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OECD education report a national shame

The latest OECD Education at a Glance report reveals unforgivable cuts to public education spending in Australia during the Covid pandemic, the Greens say. Federal, state and territory governments must properly fund public education to ensure everyone in our community has access to high-quality lifelong learning.

Lines attributable to Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Greens Deputy Leader and spokesperson for Education:

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Zero extinction unachievable with new coal and gas

The Albanese Labor Government will fail to achieve its 'no new extinctions' objective if it continues to open new coal and gas projects, the Greens say. 
With habitat clearing and the climate crisis the biggest threat to Australia's native species, the Greens are urging Labor to support their bills for a moratorium on habitat clearing and a Climate Trigger to assess polluting projects for the impact of their emissions on the climate. 
Greens Spokesperson for the Environment Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:

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The burning of native forest biomass is not renewable energy

Janet Rice 30 Sep 2022

Today the Federal Government’s Native forest biomass in the Renewable Energy Target consultation paper was released with submissions open to the public on some key questions. 

This comes after the Greens secured a commitment from the government to look at removing a Coalition loophole from the Renewable Energy Act, which allows the destruction and burning of native forests to be classified as renewable energy. 

Quotes attributable to Greens forest spokesperson, Senator Janet Rice:

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Renters $3000 better off under Greens rent freeze plan

Analysis by the Parliamentary Library estimates that renters across Australia would be $7.1 billion better off if rents had been frozen nationwide for the past 12 months. With rents increasing by 14% nationwide, the average renter is paying $3,151 more for their home than last year. 

The Greens recently called on the Federal Government to intervene in the housing crisis by freezing rents nationwide for two years, followed by ongoing rent caps and an end to no grounds evictions, minimum standards for rental properties and tenant rights to make minor improvements to the home.

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Senate Estimates

The Greens understand that the Senate will today support our motion requiring Reserve Bank governor Dr Philip Lowe to appear at Senate Estimates.

“Independence does not mean a lack of accountability,” Greens Economic Justice Spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

“There are serious questions for Dr Lowe.” 

“Dr Lowe induced people into taking on massive amounts of debt by saying interest rates wouldn’t go up until wages had increased substantially and this was unlikely to be until 2024.”

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Goodbye to the Cashless Debit Card

Australian Greens Social Services spokesperson Senator Janet Rice has welcomed the end of the cashless debit card after the bill passed tonight. 

Senator Rice said: 

“Today is a big day for the more than 12,000 people who will be able to exit compulsory income management. 

“Anyone living in Ceduna SA , the Goldfields and East Kimberley regions of WA and the Bundaberg- Hervey Bay region of Queensland who has been on the CDC will finally be able to control their own finances again. 

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Greens move for abortion access Senate inquiry

In the wake of Roe v Wade, the Australian Greens will today establish a Senate inquiry into abortion access in Australia. 

This inquiry will identify what can be done federally to alleviate the physical and financial barriers to accessing contraceptives, sexual and reproductive healthcare and termination services, as well as options to improve the quality and availability services, particularly in regional and remote Australia.

Lines attributable to Greens leader in the senate and spokesperson on women Senator Larissa Waters

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Childcare changes should be strengthened and brought forward

Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has said that the government’s Cheaper Childcare Bill, introduced to parliament today, doesn’t go far enough, and should make early education and care universal and free.

Senator Faruqi said:

“We have an opportunity here to deliver universal and free childcare. This bill does not go anywhere near far enough.

“Expensive and inaccessible childcare has held women and families back for too long.

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Greens call on Labor to back National Energy Transition Authority Bill

The Greens have called on Labor to support its bill to establish a National Energy Transition Authority, which was introduced in the Senate today by Gladstone-based Queensland Senator Penny Allman-Payne.

The National Energy Transition Authority Bill 2022 establishes a new independent public authority to guide Australia’s shift from an economy powered by polluting coal and gas to one powered by reliable, secure and low-cost renewable energy.

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