Being fired or expelled for being LGBT+ is discrimination, not religious freedom: Greens

The joint letter from Sydney Anglican school principals shows they want to continue to be able to discriminate against LGBT+ people just because of who they are, say the Greens.

‘If what the Sydney Anglicans are saying is that merely being out as LGBT+ is enough to ‘undermine or denigrate the beliefs and teachings of an employing school’, then that’s homophobia and transphobia, not religious freedom,’ said Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens LGBTIQ+ spokesperson.

‘The simple fact is no student should be expelled and no teacher or other staff member should be fired just because of who they are. Jesus taught love for all people, not that love is conditional.’

‘The Greens support freedom of religion to be included in a Charter of Rights, and I call upon the Anglican Diocese of Sydney to support us in achieving that. But freedom of religion is not a licence to discriminate against LGBTIQ+ people.’

No more chances on Live Export: Moss Review shows it is time for a ban.

Australian Greens Animal Welfare Spokesperson, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, has reiterated her call for a ban on live exports, following the release of the Moss Review which shows that the Department and the Government have failed animals. Senator Faruqi has called for a complete ban on live exports, saying the industry is well beyond saving.

Senator Faruqi said: “While I welcome Mr Moss’s review and proposed changes, it clearly shows the reality that a culture of tolerating animal cruelty is completely entrenched. The shortcomings of the system encompass legislation, regulation, capability and culture. The whole industry and its regulation are based on money, not animal welfare. The writing is on the wall for this cruel trade and now is the time to begin the transition away from it.

“If you need evidence of the contempt this Government has for reform, the Agriculture Minister was handed this damning report in late September and he promptly went ahead and allowed live exporters to increase stocking density and granted an export licence to a company closely affiliated with disgraced live export company Emanuel Exports. The department has even allowed some live export ships to sail without independent observers.

“The Greens remain resolute and stand with the community in demanding a shutdown of this cruel trade. No amount of reviews or tinkering around the edges can get around the fact that this is a trade in misery and is incompatible with animal welfare. The live export industry is well beyond redemption.

“I for one am so sick and tired of second and third and fourth chances being given to the live export industry. They have proved they are incapable of reform and we know as soon as the spotlight is off live exports, we will see any changes weakened.

“My bill to ban the worst aspects of the live exports trade passed the Senate and is stuck in limbo in the House of Representatives. I call on members of the crossbench and those in the Government who care about animals to take action now and bring on the bill for debate and a vote. We could take a huge leap forward to animal welfare if Prime Minister Scott Morrison allowed the bill to be debated.”

Research ‘National Interest’ Test a Smokescreen for Political Interference

Australian Greens Education Spokesperson, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, has rebuked Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan’s proposed national interest test as a smokescreen for political interference.

Senator Faruqi said:

“When the Liberals and Nationals say national interest, we know what they really mean. They have such a narrow understanding of the importance of research in all fields, who knows what will be on the chopping block. Perhaps the Minister would like to cut off research relating to trade unions, climate change or asylum seekers?

“A national interest test is a smoke screen for allowing the government of the day to insert their political priorities into the independent research approval process.

“This is a desperate beat up on research and academics to try and revive the Government’s vote which is in freefall.

“If the Minister wanted to act for the national interest he would allow academics to continue the centuries-old tried and tested process of peer review,” she concluded.

Australian Greens Education Spokesperson to speak at anti-Ramsay Centre rally at Sydney University today

Australian Greens Education Spokesperson, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, will today speak at ‘Stop the Ramsay Centre! Protest at the USYD Senate’ and will call on Sydney University to drop plans to engage with the Ramsay Centre. Senator Faruqi is a former academic of the University of New South Wales.

When: Today (31/10), 12:30PM

Where: Sydney University (F23 Administration Building, Eastern Ave).

Senator Faruqi said:  “As a former academic, I can unequivocally say that allowing any organisation to control curriculum, let alone one as shady as this centre, is a huge mistake. Sydney University should not even be having this conversation.

“There are multiple schools in Sydney University already studying Western Civilisation already, so what do they really want? They want control. And they want to churn out students with an unquestioning view of what they believe Western Civilisation is. That is their agenda.

“They are seeking a nationalistic and uncritical view of Western civilisation with all the imperialism and colonialism airbrushed out. This is deeply offensive. We must push back hard against this idea cultural supremacy.

“We must stand up strongly and proudly for academic freedom and critical thinking. We will not hijacked by a narrow ideological agenda.”

LABOR WILL TACKLE MULTINATIONAL TAX DODGERS

A Shorten Labor Government will tackle multinational tax dodgers to help pay for our priorities – better schools, better hospitals and protecting Medicare.

Labor will implement a number of measures targeting multinational tax avoidance and high wealth tax dodgers, saving the budget $4.8 billion over the next decade, including stopping companies claiming illegitimate deductions for travel to and from known tax havens.

Working Australians pay their taxes – it’s only fair that multinationals pay their fair share too.
Labor will also close a loophole that allows companies to deduct bad debt from related party financing arrangements.

These measures build on Labor’s existing plans to make the tax system fairer for all Australians.
Labor will make firms undertaking business in tax havens disclose that to shareholders and make significant tenderers disclose their country of tax domicile.

