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Greens Announce $767m ‘Caring for Country’ Plan to Prevent Another Juukan

With a Senate Committee into the Juukan Gorge crisis due to conclude today, the Greens have announced a comprehensive $767 million ‘Caring for Country’ plan to expand protections for Indigenous areas and sacred sites, fund more First Nations ranger programs and legislate environmental personhood to areas of First Nations significance - ensuring that future crises’ like that at Juukan are avoided. 

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The Greens support WA Labor’s motion to raise the age

The West Australian Labor party has passed a motion to raise the age of legal responsibility to 14 at their State conference. The Greens spokesperson for Justice and First Nations: Gunnai, Gunditjmara and DjabWurrung Senator Lidia Thorpe has called it, “A step in the right direction.”

It’s good to see WA Labor listening to the evidence from the Australian Medical Association, the United Nations Human Rights Council and adopting the Greens policy. Children belong in classrooms and playgrounds, not in handcuffs, courtrooms or prison cells.

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Who Corrects Corrective Services?

Staff at the Alexander Maconochie Correctional Centre have breached the Australian Capital Territory Human Rights Act, after forcibly strip searching a First Nations woman and sexual assault survivor. The woman has multiple lung and heart problems, the latter requires a pacemaker.

A review found that there was no legal basis for the ACT’s mandatory search policies.

Comment from DjabWurrung, Gunnai and Gunditjmara Senator for Victoria Lidia Thorpe, the Greens spokesperson for Justice and First Nations:

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Safe decarceration now!

“What do the NSW government want? More deaths in custody? Why aren't they applying safe decarceration strategies for non-violent offenders?” Said Greens Justice and First Nations spokesperson: DjabWurrung, Gunnai and Gunditjmara Senator for Victoria Lidia Thorpe.

"NATSILS and other justice advocates called for this over 12 months ago. We knew this was a risk then and now we're at a crisis point.

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A Human Rights Commissioner should care about human rights

Lorraine Finlay had been appointed as the nation's new Human Rights Commissioner. Formerly an upper house candidate for the West Australian Liberals and president of the state’s Liberal women’s council, Finlay was appointed to the role without it being advertised. 

This could affect the Australian Human Rights Council’s “A status” with the United Nations.

Comment from Senator Lidia Thorpe, The Greens Justice and First Nations Spokesperson

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More Police Powers, Less Protections

Lidia Thorpe 27 Aug 2021

The Labor and Liberal parties have voted to pass the Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill 2020 which makes three new warrants available to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC). 

Network activity warrants allow the AFP or ACIC to monitor online activity, without investigating or accusing a person of a crime. Account takeover warrants enable police to take over an account and change their data, which could then be used as evidence in a criminal proceeding. 

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Labor agrees to spend $50 million destroying Traditional Owners home

 

“Traditional Owners of the Gundanji and Garawa nation do not consent to fracking in the Beetaloo basin, but the government has put $50 million towards doing it anyway,” said DjabWurrung, Gunnai and Gunditjmara woman Lidia Thorpe, the Greens Senator for Victoria.

“These are communities that don’t even have access to proper health and housing infrastructure. As a government, it’s our job to provide this and instead of doing that we’re paying private companies to poison their waters and destroy their lands.

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The Greens label ADF deployment to Western Sydney as absurd

“Mobilising the police and Australian Defence Force to treat a public health crisis is absurd,” said The Greens spokesperson for Justice and First Nations Senator Lidia Thorpe, as the ADF begins their deployment to Western Sydney. 

“Officers of the law are not experts in public health messaging, culturally accessible information and welfare support services that enable people to stay at home safely,” said Thorpe. Western Sydney has a significant First Nations and multicultural community. 

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Government inaction leads to Aboriginal people dying from preventable deaths

“Aboriginal people are dying from preventable deaths in police custody because the Morrison government is continuing Liberal and Labors’ legacies of inaction,” said Senator Lidia Thorpe, a Gunnai and Gunditjmara woman who is the Australian Greens’ First Nations and Justice spokesperson.

“It’s been 30 years since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and the Morrison government has failed to show leadership and implement all 339 recommendations. What’s the point of a Commission if you ignore its findings?”

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