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Greens call for medical care for Australia’s Nuclear Veterans

The Australian Greens have called for hundreds of Australian soldiers who were exposed to radiation from British nuclear bomb testing in the 1950s and ‘60s to automatically receive Veterans' Gold Card health care.

"Between 1952 and 1963, more than 16,000 Australian civilians and serviceman were exposed to nuclear fallout when British nuclear weapons were tested at the Montebello Islands in Western Australia, Maralinga and Emu fields in South Australia, and over the Christmas and Malden Islands," spokesperson Assisting on Defence, Senator Scott Ludlam said.

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Talisman Sabre must halt bombing as civilians enter training area

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam says the US bombing of the Great Barrier Reef has sparked two peace protestors to enter the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area today to disrupt the Talisman Sabre training exercises.

"The training exercise must cease immediately to protect the lives of the two activists - Greg Rolles and Graham Dunstan. I understand these people entered the site to express their opposition to the military exercises including the dropping of four unarmed bombs on the fragile Great Barrier Reef by US forces last week," said Senator Ludlam.

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Budget 2013: Education, Legal Affairs, Mental Health and Veterans Affairs portfolio breakdown

The 2013 Labor Budget will do little to ease the stress on Australians. Senator Penny Wright talks about what was in the budget and what more could be done in each of her portfolio areas.

Education

What's in the budget:

  • $9.8 billion in new school funding
  • $3 billion in next the next four years, $6 billion to come in the following two years

What I think:

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Veterans' mental health: More to be done, say Greens

The Australian Greens will query the effectiveness of mental health services for veterans, as extra funding for mental health was revealed in yesterday's Defence White Paper.

Australian Greens spokesperson for Mental Health and Veterans Affairs, Senator Penny Wright, welcomed the further funding, but suggested the full extent of veterans mental health needs was yet to be determined.

"The new generation of veterans returning from places like Iraq and Afghanistan will face considerable challenges," Senator Wright said.

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British Government fails test on Australian nuclear victims, but fight continues

Efforts to secure Act Of Grace payments for the victims of British nuclear testing will be stepped up after the British Government's disappointing response, Senator Scott Ludlam said today.

"I call on Foreign Minister Bob Carr to raise this proposal directly with his UK counterparts.

"Because of difficulties victims of the British nuclear testing were facing in the courts, I wrote to British Foreign Secretary William Hague twice making the case for ex gratia payments to Australians exposed to British nuclear testing in the 1950s and ‘60s.

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Remembering all those who served on ANZAC Day

Penny Wright 24 Apr 2013

As we remember those who fought for our country, we should also remember those who died in the pursuit of peace, says Australian Greens spokesperson on Veterans Affairs, Senator Penny Wright.

"ANZAC Day is a great opportunity to remember all of those affected by war, whether it is those who died in service, those who returned but live with the scars, or families and loved ones who also bear the brunt," said Senator Wright.

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Motion on the recognition of Australian peacekeepers

Penny Wright 20 Mar 2013

I move that the Senate:

(a) notes that:

(i) about 70 000 Australian Defence Force and Australian Federal Police personnel have been deployed on over 60 peacekeeping operations throughout the world, significantly contributing to international peace and security, and

(ii) more than 40 000 people signed a community petition calling for the 48 Australian peacekeepers who have died in service to receive equal recognition and be placed on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial; and

(b) commends:

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