Re-elected Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young to continue to fight for SA

Following the final count of the SA Senate vote by the AEC today, Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has been returned to the Senate with the largest swing to the Greens across the country.

“I want to thank South Australian voters for their overwhelming support this election. South Australians have put their faith in me to stand up and protect our state’s jobs and environment. I will work bloody hard to make sure our state is not undermined by the anti-renewables, water-greedy agenda of the eastern states,” Senator Hanson-Young said.

“Protecting the environment and making sure there is a safe and healthy planet for our children and grandchildren is my priority.  South Australians love our beaches and ocean and together we will protect the Great Australian Bight from the exploitation of big oil.

“I will stand up to the Government to ensure they don’t drag our progressive state backward. I will fight to protect our renewable energy industry and the thousands of jobs in tourism and fishing at risk if drilling in the Bight goes ahead.

“South Australians voted for me to represent them and I will not take my foot off the pedal. In the first week back, I will be introducing a Bill to ban drilling in the Great Australian Bight. I invite my fellow South Australians MPs work together to protect the Bight by adding their names to the Bill.

“I will not let this Government wind back the progress our state has made. In the Senate, I’ll work my hardest to keep our state on-track and stand up for all South Australians.”

Gosling to Lead Regional Trade Taskforce

Indonesian-speaking Darwin MP Luke Gosling will lead a special Regional Trade Taskforce of the Caucus to assist in the development of trade policies that will boost economic growth and create jobs for Australians.

The Taskforce will focus on trade links with the Asia-Pacific Region. It will consult with businesses, hold industry forums and report to me and Shadow Trade Minister Madeleine King on what our nation needs to do to increase our trade engagement right across the region.

My appointment of Mr Gosling to lead this Taskforce recognises the particular importance of boosting trade between businesses in Northern Australia and the nations to our immediate north, including Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Timor-Leste.

Despite their proximity to Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia sit outside the list of our top ten trading partners at numbers 13 and 11 respectively.

There is great scope to build our trade engagement across the region, and Mr Gosling’s capacity for hard work makes him the perfect choice to advise Labor on how our nation can capitalise on these opportunities.

This is about jobs for Australians.

Mr Gosling, the Member for Solomon, had a distinguished military career and has worked in Timor-Leste as a Presidential adviser and also established a not-for-profit charity to benefit the fledgling nation.

Since becoming Leader of the Australian Labor Party I have emphasised my intention to consult widely so our Party can develop a set of policies worthy of support at the 2022 election.

Greens Speech to Rally on Press Freedom

Thanks for coming together this morning to stand up for democracy, to uphold truth and to protect public interest.

We are outside the office of Paul Fletcher. The Communications Minister who has shamefully remained largely silent through this chilling saga.

The AFP raids we have seen on the home of Annika Smethurst and the ABC offices last week are a blatant, brazen attack on democracy, press freedom and the community.

We should all be very concerned by this. The AFP – the Government’s law enforcement arm – is getting extremely broad warrants to disrupt the vital work of journalists. They rifled through a reporter’s home and personal belongings and scoured through emails of the national broadcaster – our ABC. And once they’ve seized emails and documents, national security laws mean they are able to alter them – completely legally.

If these unprecedented raids don’t ring alarm bells for us, nothing will. These are dangerous and scary tactics on so many levels. Whether or not they were designed to do so, their result is the intimidation of whistleblowers, journalists and news organisations. For whistleblowers in particular, these raids are a clear and chilling message that if you dare to speak to a journalist in public interest — if you dare to reveal information the public has a right to know – the AFP is going to come after you.

This will stop citizens from divulging what they know, this will stop ordinary people from coming forward with information they know should be in the public domain. This intimidation fits neatly into the Government’s efforts to hide themselves from public scrutiny. I can’t tell you how many times my Freedom of Information requests have been fobbed off, delayed, and complicated by demands for additional and often meaningless details. They are needlessly costly, time-consuming and a confusing process that hampers the release of information that should already have been in the public domain.

The only avenue left for transparency is through information provided by the good citizens of our country. Now this is in real jeopardy. I know that journalists have become fearful of being raided and arrested for stories that they might be chasing and thinking of writing.

