Carbon Tax Repeal Bill Defeated In Senate As Palmer Squabbles With Government Over Amendments

The Senate has rejected an Abbott government bill to repeal the carbon tax.

Parry

A combination of ALP, Greens and Palmer United Party senators, supported by Motoring Enthusiast Senator Ricky Muir, voted 37-35 to defeat the bill that would have abolished the carbon tax.

The bill failed due to a breakdown in negotiations between the government and the Palmer United Party. Palmer wanted the legislation to mandate that power savings be passed on to consumers. In the end, the amendment moved by Palmer was judged to be a tax that the Senate had no power to introduce. [Read more...]


Julie Bishop Treads Carefully In Reaction To Jailing Of Australian Journalist Peter Greste

The Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, says the Australian government is shocked by the 7-year jail sentence imposed on the Australian journalist, Peter Greste, in Egypt today.

Bishop

Greste is one of three of Qatar-based Al Jazeera journalists who have been held in prison in Egypt for over six months. They were charged with endangering national security, aiding terrorists, doctoring footage, operating without a licence, and “spreading false news”. They were specifically charged with aiding the Muslim Brotherhood, a blacklisted organisation.

Greste and a colleague were each sentenced to 7 years. A third colleague was sentence to 10 years.

Bishop said the Australian government has been pressuring the Egyptian government for months on the Greste case. She said she wanted to explore options with the Egyptian government and to work with neighbouring countries that may be able to exert influence. [Read more...]


Christine Milne Delivers Greens Response To Federal Budget; Pledges To Oppose Key Measures

The Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Christine Milne, has delivered her party’s response to this week’s federal Budget.

Speaking in the Senate, Milne committed the Greens to opposing key measures in the Budget, including changes to unemployment benefits for young people and university fees.

Milne said the Budget was written for “big-business, big miners, big polluters, big banks, who are all completely let off the hook”. She described the Budget’s spending cuts as “brutal”.

Milne said: “The Greens will stand with university students, school kids, families, pensioners, carers or the sick. We will stand with environmental campaigners, children not yet born, our precious threatened species, the places we love, and our magnificent rivers and groundwater storages. We will stand with you, against the Abbott Government. We will stand with you to kick this mob out.”

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Official transcript of Senator Christine Milne’s Budget Reply speech, delivered to the Senate.

In my 25 years in politics I have seen governments and budgets come and go. Governments like that of Tasmanian liberal premier Robin Gray who cooked the books and governments like that of John Howard who engaged in gross populism. Remember his rivers of gold, manna from heaven tax cuts as he squandered the benefits of the last mining boom and his previous decision to freeze the fuel excise to win an election.

I have seen governments ignore the challenges ahead, refuse to even mention climate change or the environment just as this Abbott government is doing and play instead to comfort zones promising that if they continue to do what they had always done everything will be ok, in spite of Einstein’s great observation that you can’t solve problems with the same mentality that created them and frankly that is our problem in this parliament. [Read more...]


ALP And Greens Condemn Government Over Audit Commission Report

The ALP and the Greens have both condemned the government, following today’s release of the National Commission of Audit’s report.

Shorten

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, and the Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen, have held a press conference in Sydney. Shorten described the Audit report as “a blueprint of Tony Abbott’s broken promise for his Budget”. He said it was a plan to put up taxes and cut services. [Read more...]


MYEFO: Greens Say Focus Should Be On How To Raise Revenue, Call For End To Panic On Debt

The Australian Greens have reacted to the release of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) by calling for an end to the panic about debt in favour of a new focus on how to raise revenue to fund services and jobs.

Milne

“Now is not the time to be talking about spending restraint because of a panic on debt,” said Greens leader Senator Christine Milne.

“The old parties wasted the resources boom,” Milne said. “A serious look at raising revenue is necessary to address subdued unemployment, an ageing workforce and increased demand for services.”

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Text of media release from the Australian Greens.

End panic on debt and let’s talk about revenue and jobs – Greens

Responding to the release of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne has warned against deep budget cuts and says the focus should now be on how we can raise revenue to spend on public services and the infrastructure of the future. [Read more...]


The Greens On Abbott: 100 Days, 40 Failures; Secretive, Cruel And Chaotic

The Abbott government’s first 100 days have been characterised by failure, secrecy, cruelty and chaos, according to the Australian Greens.

Milne

In a media release today, Greens leader Senator Christine Milne said “the Abbott government’s true agenda was hidden behind cheap rhetoric”.

Milne said “the Abbott government has tried to claim a so-called mandate to take Australia back to the last century”. She said “the Australian people didn’t sign up to this and the Greens will stand against it”.

The release provides a list of 40 “failures” of the Abbott government in a variety of policy areas.

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Media release from the Australian Greens:

100 days, 40 failures: a preview of secretive, cruel and chaotic government

Releasing a list of the Abbott government’s top failures, the Australian Greens say the first 100 days have been a secretive, cruel and chaotic preview of what is to come. [Read more...]


The Long Walk To Freedom Ends With Global Tributes To The Life Of Nelson Mandela

Australian political figures are amongst world leaders who have paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, the revolutionary anti-apartheid campaigner, Nobel Peace Prize recipient and first black President of South Africa, who has died at the age of 95.

Mandela

The most celebrated and respected politician of our times, Mandela’s death marks the passing of a global leader noted for his courage, humanity, humility and grace.

Imprisoned by the white South African apartheid regime in 1962, Mandela spent most of the next 27 years in the Robben Island prison. He was released in February 1990 in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall at the instigation of then President F.W. de Klerk.

At free and democratic elections in 1994, Mandela was elected the first black President of South Africa. His administration dismantled the apartheid system but he saw his principal task as promoting national reconciliation.

Mandela retired in 1999 but soon “retired from retirement” and devoted his final years to speaking out on a wide range of issues.

In a moving tribute, Barack Obama, the first black President of the United States, said of Mandela: “For now, let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived — a man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice.”

“He no longer belongs to us – he belongs to the ages,” Obama said.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott described Mandela as a “truly great man”. He said Mandela was one of the great figures of the last century, the father of modern South Africa who built a “multicultural, pluralist democracy”.

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, who visited Mandela in prison and worked to dismantle apartheid, described Mandela as the greatest person he had ever met. [Read more...]