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Proxy vote shows Senate for public enforcement of environment law

The Senate has voted down a Turnbull Government motion in support of its bill to limit who can take the government to court when it breaks environment law.

"Thanks to Senator Canavan's motion, we've just had a proxy vote on the standing bill, and we now know it's dead in the water," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.  

"The Senate clearly disagrees with the Turnbull Government's blatant attempt to silence the community for the sake of its big mining buddies.

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Turnbull takes Abbott’s axe to World Heritage, water and endangered species

The Australian Greens are urging the cross-bench Senators to continue to block the Turnbull Government's plan to give all federal environmental approval powers to state or even local governments.

"It is deeply disappointing that Malcolm Turnbull is pushing Tony Abbott's plan to take an axe to environmental protection," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and environment spokesperson, said.

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Minister Lynham wants to make himself the judge, jury and executioner of Land Court cases

The Palaszczuk Government's reported plans to give the Minister more power to influence the outcomes of mining disputes in the Land Court and stifle community rights to uphold environment law are an attack on democracy.  

Queensland Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and environment spokesperson, said:

"Minister Lynham already has the final say on mining applications and Queensland's Land Court can only make a recommendation to the Minister.  But even this doesn't seem to be enough. 

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Williamtown pollution payout insult – Defence Dept knew pollution on base in 2003

Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon has said that the small offer of financial assistance by the RAAF to fishers who stand to lose their business due to toxic run off from Williamtown Base is totally inadequate and an insult as the Defence Department have known about the contamination since 2003.

“The RAAF so called assistance package for fishers impacted by the Williamtown toxic contamination is an insult and will do nothing to compensate for lost business or ensure their survival,” Senator Rhiannon said. 

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Qld Government tries to continue on with 50 year old Great Barrier Reef shark control program unchanged

The Greens are urging the Palaszczuk Government to update its Great Barrier Reef shark control program, which is now open for public consultation, with non-lethal methods.

Qld Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and environment spokesperson, said:

"The Palaszczuk Government is trying to continue on without changes to this 53 year old program, which has killed 85 000 marine animals, including sharks, turtles and dolphins.

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Minister Payne and Defence fail, prawn trawlers give leadership on Williamtown clean-up

NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has called upon Minister Marise Payne and the Department of Defence to immediately release plans for containment of the toxic material from the Williamtown airbase and details of compensation for local residents and businesses.

“Prawn trawlers in the Hunter region have decided to delay the fishing season until results from tests along the Hunter River are delivered,” Senator Rhiannon said. 

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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (Williamtown)

Through extensive questioning, Lee has ascertained that from 2003 to 2011 the Defence Department failed to inform Williamtown residents of the dangers posed by contaminants used at the airforce base. The contaminants found in run off from the Williamtown Base are perfluorinated compounds, including the toxic chemicals PFOA and PFOS. It is 2015, and toxic chemicals have leeched into water beyond the site. Residents of Williamtown deserve immediate answers. 

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Turnbull Government defending Abbott plan to stop community from enforcing environment law

The Attorney-General last night in Senate Estimates confirmed the Turnbull Government was still pushing Abbott's plan to remove community rights to protect the environment.

Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and environment spokesperson, said:

"Trying to silence communities, farmers and everyone who cares about the environment is an atrocious idea and, if the Turnbull Government brings this on in the Senate, it will be defeated.

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