We know the AFP has not ruled out arresting journalists and the Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has no qualms about journalists going to jail for revealing secrets in the public interest.. Let’s not forget that this is the same Peter Dutton who lashed out at his critics in the media last year, declaring the ABC and The Guardian are “dead to me” over their reporting of his views on South African refugees. Let’s also not forget the selective dropping of the investigation of the ‘medevac’ leak which served the political interests of the government. This should raise serious questions about the politicization of law enforcement in our country.

Even if they didn’t order them directly, the government is responsible for these raids. It is the minister who sets the direction of the agencies and it is the government that have vastly expanded the reach of the AFP and intelligence agencies. This is a government that wants to do its dirty work without any scrutiny whatsoever. This is a government so emboldened and uninhibited by their recent election victory that they reject any form of accountability and transparency.

The Greens have always stood strong on freedom of speech and press freedom. We have refused to support laws that expanded the powers of intelligence agencies and created new offences for journalists and whistleblowers for disclosing information about their operations. We have warned of the consequences of opening the door to building a surveillance state. And we will continue to stand up for a democratic state where freedom of speech and freedom of the press debates are not hijacked by those who only want the freedom to be a bigot or the community’s right to know is not curtailed under the guise of national security.

Journalism is not a crime. We will not stand by while journalists are attacked for doing their job. We cannot allow them or their sources to be silenced by undemocratic laws, threats and intimidation. We must speak up with outrage and without fear. We must fight for legislative protections for journalists and whistleblowers.

Albanese Unveils Strong Labor Team

I have today appointed a Labor frontbench with the talent and experience to hold the Morrison Government to account and develop a policy platform worthy of the support of Australians at the next election.

My team includes a blend of experienced former Government Ministers, as well as talented newcomers whose enthusiasm and fresh ideas will reinvigorate Labor over the next three years.

My Shadow Ministry includes members from all parts of the nation. It reflects society, with half men and half women including the Shadow Cabinet Secretary.

As I made clear in the days after the May 18 election, I made no deals with colleagues to secure the unanimous support of the Labor Party to become Leader.

I am confident my team will be more than a match for the Morrison Government’s frontbench.

The Shadow Ministry will meet for the first time on Tuesday in Brisbane.

In the days and weeks that follow that meeting, Shadow Ministers will disperse into communities across the nation to listen to Australians about why only one in three voters gave Labor their first preference at the election on May 18.

Labor’s May 18 election result was a wake-up call. The first step to success next time is honest discussion with the Australian people.

 

Shadow Cabinet

Hon Anthony Albanese MP
Leader of the Opposition
Hon Richard Marles MP
Deputy Leader of the Opposition
Shadow Minister for Defence
Senator the Hon Penny Wong
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate
Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs
Senator the Hon Kristina Keneally
Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate
Shadow Minister for Home Affairs
Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship
Hon Tony Burke MP
Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations
Shadow Minister for the Arts
Manager of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives
Hon Bill Shorten MP
Shadow Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Shadow Minister for Government Services
Hon Tanya Plibersek MP
Shadow Minister for Education and Training
Dr Jim Chalmers MP
Shadow Treasurer
Hon Mark Butler MP
Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy
Deputy Manager of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives
Hon Chris Bowen MP
Shadow Minister for Health
Hon Catherine King MP
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development
Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP
Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Resources
Senator the Hon Don Farrell
Shadow Special Minister of State
Shadow Minister for Sport
Shadow Minister for Tourism
Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader of the Opposition
Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP
Shadow Attorney-General
Shadow Minister for Constitutional Reform
Michelle Rowland MP
Shadow Minister for Communications
Senator Katy Gallagher
Shadow Minister for Finance
Shadow Minister for the Public Service
Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate
Hon Linda Burney MP
Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services
Shadow Minister for Indigenous Australians
Hon Julie Collins MP
Shadow Minister for Ageing and Seniors
Shadow Minister for Women
Hon Brendan O’Connor MP
Shadow Minister for Employment and Industry
Shadow Minister for Science
Shadow Minister for Small and Family Business
Hon Jason Clare MP
Shadow Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government
Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness
Hon Amanda Rishworth MP
Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education
Shadow Minister for Youth
Terri Butler MP
Shadow Minister for the Environment and Water
Madeleine King MP
Shadow Minister for Trade

