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Australian Press in perilous state on World Press Freedom Day

On World Press Freedom Day, where the fundamental principles of press freedom are celebrated, Australia’s media is in its worst shape in years, the Australian Greens said.

“Australian commentators can be quick to point to China, or Turkey, or elsewhere in the middle east, as regions that do not enjoy press freedom, but the sad reality is that right here at home we have our own significant attacks on press freedom to contend with,” said Australian Greens Co-deputy Leader and Communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said today.

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Housing plans doomed if govt abandons negative gearing and CGT reform

Lee Rhiannon 3 May 2017
The Greens say the Coalition’s refusal to reform negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount means their plan for housing affordability is doomed. 
 
“Continuing to allow investor tax concessions to supercharge the housing market is profoundly irresponsible,” Greens spokesperson for housing Senator Lee Rhiannon said. 
 
“Any plan for housing affordability in next week’s budget that gives a leg up to first home buyers without ending the gross advantages that investors receive will only bid up prices. 
 
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Greens call for transparency around firefighting foams

The Greens have again criticised the Department of Defence for their ongoing use of firefighting foams containing PFAS in Darwin and Townsville. 
 
Today they called on the Department of Defence and Air Services Australia to release the Material Safety Data Sheets of all the firefighting foams that they are currently using.
 
Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon said. “There are no good arguments for the continued use of firefighting foams containing PFOS, PFOA or PFHxS,” Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon said. 
 
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Greens welcome ADF transparency first step

The changes in reporting casualties in the Middle East announced by the ADF are a long overdue first step towards transparency, the Australian Greens said today.

Australian Greens Co-deputy Leader and Defence spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said, “the Greens have long called for greater transparency regarding ADF involvement in incidents where civilians are killed and wounded. The fortnightly reports on Australian strikes are a good first step.

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Schools funding needs to be fixed, not cut

Schools funding in Australia needs to be reformed to reflect a genuine needs based model, but that can’t be done by cutting funding across the country, the Australian Greens have said in response to today’s announcement from the government.

“We'll look at the detail of this announcement, but what we know is that Australia’s school funding system is broken,” the Greens’ education spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“It's time our children's education was prioritised in Australia. It’s a sad reality that many of our kids are being left behind.

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Manus Island Detention Centre ban

Greens Immigration spokesperson Nick McKim says the decision to bar him from visiting Australia's Manus Island detention centre continues the disgraceful secrecy of the Australian government's policies.

"This is a deeply disappointing decision that shows the utter determination to keep a veil of secrecy around Australia’s detention centres and the Good Friday attacks," Senator McKim said.

"People are being warehoused as far from scrutiny as the Australian government can hide them."

"It would not surprise if Peter Dutton has his fingerprints on the decision."

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$20 million trialling the cashless card could be much better spent on services for people struggling: Greens

The Government should abandon the punitive cashless welfare card and invest the money in programs that really work, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

"This card is an ideological waste of money by the Government. Any sensible analysis of the interim evaluation shows very clearly that the Government is spinning the results – but even they can't spin the fact that half the people surveyed said their life was worse off.

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No curfew plan for Western Sydney Airport – adds insult to injury

The Greens say the Turnbull government’s refusal to consider a night-time curfew for the proposed Western Sydney Airport adds insult to injury for Western Sydney residents. 
 
“This airport is a dud deal for Western Sydney residents. The fact that the Turnbull government is refusing to consider a night-time curfew adds insult to injury,” Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon said.
 
“Sydney Airport has a curfew between 11pm and 6am, why don’t Western Sydney residents deserve at least the same consideration?
 
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