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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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No reason to delay paid parental leave

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young today welcomed the Rudd Government's long overdue commitment to introduce paid maternity leave but rejected the delay until after the next election.

Senator Hanson-Young also called for an extension to 26 weeks and sought clarity on whether the scheme would apply to dads as well as mums.

"There can be absolutely no justification for delaying paid parental leave until beyond the next election," said Senator Hanson-Young.

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Universal paid parental leave a must for family-friendly Budget

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has urged the Federal Government to heed community sentiment and provide for paid parental leave in next Tuesday’s Budget.

Senator Hanson-Young spoke to media and new mothers at a morning tea in Adelaide this morning. It was also reported today that BHP Billiton is introducing 18 weeks’ paid parental leave for its employees from July.

“The evidence pointing to Australia’s need for a government-funded paid parental leave scheme, coming from diverse sectors of the community, is overwhelming,” she said.

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Greens to move for international students inquiry

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says the Greens will move to initiate a Senate Inquiry into the treatment of international students in Australia.

Stories of student exploitation and mistreatment have been emerging from Australia’s burgeoning international education industry recently. The National Union of Students called for an inquiry into the issue last month.

“The international education sector exists at the intersection of Australia’s immigration and education regulations,” said Senator Hanson-Young.

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Youth training places must match jobs of the future

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has called on the Government to ensure the jobs and training compact for young Australians, announced at today’s COAG meeting, is directed towards investing in sustainable jobs for the future.

“The Government must identify the industries which will see increases in training places,” said Greens’ Spokesperson for Education, Senator Hanson-Young.

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Greens announce paid parental leave Bill

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young today announced her intention to introduce a Private Member’s Bill to provide for a 26-week government-funded paid parental leave scheme when Parliament resumes in a fortnight.

The Greens have long been campaigning for a universal government-funded paid parental leave scheme to be introduced in Australia, as it remains one of two OECD countries without one.

“The Greens are taking action on this important issue by proposing a scheme that we hope will be passed into law,” said Senator Hanson-Young.

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Greens welcome new parental leave report

The Greens have welcomed a new report recommending the introduction of paid parental leave in Australia, saying it is yet more evidence that the Federal Government should provide for such a scheme in the upcoming Federal Budget.

Long overdue: The macroeconomic benefits of paid parental leave was released by the Australia Institute today, which says a paid parental leave scheme in Australia would pay for itself, stimulate the economy and create 9,000 new jobs.

“The Greens warmly welcome the Australia Institute’s report,” said Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

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New poll mounts pressure for paid parental leave in Budget

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has welcomed the results of a new poll on attitudes towards paid parental leave as yet more evidence of the mounting community support for such a scheme to be included in the next Federal Budget.

The Auspoll research released today - commissioned by the National Foundation for Australian Women, Unions NSW, Commission for Children and Young People, Catalyst Australia and the YWCA Australia - surveyed 1703 respondents aged between 18 and 64 years on their views on paid parental leave and tax.

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