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Federal Court decision welcomed as fight to protect sacred DjubWurrung trees continues

In a stark rebuke to Minister for Environment Sussan Ley, the Australian Greens today welcomed the Federal Court decision to uphold an appeal regarding the sacred Djab Wurrung trees.

Overnight the Federal Court overturned Minister Ley's decision to reject an appeal for the protection of six trees in the path of a highway upgrade on Djab Wurrung Country in western Victoria.

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Greens response to AFP raids

The Greens responded to the AFP raid on the home of an Australian Signals Directorate intelligence officer today:

 

Greens Spokesperson for Media and Communications and Chair of the Senate Inquiry into Press Freedoms and Whistleblower Protections Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:

 

“Today’s raid by the AFP on an intelligence officer is very concerning. The intimidation of truth tellers by this government is alarming.

 

“Journalism and the protection of whistleblowers are essential pillars of democracy.

 

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Pokies must go for action on harmful gambling addiction: Greens

It is deeply disappointing that the majority of senators have turned their backs on vulnerable Australians by voting down a motion calling for the phasing out of poker machines in pubs and clubs, the Australian Greens say.

“With hundreds of thousands of Australians at risk of harmful gambling addiction, it’s a travesty that senators, excluding the Nick Xenophon Team, have voted down a Greens’ motion to tackle predatory gambling.

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Greens to close Government’s gambling advertising loopholes for broadcasters

The Australian Greens have slammed the Turnbull Government for allowing loopholes that gets Foxtel out of a blanket ban on playing gambling advertising during live sports, and broadcasters playing gambling ads during pre-game entertainment.

“Last year, the Government claimed they’d struck a deal with broadcasters to ban gambling ads during sport broadcasts. We now see the legislation to enforce this shows not all broadcasters are treated equally,” Greens media spokesperson Senator Hanson-Young said.

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‘Daily Tele’ misses a chance to tell truth about community release of asylum seekers

The Daily Telegraph has blown an opportunity to tell its readers the reality of what happens when asylum seekers are released into the community, the Australian Greens said today.

"Last year the paper showed the dangers asylum seekers faced under the Malaysian solution, but this year it has given a false picture of community release programs here on shore," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

"That's a real disappointment because there are so many myths about asylum seekers which continue to be perpetuated.

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Greens make progress on amending Migration Act to cut mandatory sentences

The Greens have today introduced into the Senate a bill to amend the Migration Act to restore judicial discretion to the courts in deciding sentences for convicted people smugglers.

"The Greens have tabled this bill because the government's much-hyped mantra of being tough on people smugglers is not working and is instead leading to injustice," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

"While people smuggling must be tackled, the government continues to punish only the little fish and never the kingpins that actually control the syndicates.

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Greens move to lop mandatory sentencing from Migration Act

The Greens will next month table a bill in parliament to remove mandatory sentencing provisions from the Migration Act and restore judicial discretion to the courts in deciding sentences for convicted people smugglers.

"Nearly two years ago, the Greens and the legal community warned mandatory sentences would not punish the people smuggling kingpins, only the pawns," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

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Gillard government must heed advice and fix people smuggling laws

The Attorney General should urgently revise Australia's mandatory sentencing for people smuggling convictions which fails to punish the real culprits after a Brisbane court today jailed an impoverished Indonesian fisherman for five years, the Australian Greens said.

"Judge Martin said the mandatory sentence did not let the court consider the facts in the case, including that the illiterate Indonesian was exploited by the organisers of people smuggling syndicates," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

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Coalition’s comments on ‘deodorant for migrants’ unhelpful and destructive

The remarks by Teresa Gambaro that migrants, including those on temporary visas, need compulsory training about hygiene are unhelpful, the Australian Greens said today.

"By all means, inform migrants about how they can access services in Australia or how our legal system works," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

"But focusing on body odour is blatant dog whistling from the Coalition.

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Here's how to create long-term, safer pathways to Australia for asylum seekers

The sight of the two big parties exchanging and releasing letters on Tuesday was a performance that gave little hope for a sensible, humane or long-term response to the complex humanitarian issue of asylum seekers.

Australia receives around 2% of asylum applications to industrialised nations - over six months we receive equivalent numbers of unauthorised arrivals that Italy receives in one weekend. Yet political consideration of asylum policy is so warped our leaders were reduced to bickering like note-passing schoolchildren.

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