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An historic day in the Senate

Dear friend,

What an historic day it has been today in the Australian Senate.

The last parliamentary sitting week before the midwinter break has seen your Greens team continue to achieve great outcomes for all Australians who want a cleaner, healthier, smarter and fairer society.

A short time ago I walked into the Senate to vote into law Australia's biggest ever public investment in clean and renewable energy - and one of the great achievements of the Greens in this parliament in building a clean energy economy.

It's a profoundly exciting moment for all of us here - after years of campaigning and months of negotiations, the historic $10 billion commitment to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation is a huge change for the better for Australia.

We're only days away from July 1 when, for the first time, Australia will start moving to tax what polluters burn, and not what you earn. You can learn more about the Clean Energy Finance Corporation here, and you can share with your friends and families our daily updates on how July 1 brings change for the better.

Earlier today Greens Communications Spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam gave notice that he will introduce a Bill into Parliament this week to protect the democratic interests of all Australians by protecting media diversity. The bill would implement a public interest test for changes in control of major media companies, based on that recommended by the Convergence Review and the ACCC.

The consolidation of immense media power in the hands of two individuals is a clear threat to free speech and to democracy. If we want Australia to be a country which values diverse views, which has a positive vision for itself as a healthier, cleaner, smarter society, we simply must not let that happen.

This public interest test for changes in media control is a sensible place to start. Find out more here.

This evening also saw a Senate inquiry back Senator Sarah Hanson-Young's Marriage Equality bill. MPs from across the parliament voted with the majority of the committee to end marriage discrimination against same sex couples.

The inquiry into the bill also found that religious groups would remain free to decide which couples they would marry under an amended Marriage Act, and that changing the law is constitutionally sound.

The evidence before the committee was overwhelming - marriage equality's time has come. What needs to happen now is for the Opposition Leader to change his mind on rejecting a conscience vote.

You can read more here, and watch Sarah's video about Marriage Equality here.

Please follow along with us on Twitter and Facebook as the rest of this week unfolds.

 

Yours sincerely,

Christine Milne

 

P.S. Don't forget to watch our new Senator Peter Whish-Wilson's first speech, Wednesday at 5pm! 

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