 

Outer Shadow Ministry

 

Stephen Jones MP
Shadow Assistant Treasurer
Shadow Minister for Financial Services
Hon Shayne Neumann MP
Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel
Clare O’Neil MP
Shadow Minister for Innovation, Technology and the Future of Work
Pat Conroy MP
Shadow Minister for International Development and the Pacific
Shadow Minister Assisting for Climate Change
Shadow Minister Assisting for Defence
Andrew Giles MP
Shadow Minister for Cities and Urban Infrastructure
Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs
Shadow Minister Assisting for Immigration and Citizenship
Matt Keogh MP
Shadow Minister for Defence Industry
Shadow Minister for Western Australian Resources
Shadow Minister Assisting for Small and Family Business
Senator Murray Watt
Shadow Minister for Northern Australia
Shadow Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management

 

Assistant Ministers

 

Senator Jenny McAllister
Shadow Cabinet Secretary
Shadow Assistant Minister to the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate
Senator Carol Brown
Shadow Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Tourism
Shadow Assistant Minister for Tasmania
Senator Patrick Dodson
Shadow Assistant Minister for Reconciliation
Shadow Assistant Minister for Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians
Hon Dr Andrew Leigh MP
Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury
Shadow Assistant Minister for Charities
Hon Warren Snowdon MP
Shadow Assistant Minister for Northern Australia
Shadow Assistant Minister for External Territories
Shadow Assistant Minister for Indigenous Australians
Graham Perrett MP
Shadow Assistant Minister for Education and Training
Emma McBride MP
Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental Health
Shadow Assistant Minister for Carers
Senator Glenn Sterle
Shadow Assistant Minister for Road Safety
Hon Dr Mike Kelly AM MP
Shadow Assistant Minister for Defence
Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP
Shadow Assistant Minister for Financial Services
Shadow Assistant Minister for the Republic
Ged Kearney MP
Shadow Assistant Minister for Skills
Shadow Assistant Minister for Aged Care
Josh Wilson MP
Shadow Assistant Minister for the Environment
Sen Kimberley Kitching
Shadow Assistant Minister for Government Accountability
Deputy Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate
Senator Louise Pratt
Shadow Assistant Minister for Manufacturing
Tim Watts MP
Shadow Assistant Minister for Communications
Shadow Assistant Minister for Cyber Security

Greens say Adani fight is ‘far from over’

The decision by Queensland’s Labor Government to grant approval for the Adani Carmichael coal mine’s groundwater management plan is deeply disappointing to anyone who understands the danger posed by climate change, but the fight to stop this mine being built is far from over, the Australian Greens said.

“This fight is far from over. The Adani mine cannot go ahead if we are going to have any chance of slowing rising global greenhouse gas emissions and preventing the worst impacts of dangerous climate change,” said Leader of the Australian greens Dr Richard Di Natale.

“The Greens stand with communities right across the country against this reckless decision by the Queensland Labor Government, which will contribute to the destruction of thousands more jobs in Queensland and across the country than it will ever create for the people of Central Queensland.”

“It’s time for politicians like Annastacia Palaszczuk to come clean with coal communities, admit that there are no long term jobs in digging up and burning coal and work with the Greens on a plan to support these communities transition away from coal and towards sustainable, long-term jobs in the renewable energy sector,” he said.

Senator for Queensland and Greens spokesperson for mining and resources, Larissa Waters, who looks to have been re-elected to represent Queensland with more than 3% swing, said “Adani still doesn’t have all its legal licences, and it’s never had a social licence.”

“Queenslanders want a safe climate, cheap clean power and real, lasting jobs for coal communities as we transition to a clean economy. People will rally in force to stop Adani – and the Greens will be right there with them,” Senator Waters said.

“The big parties might have caved in to their coal donors, but the Greens stand with the people, demanding a safe future and a clean jobs plan for central Queensland communities.

“Community campaigns have won against big polluters and big corporate interests before, and we will again.