We will introduce public country-by-country reporting, work with superannuation funds to make sure they develop guidelines for tax haven investments and stop citizenship shopping by requiring Australians with foreign residency to report to the Tax Office.

Tax havens are used by drug-runners, extortionists and counterfeiters. Around four-fifths of the money shifted to tax havens is estimated to be in breach of other countries’ tax laws. Half the money in tax havens is estimated to be owned by the top 0.01 percent. One estimate suggests that Australians have around $100 billion parked in tax havens.

Australians know that when multinational tax dodgers and the super-rich don’t pay their fair share, we can’t fund our education and health systems properly.

While the Coalition is paralysed by infighting and indecision, Labor has made serious decisions to balance the budget, pay down debt and fund its positive policies for schools and hospitals.

Labor knows what needs to be done and will continue to lead the debate on multinational tax avoidance.
If the Coalition was serious about tax fairness, it would adopt Labor’s plan.

LABOR’S MULTINATIONAL TAX CRACK DOWN – SAVING THE BUDGET $4.8 BILLION

  • Tighten debt-deduction loopholes used by multinational companies, improving the Budget by $3 billion over the medium term.
  • Capping deductions for managing tax affairs at $3,000.
  • Close a debt deduction loophole to ensure consistent treatment in related party financing arrangements.
  • Automatically deny deductions from companies for travel to and from tax havens.
  • Increase penalties for individuals and entities promoting tax evasion and avoidance.
  • Crack down on citizenship shopping by requiring all individual Australian taxpayers to notify and declare to the Australian Taxation Office if they have residency or citizenship of any other jurisdiction and the name of that jurisdiction.
  • Introduce public reporting of country-by-country reports, ensuring the release of high-level tax information about where and how much tax was paid by large corporations (over $1 billion in global revenue).
  • Provide protection for whistleblowers who report on entities evading tax to the Australian Taxation Office and, where whistleblowers’ information results in more tax being paid, allow them to collect a share of the tax penalty (a reward of up to $250,000).
  • Introduce a publicly accessible registry of the beneficial ownership of Australian listed companies and trusts, allowing the public to find out who really owns our firms.
  • Introduce mandatory shareholder reporting of tax haven exposure, requiring companies to disclose to shareholders as a ‘Material Tax Risk’ if the company is doing business in a tax haven.
  • Appoint a community sector representative to the Board of Taxation to ensure community sector voices are heard in tax design and review processes.
  • Introduce public reporting of Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) data and require the annual public release of international cash flow data.
  • Require all firms tendering for Australian Government contracts worth more than $200,000 to state their country of domicile for tax purposes.
  • Develop guidelines for tax haven investment by superannuation funds.
  • Require that the Australian Taxation Office’s annual report provide information on the number and size of tax settlements.

Restore Labor’s $100 million threshold for public reporting of tax data for private companies, which was raised to $200 million by the Liberals and Greens in a move which exempted two-thirds of private firms from tax transparency.

LABOR WILL DELIVER EXTRA FUNDING FOR EVERY PUBLIC SCHOOL

From today, parents and teachers will be able to find out how much extra funding their local public school will get under a Shorten Labor Government, and what a difference this will make for their kids.

A new website – www.fairgoforschools.com.au – will give each school an estimate of the extra funding it can expect in the first three years of Labor’s plan.

Labor will provide an extra $14 billion for public schools to deliver the biggest school investment in Australian history.

Every student in every public school will be better off under Labor’s plan.

Parents and teachers know what this could mean for their children: more one on one attention, an extra teacher or teacher aide.  This funding will give schools the resources they need to help students master the basics such as reading, writing, maths, and science, and offer a broader range of subjects including languages, coding, the arts, and vocational education.

Our extra investment will transform public schools across Australia and give all children the opportunity to reach their full potential, no matter where they live, or how much their parents earn.

Australian schools should be the best in the world, and every Australian child deserves the best start in life.

Labor believes that for parents to have real choice, governments have a responsibility to make sure our public schools are second to none.

But at the moment, because of Scott Morrison’s cuts, almost nine in ten public schools will never get to their fair funding level.

Over the last five years all the Liberals have done is attack public schools and slash their funding.

Scott Morrison doesn’t think the 2.5 million students in the public school system deserve fair funding – he thinks he can get away with his cuts.

Labor can pay for better public schools because unlike the Liberals, we’re closing tax loopholes for the top end of town and making multinationals pay their fair share.

Scott Morrison’s record as Treasurer is three budgets of cuts to schools, all to pay for his tax handouts to the big banks and top end of town.

Labor has different priorities – we will crackdown on multinational tax avoidance and give our kids a better future by investing in schools.

At the next election there will be a clear choice for voters – Labor’s commitment to invest in public schools, or the Liberals’ cuts.

Greens back union & ACF call for independent authority to manage transition away from coal

Greens Co-Deputy Leader and climate change and energy spokesperson, Adam Bandt MP today backed separate calls from unions, a UNSW study and the Australian Conservation Foundation for an independent energy transition authority to manage the closure of coal-fired power stations. The Greens will reintroduce legislation to establish an independent statutory authority, Renew Australia, to oversee the transition of Australia’s electricity system to one based on renewable energy.

