laws that would require climate impacts and carbon emissions to be assessed before large-scale projects are given environmental approval have been introduced into the Senate today.

The ‘Climate Trigger’ Bill would ensure mining, drilling and large-scale land clearing projects would need to be assessed on whether they make climate change worse.

Greens Environment Spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young who introduced the Bill said a federal climate trigger was long overdue.

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NSW moratorium on floodplain harvesting must be reinstated

The NSW Government is again putting the Murray-Darling river system in jeopardy by lifting the moratorium on floodplain harvesting before water from recent rains has made it down the river, and they should urgently reinstate it, the Greens say.

“When parts of the Darling are still dry, it defies logic that corporate upstream irrigators would be permitted to pump water and harvest floodplains, preventing precious flows from making it downstream,” Greens Water Spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

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Motion: Government response to PFAS report

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) the issue of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination has caused significant mental, emotional and financial stress for communities where PFAS have contaminated land and water, including the communities around the RAAF bases in Williamtown and Richmond in New South Wales, the Oakey Army Aviation Centre in Queensland, and RAAF Base Tindal at Katherine in the Northern Territory,

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