“The Greens will use every lever we have available in our parliament, our courts and on the streets. Our movement for a safe climate and jobs justice for workers will triumph.”
Greens environment spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said: “From fudging jobs figures and rushing final approvals, and ignoring scientific advice from the CSIRO and Geoscience Australia, this mega coal mine has been given every liberty by Adani’s mates in the Parliament”.

“The Adani cheer squad are trying to revive a dying industry, risking thousands of jobs and our environment in the process by politicising the debate,” Senator Hanson-Young said.

“If we had stronger environmental laws that required climate change to be considered, projects like Adani would never get off the ground. That’s why the Greens will continue to push in parliament for a climate trigger in our environmental laws. We have no more time to lose to arrest climate change.”

New provider for the National Relay Service

The NRS is a vital service that allows people who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment to make and receive phone calls.

Concentrix will deliver the NRS for 3 years from 1 October 2019 and brings substantial experience in call centre operations. The new contract maintains the current funding levels for the NRS at $22 million per year, ensuring this important service continues to be delivered for those who need it.

A range of new improvements will be delivered as part of the new contract including a world-leading Text and listen option for SMS Relay to assist users with a speech impairment. Concentrix will also investigate how the Video Relay service for Auslan users can be improved. The helpdesk will continue to support NRS users.

All relay call options will remain the same with the exception of access to Captioned Relay options through the proprietary CapTel handset, which will not be supported under the new arrangements from 1 February 2020.

CapTel users are encouraged to contact the NRS Helpdesk for support in transitioning to a range of other suitable communication options, including a new Internet Relay call function.

All other users do not need to take any action and will be switched to the new provider automatically in stages from 1 October 2019.

SCREEN AUSTRALIA AND VIDCON AUSTRALIA ANNOUNCE PITCHER PERFECT

The competition presents an opportunity for online narrative creators to apply for the chance to pitch their project live on stage to a panel of industry experts at VidCon Australia (19-22 September 2019). The team with the best pitch will be awarded $30,000 in funding for script development and to make a proof of concept.

Applications open today and up to five teams will be selected to pitch their project at VidCon Australia. Teams will need to be able to present an engaging pitch that gets the panel excited about their narrative concept, summarises who the project is for, how an audience will access it, and why that audience will want to watch it.

Successful finalists will participate in a closed workshop on 19 September in Melbourne to help them prepare for the live pitch the next day. Each finalist team will also receive two complimentary Creator Track passes to VidCon Australia.

Online Investment Manager at Screen Australia, Lee Naimo said: “We know that Australia has a huge amount of talent making really engaging and exciting content for online audiences. Pitcher Perfect is an incredible opportunity for those emerging creatives with strong ideas to build their pitching skills, and access funding to start a career in the industry. For the winning team $30,000 is a significant amount of money to develop a proof of concept in the form of a trailer, pilot or episode to bring their idea to life, and I can’t wait to see the range of teams that apply.”

VidCon’s General Manager, Jim Louderback said: “Australia is seeing one of the fastest growth spurts in online video on a global scale – it is one of the many reasons we brought VidCon to Melbourne, and this year’s event is set to become our best yet. It’s crucial we support the incredibly talented emerging creators from Australia, who will undoubtedly play a key role in shaping the future of the market as it continues to grow. We’re really excited to see what the entrants have to offer!”

Applicant teams need to have a minimum of two people covering the roles of producer, writer and director. Larger teams can apply, but only two people from each team will take part in the live pitch at VidCon Australia.

To apply, teams need to submit a video pitch up to three minutes in length. Finalists who are not based in Melbourne will receive flights and accommodation for two team members. For more information on eligibility and application guidelines click here 

Applications close Friday 19 July.

Statement on the Australian Greens MPs Party Room Meeting

Statement from Australian Greens Whip Sen. Rachel Siewert:

Today the Australian Greens Party Room met and re-affirmed the positions of our leadership team.

Following a customary spill of the leadership positions, the roles of Leader, Co-Deputy Leader and Whip have all been returned without challenge. The rotating position of Party Room Chair has moved from Adam Bandt MP to Sen. Janet Rice.