The Greens’ bill, which did not receive support from Liberal or Labor when previously introduced, would spend $500 million to establish Renew Australia, legislate a timetable for the closure of coal-fired power stations to provide certainty to workers and communities and create a $250 million Clean Energy Transition Fund to assist coal workers and communities with the transition.

“To avoid the mistakes of Hazelwood’s last minute closure and to ensure a just transition, a clear plan is needed to manage the energy transition,” said Mr Bandt.

“The Greens have been calling for the establishment of an independent statutory authority to manage the energy transition since the last election, but our calls have been ignored by the major parties.

“The Greens are of one mind with mining unions, academics and conservation groups on the need for an independent statutory authority to oversee an orderly transition away from coal.

“The old parties created the mess of the National Electricity Market and the Liberals are failing to act on the transition to renewables, let alone the management of that transition. We need a new public authority to lead the transition to a new energy system, without leaving coal workers in the lurch.

“The old parties have a habit of adopting Greens policies, from a royal commission into the banks to legislating to protect penalty rates. I hope they’ll ‘borrow’ this one as well.”

DR BRIAN OWLER TO STAND FOR LABOR IN BENNELONG

The Australian Labor Party is pleased to announce that Dr Brian Owler has nominated to be Labor’s candidate for Bennelong at the next federal election.

Dr Owler is a neurosurgeon, former president of the Australian Medical Association and past president of the AMA NSW.
As President of the AMA, Dr Owler led the campaign against the Liberals’ Medicare Freeze and GP Tax.

“As a doctor, a surgeon and a health advocate, I’ve dedicated my career to caring for people and serving the community.

“I’ve seen the pressure that’s been placed on hospitals and staff because of the Liberals’ funding cuts, and I’ve seen how undermining Medicare is bad for patients and for GPs,” Dr Owler said.

“I believe there is a critical choice at the next election over the future of health care in Australia. We can’t risk more Liberal cuts to health care. That’s why I’m putting my hand up.

“I want to pay tribute to our former candidate, Lyndal Howison. She is a formidable local campaigner with strong Labor values, and I’m pleased I’ll be able to rely on her support and advice during the campaign.

“I want to represent Labor in Bennelong because only a Shorten Labor Government will prioritise Medicare and local hospitals, and provide a positive vision for Australia.”

Labor Leader Bill Shorten welcomed Dr Owler to the Labor team.

“Labor believes it should be your Medicare card, not your credit card, that determines your access to health care in this country,” Mr Shorten said.

“Brian has spent his career fighting for quality, affordable health care, because he knows firsthand the difference it makes to people’s lives.

“Brian lives and breathes Medicare and he’ll be an outstanding addition to the party that created Medicare and defends it every day”.

Deputy Labor Leader Tanya Plibersek said a vote for Labor in Bennelong is a vote for better healthcare.

“The next election is a choice between protecting Medicare and hospitals, or more of the same Liberal cuts and chaos under Scott Morrison.

“The Liberals in Canberra have cut hospitals, frozen the Medicare rebate, and now they are outsourcing Medicare jobs to labour hire companies.

“Morrison and the Liberals will always attack Medicare. Bill Shorten and Labor will always protect it.”

Greens say it’s time to move from bank-bashing rhetoric to bank-changing policies

LABOR: $20 MILLION INVESTMENT ENSURES NETBALL AUSTRALIA CONTINUES TO SCORE

A Shorten Labor Government will make the biggest investment ever in Australian netball by a federal government, committing $20 million over two years to Netball Australia.

This investment will help fund a range of Netball Australia’s grassroots participation and engagement programs, and ensure a strong future for netball in Australia – from local netball clubs, to our Super Netball stars and our outstanding national team, the Diamonds.

The funding will also support Netball Australia’s bid to host the 2027 Netball World Cup in Australia.

Labor’s commitment is great news for more than 850,000 women and girls who participate in netball, and will ensure that both grassroots and elite netball gets the best support it has ever received from government.

Netball has the highest rate of female participation of any club sport in Australia. AusPlay research released in April this year showed netball is particularly important for girls’ participation in organised activity outside of school hours. The benefits of team sport for kids is well known, particularly for girls in helping to develop confidence and self-esteem, learn new skills and make new friends.

The rapid rise of elite female sport in Australia is a great thing. It means Australian girls are seeing more sporting role models more often on the TV, and are inspired to take up sport themselves.

But it also means that netball isn’t competing on a level playing field in television coverage and sponsorship space. While the expansion and broadcast of women’s footy and cricket has been supported by revenue generated by their elite male competitions, this is not an option for netball.

Labor’s $20 million investment will ensure that netball, which has done so much for women’s sport for so long, can keep pace with the rapid expansion of elite women’s competitions in other sports.

Labor has made hard budget decisions to ensure our priorities are fully paid for – we will make multinationals pay their fair share and close unsustainable tax loopholes, because we want to help a new generation of young girls fall in the love with netball and inspire the next generation of Aussie Diamonds.