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Retrospective legislation aimed at scuttling a court case

The Australian Greens agree with professional bodies the Law Council of Australia, Law Institute of Victoria and Victoria Legal Aid which have all expressed concern proposed amendments to the Migration Act.

"We're concerned by the retrospective nature of the amendments," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

"This bill will not catch the kingpins who are organizing the people smuggling syndicates, rather it's about the pretence of government taking action.

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New deaths show why safer pathways needed for asylum seekers

The Australian Greens have expressed their condolences after at least seven asylum seekers drowned off the Indonesian island of Java earlier today.

"This is very sad and distressing news and our thoughts are with the families and friends of those who've died and the survivors," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.


"Australia needs to be doing more to create safer pathways for asylum seekers in our region to reduce the need for them to board boats and try reaching Australia for our protection.

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Greens stand for human rights in China; Labor and Coalition mute

The Australian Greens say they are disappointed but not surprised that Labor and the Coalition united to vote down a motion about deteriorating human rights conditions in Tibet.

"Since March this year at least four monks and one nun have taken their lives by self-immolation in acts of protest to highlight abuses against Tibetan people," Greens' Tibet spokesperson, Sen. Hanson-Young, said today.


"Our Senate motion urged the Australian government to raise these matters with its Chinese counterpart, but the old parties declined to back it.

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Is our News Limited?

In Britain, the phone-hacking scandal has put Rupert Murdoch's media empire under unprecedented scrutiny. 

Questions are being asked about News Corporation's influence over British democracy - its capacity to make and break prime ministers and to set the policy agenda of the day.

In Australia, similar questions must also be asked. News Limited controls 70 per cent of our nation's print media, representing the greatest concentration of media ownership in the democratic world.

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Senate refers Malaysia asylum seeker deal to inquiry

The Senate has this afternoon agreed to send the Malaysia deal to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report back by September 22, 2011.

"The Greens have welcomed the Senate's decision to refer the inhumane Malaysian people swap deal to an inquiry because it will finally give the parliament the chance to scrutinise an arrangement which the government has refused to table," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

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