Sunday, 11 December 2016

Adani pay just 0.008 percent in tax on multimillion dollar earnings

It beggars belief that the Queensland and federal governments want to give Adani, a company that paid just 0.008 percent in tax on their total income in 2014-2015, one billion dollars of taxpayer's money, say the Australian Greens.

"Under new tax transparency laws spearheaded by the Greens, the ATO today released figures showing multinational mining company Adani earned $487 million from its Australian enterprises but paid a measly $39,000 in taxes in the 2014-2015 financial year, said Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Senator for Queensland, Larissa Waters.

Wanted: PM’s backbone. Reward: lower energy power prices

The Australian Greens are calling for the return of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s backbone and resolve on climate policy – and the reward is lower power prices and a healthier environment for future generations.

“The Prime Minister appears to have again misplaced his backbone after uttering the words ‘emissions intensity scheme’ this week,” Greens Senator for South Australia, Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“Malcolm Turnbull’s failure to stand up to the climate change-denying dinosaurs in his party is another blow to ordinary South Australians struggling with soaring power bills and will scare off investment in Australia’s renewable energy future.

National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness needs long term, secure funding

The Turnbull-Joyce government's failure to adequately fund homelessness services will drive greater inequality across the nation, the Australian Greens said today.

The Greens are calling on the government to restore the $44 million that was previously cut from the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH), and to guarantee long term funding for the NPAH.

Australian Greens spokesperson for housing Senator Lee Rhiannon said, "While the extension of funding for homelessness services for another year will offer some temporary relief for homelessness services, year-to-year funding is not nearly good enough.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

'Despite finding timber giant awash in stolen wood, FSC allows certification to continue,' says Environmental Investigation Agency

How credible is Forest Stewardship Council accreditation? This release from the Environmental Investigation Agency suggests that the Forest Stewardship Council's accreditation has been tarnished.

WASHINGTON, DC – A scathing investigation report released today by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) details systematic illegal timber sourcing by one of Europe’s largest timber processors, the Austrian firm Holzindustrie Schweighofer. FSC’s 110-page report, produced by a panel of experts over nearly one year, states that Schweighofer “developed a culture” that incentivized illegal timber sourcing by putting cheap wood above legality in their sourcing of logs in Romania. FSC’s Board of Directors refused to accept the panel’s recommendation that Schweighofer lose its FSC status, instead putting the company on a three-month probation which allows products to continue to be sold under the FSC label.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Santos spin off of Narrabri CSG project should prompt cancellation

Farmers protest against Santos
Santos’ announcement today that they would concentrate on core conventional gas assets  and that the Narrabri coal seam gas project would be “packed and run separately for value as a standalone business” shows that the controversial project has no future and that the government should step in and cancel the licence to provide certainty to the community and protect the land and water.

NSW Greens energy and resources spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said:

“It’s clear that Santos has little interest in developing the Narrabri coal seam gas project and are likely to try to sell it off.  It’s time for the government to end the uncertainty and put this project out of its misery by cancelling the licence.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Lock The Gate Video: Fractured Country - An Unconventional Invasion

Greens launch updated Democracy for Sale website, release analysis

The Greens' Democracy for Sale project has completed an overhaul of their donations data search engine, available at<>, and published analysis on all payments made to political parties since 1998. They say the grand total of reported payments made to political parties since 1998 will reach $1 billion in the 2015-2016 year.

Greens spokesperson for democracy Senator Lee Rhiannon said, "Hidden among this data could be many more donations scandals, and more nefarious relationships between vested interests and political parties.

"The scandals that dog government and opposition frontbenches year after year are not random indiscretions from 'bad apples'; they are the product of a system which encourages a cosy relationship between vested interests, wealthy donors and political parties.

Crime down but the system harsher than ever

The latest state-wide crime figures from BOCSAR thankfully show that most crime categories are down. However behind this is a remarkable story of an increase in prison population, more people held in jail awaiting trial and harsher treatment of young people in the justice system.

Greens MP and Justice Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“The number of young people being dealt with by youth justice conferences is down more than 21%.

“Youth justice conferencing is a holistic and reparative approach to justice, and it’s concerning to see its use declining.

Private schools don’t need more Government funding says Greens MP

Greens education spokesperson Tamara Smith has today condemned Labor’s views announced in the Sydney Morning Herald<> that over-funded private schools should have their funding maintained at the expense of disadvantaged public schools.

“Labor is no longer interested in supporting everyday Australians whose children go to Public Schools, instead they are committed to continuing to give limited public money to the wealthiest private schools.” Said Ms Smith

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Stolen Generations Inquiry Chair welcomes Government’s commitment to Reparations

Jan Barham MLC, the Greens NSW spokesperson on Aboriginal Affairs and Chair of the Parliamentary Inquiry into Reparations for the Stolen Generations, has welcomed the NSW Government’s response to the inquiry’s 35 recommendations.

“This strong commitment to act on reparations is welcome, it’s significant, and it’s long overdue,” Ms Barham said.