The leadership roles for the 46th Parliament are as follows:

Parliamentary Leader: Dr Richard Di Natale
Deputy Leader: Sen. Larissa Waters
Deputy Leader: Adam Bandt MP
Party Whip: Sen. Rachel Siewert
Party Room Chair: Sen. Janet Rice

Statement from Leader of the Australian Greens Dr Richard Di Natale:

I am excited to have been re-elected parliamentary leader by my Party Room colleagues and want to thank them for putting their trust in me again. I am so proud of our achievements and the strong role the Greens have played in shaping the debate of the 45th Parliament, and I am confident that we will once again be a driving force in responding to the major challenges that confront our nation.

First and foremost on the Greens’ agenda in the 46th Parliament will be tackling the existential threat of dangerous climate change and ensuring that no one is left behind as we undertake the transformation of our economy away from dirty, polluting fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas to a clean, green, jobs-rich economy powered by renewable energy.

I also know that many Australians are struggling with the rising cost of living, job insecurity and growing inequality. Our determination to secure a safe climate future for our kids and grandkids, and to create a fairer and more equal society, go hand in hand.

In 2016 I began a conversation with our membership over how the leader of our Parliamentary team is elected in future, so that it better reflects the rapid growth our party has experienced over the last 20 years. I am very pleased with the level of positive engagement this conversation has generated within the Party and I look forward to it continuing.

Statement from Willisa Hogarth and Catherine Garner, Co-Conveners of the Australian Greens

The Australian Greens welcome the reappointment of Richard, Larissa, Adam and Rachel to their parliamentary roles, and congratulate Janet on being appointed Party Room Chair. We are thrilled to see our entire federal team returned following the election.

Our party is in the midst of important discussions about how we support and grow our movement, engage with our members and address the social, economic and environmental challenges our country and our planet is facing. We, Richard and our whole party room, remain committed to this process.

Again, we extend our congratulations and gratitude to the whole Parliamentary Team, all of our candidates who put themselves forward this election and our incredible movement of Greens volunteers and members who continue to work so hard for a future for all of us.

Iraqi Army School of Infantry reaches significant milestone

The Iraqi Army School of Infantry Non-Commissioned Officer II (SINCO II) marked a significant milestone last week by achieving Initial Operating Capability ahead of schedule.

The School, based at the Taji Military Complex, 20 kilometres north of Baghdad, can now conduct 75 per cent of its training activities without coalition assistance.

SINCO II has been supported by the Australian and New Zealand-led Task Group Taji, part of the broader coalition’s Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve.

Commanding Officer of the Taji Training Task Unit, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Smith, said the declaration of Initial Operating Capability was the result of significant hard work by the school over a long period.

“This represents a milestone for the Taji campaign plan; a transition towards training that is solely led by the Iraqi Security Forces,” Lieutenant Colonel Smith said.

SINCO II is responsible for training personnel from Iraqi Army Brigades who in turn work to secure and stabilise areas in Iraq, which have recently been liberated from Daesh.

The training is focused on enhancing core infantry skills including weapons handling, marksmanship, explosive hazard awareness, combat first aid, urban operations and combined arms operations. Students are also provided lessons on the Law of Armed Conflict.

In line with this achievement, Australian support to SINCO II has transitioned from direct training of Iraqi soldiers to train-the-trainer and mentoring activities.

Australia’s efforts are now focused on supporting the Iraqi Army to reach full operating capacity at SINCO II.

SCREEN AUSTRALIA’S CODE OF CONDUCT REPLACED BY INDUSTRY CODE FROM 1 JULY 2019

Image

In April 2018, Screen Australia introduced a mandatory Code of Conduct to Prevent Sexual Harassment for all recipients of Screen Australia production funding.

Since that time, Screen Producers Australia (SPA) and the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) have jointly developed and released the Australian Screen Industry Code of Practice: Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Bullying.

A goal of the Screen Industry Code of Practice is to enable employers to have a consistent approach to these important issues across the entire Australian screen industry. As such, Screen Australia will require projects approved for production funding from 1 July 2019 onwards to implement the Screen Industry Code of Practice rather than the Screen Australia Code of Conduct.

Production companies must, so far as is reasonably practical, implement the Code of Practice as part of its obligations in the Screen Australia funding contract.