Senate passes motion marking one year since marriage equality passed the parliament

The Senate has passed a motion celebrating the first anniversary of marriage equality being passed in the parliament. The motion also noted the harm caused by the postal survey and that LGBTIQ+ people still face daily discrimination.

“I’m pleased to be celebrating the first anniversary of marriage equality passing parliament,” said Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens LGBTIQ+ spokesperson.

“While this anniversary is a momentous occasion, we must remember the harm caused to LGBTIQ+ people, our families and our communities by the unnecessary postal survey and debate over our human rights.”

“The historic marriage equality vote was the culmination of decades of tireless campaigning by LGBTIQ+ leaders, activists and organisations.”

“It’s important to acknowledge, a year on from marriage equality, the fight for LGBTIQ+ rights is not over. The current debate over whether LGBTIQ+ people should be free from discrimination in religious schools simply because of who they are illustrates this.”

“I’m proud that the Greens have always stood with LGBTIQ+ leaders and activists, fighting for recognition of our relationships and families, while the major parties spent years and years denying LGBTIQ+ people our rights.”

“The Greens have always stood with LGBTIQ+ people and we always will. We won’t rest until we remove every discrimination against LGBTIQ+ people in our laws and in our society.”

Motion

Senators Rice and Pratt: To move — That the Senate —

(a) notes that:

(i) 7 December 2018 marks the first anniversary of marriage equality in Australia,

(ii) this resounding ‘yes’ vote is something to be celebrated, as is the passing of marriage equality in Australia,

(iii) the postal survey in itself is not to be celebrated, as it was opposed by the majority of LGBTIQ+ Australians and caused a lot of harm to LGBTIQ+ Australians and their families,

(iv) the  historic ‘yes’ vote and the passing of marriage equality was the result of decades of tireless campaigning by brave community leaders and activists, and

(v) marriage equality is not the end of the fight for equality for LGBTIQ+ Australians and their families, many of whom still face discrimination in their daily lives; and

(b) calls on all parliamentarians to continue to work to end discrimination against LGBTIQ+ Australians and their families in all areas of their lives.

Rolling over logging laws is a death warrant for threatened species

Last week’s rollover of the New South Wales native forest logging laws for another 20 years is nothing short of criminal.

“This disastrous rollover of last century’s Regional Forest Agreements signs the death warrant for threatened species and gives woodchippers everything they have ever wanted – all their Christmases come at once,” said Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens forests spokesperson.

“These laws lock in the destructive practices of the last 20 years of native forest logging and will guarantee the death of rare and endangered animals and birds. More forest will be destroyed year on year to meet the guarantee of wood for the woodchippers.”

“This directly puts the survival of critically endangered species like the Swift Parrot into question.”

The independent review into the logging laws acknowledges that the majority of people who made submissions did not want the logging laws extended, but instead of listening to the community the Government just steamrolled over their concerns for their mates in the forest products industry.

Senate calls on Environment Minister to call in Lake Malbena development

The Senate has today called on federal Environment Minister Melissa Price to conduct a full assessment of the Lake Malbena development, including public consultation.

Greens Senator Nick McKim successfully passed a motion that pointed out the major problems with the development and approvals process.

“This development represents the privatisation of some of the most precious areas of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area,” Senator McKim said.

The people of Tasmania are clear – they don’t support this development.”

“Nor do they support the selling out of our magnificent wilderness.”

“It is now incumbent on the Minister to call this project in.”

Greens say Govt misses opportunity to protect women from epidemic of DV

Australian Greens spokesperson for women, Senator Larissa Waters, on the Morrison Government legislating for 5 days’ unpaid domestic and family violence leave, which unanimously passed the Senate earlier today:

“The Government has missed an opportunity to actually protect women and children from the epidemic of violence against them in their homes.

“Women escaping DV need at least 10 days’ paid leave so they can keep themselves and their family safe without financial insecurity.

“The Greens’ amendments for 10 days’ paid leave would’ve given workers what they deserve and I look forward to delivering that once this pathetic government is turfed out.”

Of course recent studies have suggested that the so-called epidemic of DV is an invention of political interests. In recent high prestige studies Australian women were found to statistically feel safe. Compared to other countries the level of domestic violence in Australia is actually very good. In this debate no one is talking about the deaths of men only women to try to establish that murder is a woman only problem.

Greens table Senate’s largest ever petition to protect takayna/Tarkine

Tasmanian Greens Senators Nick McKim and Peter Whish-Wilson have tabled the Senate’s largest ever petition, calling for takayna/Tarkine to be protected as a World Heritage Area.

“takayna/Tarkine is a precious part of Tasmania that should be looked after on behalf of the entire world,” Senator McKim said.

“Some 270,000 people have signed this petition, which just shows the depth of feeling about takayna across Tasmania, Australia and the world.”