“It’s almost twenty years since the Bringing Them Home report into forcible removals was tabled. It would be better if we hadn’t needed two decades and another inquiry to get here, but I’m glad that our committee’s recommendations have received such strong support in the Government’s response.”

Millions pouring into gun lobby coffers from firearms license fees

The Australian gun lobby has been found to be amassing giant political war chests from compulsory gun club membership fees. Gun club membership fees are paid as a legal prerequisite in order for most non-rural people to obtain a firearms license.

There are currently no limits on gun club fees, meaning that shooting organizations like the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (the SSAA) can charge substantial membership fees which are then used for political lobbying.

This unintended consequence of the 1996 National Firearms Agreements risks creating a US National Rifle Association (NRA) equivalent in Australia. These laws are currently working to create an annual income stream for the SSAA estimated at $10 million or more according to research by academic Philip Alpers (insert link).

Greens MP and NSW gun control spokesperson David Shoebridge said: 

"The National Firearms Agreement says you need a genuine reason to obtain a gun license and for most metropolitan people this means buying membership as a local gun club.

"The problem is that membership fees are being redirected away from local clubs and handed over for political campaigning.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Cutting funding while increasing Uni debt not the answer

Targeting university students and increasing their debt is not the answer to the long term sustainability of Australia's higher education sector, the Australian Greens have said in response to a Grattan Institute report.

"The Turnbull-Joyce government wants to take an axe to higher education funding and it shouldn't look to increasing student debt to make up any shortfall," the Greens' education spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

Labor’s private schools obsession a threat to fair funding: Greens

Labor’s refusal to reduce the amount  of money going to overfunded private schools and reinvest it into the public schools that need it most is putting true needs based funding at risk, the Australian Greens have said.

“Labor’s obsession with defending the fistfuls of cash going to private schools is threatening to derail any chance we have at achieving genuine needs based funding for all Australian students,” the Greens’ education spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Climate Emergency Declaration Petition in Coffs Harbour January 7

I thought my journey was over at Paris but it’s not. If absolutely everything promised at the Climate Summit is achieved we might limit global warming to three degrees. Three degrees means no Arctic or Antarctic ice, no glaciers and very likely no humans.

This is real, happening at present and for people under 20 now the effects could be catastrophic, not just the wild weather we are experiencing with just one degree of warming.

This is an emergency and we need the science to be taken seriously by all governments
On New Years Day 2017,  I will bring out Old Yella for one last time and paddle from my home in Ballina, where I recuperated from the gruelling Paris journey, to Canberra. I will paddle 1150km down the coast to Moruya, then turn right and drag  Old Yella 180km up the hill to Canberra.

Groups in towns along my route are already collecting signatures on the Climate Emergency Declaration petition for me to deliver to Canberra, along with the signatures being collected via the online version of the petition. Please help reach the target of 100,000 signatures by signing online at The Climate Emergency Declaration

Friday, 2 December 2016

SMH link: Farmers demand the Coalition government does more on climate change


Greens MP Jamie Parker has expressed his dismay at today’s amendment to the Navigation Act 2012, which will set an upper limit for fuel sulphur content only while cruise ships are at berth.
“Today’s announcement by the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport has enshrined into law the degrading of the NSW Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations to protect people across Sydney from toxic pollution from cruise ships,” he said.
“The Federal change to the Maritime Act appears only to enforce half of the measures put in place by the EPA last year.

Parliamentary Inquiry dissenting report rejects TPP

The Australian Greens' dissenting report to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties inquiry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) clearly states that the government should immediately give up on any plans to ratify this monster of a deal.

"This deal is done and dusted. It should be consigned to the dustbin of history, where it belongs," the Green's finance and trade spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Xenophon sells SA short in water negotiations

The Nick Xenophon Team cannot be trusted to stand up for South Australia, the Australian Greens have said, after it was revealed that Senator Xenophon has removed his demand for additional environmental water in negotiations with the government on the ABCC Bill.

"Nick Xenophon has just sold South Australia down the river," South Australian Senator and Greens' water spokesperson, Sarah Hanson-Young said.

ABC independence traded for ABCC vote

The Australian Greens have announced that they will vote against the government's plans to allow the Communications Minister to make written directions to the board of the ABC, which it is reportedly doing as part of a deal with Senator Leyonhjelm for his vote on the ABCC Bill.

"The independence of the ABC is essential and should not be put at risk like this," the Greens' acting communications spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

"Malcolm Turnbull thinks he can use the ABC as his own personal bargaining chip.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Face the facts and take action to save the Reef say Greens

The Australian Greens call on all political parties to face the scientific facts and take drastic action to save the Great Barrier Reef.

"A scientific study released today confirms that two thirds of corals are dead in the north of the Reef, said Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Senator for Queensland, Larissa Waters.

"Reef scientists are unanimous in saying the biggest threat to the Reef is global warming which caused the devastating coral bleaching and in their calls for drastic action.