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Greens secure grants for child care centres to help lift standards

The Australian Greens have secured $5m from the Federal Government to help around 1,000 of the most disadvantaged child care centres around the country transition to the incoming National Quality Framework.

"As this framework will inevitably lead to increased costs as centres upgrade their standards, the deal ensures that particular families will not miss out," Greens' early childhood education and care spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

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Parliament Hears Community’s Views On Marriage

Today's report back of Members of Parliament on marriage equality provided a rare opportunity for the community to have its voice heard on this important reform, the Australian Greens say.

 

"Today we heard from Members of Parliament from across the political divide," the Greens' marriage equality spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

 

"Many have spent considerable time engaging with their electorates in the past year and they should be commended for their participation in the process.

 

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Asylum seeker debate out of proportion

Yesterday the full bench of the High Court began hearing a challenge to the Malaysian solution.

The Greens hope David Manne and Debbie Mortimer, SC, and their legal team succeeds, not least because we do not want unaccompanied children to be expelled to a country where their rights cannot be guaranteed. It's not yet clear when the court will issue its ruling, but it could permanently derail the Gillard government's plans to export Australia's international obligations to give protection to countries including Malaysia and, possibly, Papua New Guinea.

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Greens welcome AMA President’s mandatory detention concerns

The Australian Greens have welcomed AMA National President Dr Steve Hambleton's comments that mandatory detention is "inherently harmful to the physical and mental health of detainees...especially....children."

Dr Hambleton's remarks join a chorus of similar concerns expressed in recent months by the AMA'S NT branch president and others such as the Australian Human Rights Commission and the UN Human Rights Commissioner.

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Cut the red tape and show some heart

The Australian Greens say the Gillard government should cut the red tape burdening the Immigration Department which proposes to deport a 96-year-old British woman living with her family in Tasmania.

"Gladys Jefferson should be allowed to see out her final years surrounded by her family in Tasmania," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

"Her family says she is not a burden on the state because she's receiving a British pension, so she will not be adding extra costs to Australian health services.

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New report buttresses Greens’ concerns about school chaplains programme

The Australian Greens say the Commonwealth Ombudsman's investigation into the National School Chaplaincy Programme has buttressed the party's concerns about the absence of minimum qualifications required for participants.

"This report reinforces what we've always said -- there's a lot of taxpayers' money being spent on this programme which does not require minimum basic standards for chaplains," Greens' youth affairs spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young.

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Save and expand foreign aid

This month the world is learning about the ongoing famine in the Horn of Africa, where about 12 million people have been hit by the worst drought in almost 60 years. Australia has pledged more than $11 million in aid. It's heart-wrenching to see malnourished children in refugee camps in Kenya with tubes in their noses to feed them because their hungry mothers cannot.

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New report endorses Greens’ call for national children’s commissioner

A new report on the rights of Australia's children has recommended the federal government create a national Children's Commissioner - adding more weight to the Greens' bill before parliament which would establish such a position.

"I was pleased to help launch  Listen to Children in Canberra, which will be given to the UN'S Committee on the Rights of the Child as a report card on how children's rights are protected in Australia," Greens' spokesperson for youth, childhood education and care, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

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