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Country South Aussies let down by budget

The 2013 Labor Budget will do little to ease the stress on country South Australians, say Australian Greens Senators Sarah Hanson Young and Penny Wright.

"Labor has spent more time listening to mining companies, the big banks and their factions than the people in rural and regional communities," Senator Hanson-Young said.

"The Greens stood up for regional South Australia during the Murray Darling Basin debate while our colleagues in the old parties and those upstream tried to sell us down the river.

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Amnesty International’s call for time limits and detention centre closures should be heeded

The Australian Greens have today urged the Gillard government to follow the recommendations of Amnesty International's report to impose time limits on detention and shut down remote detention centres.

"If we want to stop already fragile people from harming themselves or taking their lives, the only way to do it is by closing detention centres on Christmas Island and elsewhere," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young.

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Greens call on government to fix legal black hole for impoverished Indonesians

The Australian Greens are the only political party trying to change unjust laws which are keeping Indonesian children and adults stuck in prison without charge for longer than people accused of serious offences.

"While the old parties squabble about leadership challenges, the Greens are drafting bills and having them referred to inquiries to address the legal and procedural black holes," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

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UNHCR chief’s remarks a chance for calmer debate on asylum seekers

The UNHCR chief, Antonio Guterres, has last night highlighted the relatively small number of asylum seekers seeking Australia's protection compared to countries including Italy, the Australian Greens said.

"Last year 58,000 people arrived in Italy and Malta and 100,000 reached Yemen, compared to around 6,000 in Australia," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

"Despite what some may want to believe, we do not have a national security problem, we have a humanitarian one and we need to keep things in perspective.

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$1 billion on detention centres could be better spent on dental care

The $1 billion Australian taxpayers are spending on private company Serco's detention centre contract would be better off going toward a public denticare scheme, the Australian Greens said today.

"Letting detainees live in the community after initial health and security checks while their protection claims are assessed is 90 percent cheaper and 100 percent fairer compared to a detention centre," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

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Public to get a say as Greens’ marriage equality bill heads to senate inquiry

The Greens' marriage equality bill has today been referred to a Senate inquiry, giving all Australians the chance to have their say on removing discrimination from the Marriage Act.

"This is a great moment for everyone who wants to see same-sex Australian couples have the same rights as heterosexual couples," Greens' marriage equality spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

"The Greens thank the MPs from both sides of parliament who have agreed an inquiry is needed help those undecided MPs learn first-hand why the law needs changing.

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Release children into community and end Immigration Minister’s conflict of interest

The Gillard government must make it a priority to move asylum seeker children and fragile families into the community, Greens Senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

"In October 2010 Minister Bowen said the government would move most children and vulnerable families out of detention, because their incarceration was harming their mental health and development," Sen. Hanson-Young said.

"This must be hastened this year because we know this damage is preventable by letting people live in the community after initial health and security checks are done.

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Audio of Sarah and marriage equality advocates on referring Greens' bill to Senate inquiry

Audio from Sarah's door stop in Canberra on referring the Greens' marriage equality bill to a Senate inquiry. Also joined by Alex Greenwich from Australian Marriage Equality and Shelley Argent from Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Other topics covered include childre in detention and sexism toward women politicians.

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