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Senate motion on protecting public health and PBS from trade agreements

That the Senate-
a) notes the open letter to the Government, dated 9 December 2013, signed by 44 prominent academics and public health experts, which expresses alarm around the effects these potential changes could have on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and the integrity of Australian public health initiatives;
b) reiterates its call for the Government to make public the details of the final agreed text and Australia’s position regarding these controversial intellectual property provisions; and

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Don’t Let Abbott Wreck Pokies Reform

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Greens back call for cheaper drugs

Australian Greens health spokesperson, Senator Richard Di Natale, today backed the call from the Grattan Institute to explore setting the price of generic medicines using international benchmarks.

“Using international benchmarks to set the price of generic medicines is likely to reduce the cost of drugs to the consumer and free up funding to list new drugs on the PBS,” said Senator Di Natale.

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Fresh blows to Waubra Foundation claims: Greens

Australian Greens health spokesperson, Dr Richard Di Natale, today called on the Charities Commission and Tax Office to follow the lead of the South Australian EPA and VCAT in following the science when it comes to the health impacts of wind farms.

“In the last 24 hours the South Australian EPA has found that wind turbine syndrome doesn’t exist, VCAT has declared that there’s no evidence to support it and now it’s time for the Charities Commission and ATO to follow suit,” said Senator Di Natale.

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Abbott Government silences peak drug and alcohol body

Australian Greens health spokesperson, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that the Abbott Government is defunding the Alcohol and Other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA) in an attempt to stymie debate about illicit drug policy.

“The Abbott Government is determined to hide evidence, sideline experts and silence advocates,” said Senator Di Natale, a former drug and alcohol clinician.

Established in 1966, the ADCA is a peak body that represents the alcohol and other drugs sector and has a history of advocacy for a harm minimisation approach to illicit drugs.

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Reckless government likely to ignore evidence on alcohol: Greens

Australian Greens health spokesperson, Dr Richard Di Natale, today backed the Australian National Council on Drugs’ call for action to deal with the harms of alcohol but wasn’t optimistic the Abbott would back the recommendations.

“As a doctor and a legislator I welcome the push for action on alcohol from the Australian National Council on Drugs,” said Senator Di Natale.

“Alcohol is linked to one in eight deaths among young Australians so the evidence for action could not be clearer. But sadly this reckless government operates in an evidence-free zone.

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Greens tobacco divestment campaign bears more fruit

Australian Greens health spokesperson, Senator Richard Di Natale, has welcomed an announcement today by the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation at Senate Estimates that it is divesting its tobacco holdings of approximately $100 million.

“This decision is a win for the public health and a win for common sense,” said Senator Di Natale, a former GP and public health professional.

“It makes absolutely no sense for public money to be invested in such an insidious industry.

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National uranium protections at risk

The Australian Government is prepared to abandon all responsibility for regulating the uranium industry, in direct contradiction to written commitments given by Environment Minister Greg Hunt.

In May 2013, then opposition environment spokesperson Greg Hunt said the Commonwealth would retain control over decisions involving nuclear matters and projects for which state governments are likely to have a significant conflict of interest as the proponent - both of which would cover uranium mining.

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Lest We Forget Nuclear Veterans

Between 1952 and 1963, approximately 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.

"Today Australians mark the sacrifice, suffering and deaths of our servicemen and women in all wars, but unfortunately some of our veterans have been forgotten," said Australian Greens spokesperson on nuclear policy, Senator Scott Ludlam.

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