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Nation Building and Jobs Plan

Senator HANSON-YOUNG (2.29 pm) - My question today is to the Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Wong.

Minister, of course, as a South Australian senator, you are aware of the dire state of South Australia's Lower Lakes. During the negotiations and debate over the stimulus package back in February this year, $10 million for a bioremediation program was agreed to by the government as part of the Nation Building and Jobs Plan. Could the minister please update the chamber on where we are up to in implementing this program?

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International student attacks necessitate Senate Inquiry into sector

The Greens say that a Senate Inquiry should go ahead into international education in Australia, following a recent spate of violent attacks on Indian students and other concerning reports.

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young announced last month that she would move for a Senate Inquiry into Australia’s international education sector, which the National Union of Students had also called for. Education Minister Julia Gillard later said that the Government would be convening a roundtable to discuss issues affecting international students.

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Greens urge ACTU to back 26 weeks’ paid parental leave as workplace entitlement

The Greens have called on the Australian Council of Trade Unions to back a 26-week paid parental leave scheme at its Congress next week, in line with what the Greens’ parental leave bill offers.

The Congress will push for a broadening of the Federal Government’s proposed 18-week paid parental leave scheme to 26 weeks, and for it to include superannuation payments, it was reported today.

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Govt has hands off the wheel as ABC Learning fallout continues

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says that the Federal Government must intervene to protect childcare workers’ jobs and the stability of children’s care, as the fallout from last November’s ABC Learning collapse continues.

Today is the deadline for ABC Learning’s court-appointed receiver, PPB, to sell the 241 centres deemed unviable under the ABC Learning model. Reports say the fate of all of these centres is still not known, and that some workers have lost their jobs.

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Greens introduce Bill for 26 weeks’ paid parental leave

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young introduced her Private Member’s Bill to provide for 26 weeks’ paid parental leave in the Senate this afternoon, with the aim of securing government-funded leave for Australian parents before 2011.

The Greens announced last month that Senator Hanson-Young would introduce the Bill, in light of widespread community support for such a scheme, and a lack of Government commitment to paid parental leave at the time.

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FAIR WORK AMENDMENT (PAID PARENTAL LEAVE) BILL 2009 - Second Reading Speech

FAIR WORK AMENDMENT (PAID PARENTAL LEAVE) BILL 2009

Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (3.41 pm) - I present the explanatory memorandum and move:

That this bill be now read a second time. I seek leave to have the second reading speech incorporated in Hansard. Leave granted.

The speech read as follows - Fair Work Amendment (Paid Parental Leave) Bill 2009

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