“We invite Prime Minister Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to visit takayna/Tarkine and see for themselves why this area is worthy of World Heritage protection.”

Senator Whish-Wilson said:

“takayna is a place of incredible natural and Aboriginal heritage value.”

“It is one of the last strongholds for the Tasmanian devil and contains one of Australia’s largest temperate rainforests.”

“It’s time for the Labor and Liberal parties to step up.”

“We thank the Bob Brown Foundation and Patagonia for their ongoing campaign to protect takayna.”

Major parties ignore climate change impacts on the Murray

The Labor and Liberal parties have refused to support including the impacts of climate change in the flawed Murray Darling Basin Plan in the Senate today.

“Labor says they’re taking climate change seriously, but they refuse to acknowledge it affects the Murray Darling Basin,” Greens water spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“A party that takes climate change seriously does not side with an anti-science, climate denying Government to sell out the Murray.

“The Murray Darling Basin Plan is in tatters. It has been rife with corruption, water theft, and the simple fact it does not account for climate change proves it was set up to fail.

“South Australians know too well how important the Murray is to our state; to our drinking water, our environments, and our communities.

“We are experiencing climate change right here, right now. Our country is becoming drier and hotter and our river needs protecting. The major parties continue to turn their backs on South Australians who want a strong, healthy river.”

Labor voted with the Morrison Government against Senator Hanson-Young’s below motion:

That the Senate— notes that

  1. The Murray-Darling Basin Plan (The Plan) has come under serious scrutiny from both the South Australian Royal Commission and the recent inquiry by the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport.
  2. The Plan has no provisions to address the impacts of climate change on the Murray-Darling Basin.

Calls on the government to take the threat of climate change seriously and include the impacts of climate change within The Plan.

Charges over Hamilton assault

A man has been charged over an alleged assault at Newcastle at the weekend.

Police have been told two men – aged 22 and 28 – were involved in an altercation outside licensed premises on Tudor Street, Hamilton, just before 2.30am Sunday (2 December 2018).

The younger man suffered a serious leg injury and was taken to John Hunter Hospital.

Officers from Newcastle City Police District were notified on Monday (3 December 2018), and commenced an investigation.

Following inquiries, a 28-year-old Adamstown man attended Newcastle Police Station about 4.45pm yesterday (Wednesday 5 December 2018), where he was arrested and charged with reckless grievous bodily harm.

He has been granted conditional bail to appear in Newcastle Local Court on Thursday 10 January 2019.

The injured man remains in John Hunter Hospital after undergoing surgery.

Library shines light on State’s old-time crooks

On at Newcastle Region Library until Saturday 16 February, Captured: Portraits of Crime 1870-1930 shines a light on the ordinary men, women and children caught on the wrong side of the NSW criminal justice system, whether by choice or circumstance.Sarah-Clifford-1901-FRONT_web.jpg
Among those was Sarah Clifford, a former convict and known pickpocket in both Tasmania and NSW, whose early convictions took place in Newcastle.

Twelve years after arriving in Hobart from Ireland in 1852, Clifford, her husband and kids were living here when she was caught pickpocketing.

But Sarah was discharged on the presumption of law ‘where a woman committed a felony in the presence of her husband that she was acting under coercion’.

Clifford’s crimes continued for the next four decades until her last conviction in 1910 at the age of 76. By this time she had spent more than 36 years in gaol.

Suzie Gately, City of Newcastle’s Manager Libraries and Learning, said the exhibition tells extraordinary stories of ordinary people.

“Captured highlights the untold stories of individuals in the historic NSW justice system,” Ms Gately said.

“It also sheds light on the practice of photographing prisoners, which was introduced in NSW in 1871, and about two decades earlier in France and Britain. These photographic portraits give us a glimpse into the lives of criminals in Australia that we would not otherwise have.”

Developed by NSW State Archives, the exhibition features a wide selection of records and images sourced from 46,000 inmate records contained in 199 gaol photographic-description books.

NSW State Archives undertook a project in 2016 to digitise items in the Collection of Gaol Photographic Description Books, many of which were at risk of being lost to physical deterioration or because they were kept on obsolete technology.

During the process of digitising the records, staff also combed the histories for the most interesting stories for the exhibition and catalogue, said exhibition curator Dr Penny Stannard.

“Our expert staff and research archivists have peeled back the layers of these historical records and illuminated the events that led these people to commit a crime,” she said.

“We looked at the offence type, gender, age and location of crimes to piece together a collection of compelling stories.”

Visit Captured: Portraits of Crime at Newcastle Library, Laman Street, Newcastle in the Local Studies Lounge until Saturday 16 February.

For more information visit the NSW State Archives website or view the exhibition catalogue.

Curator’s Talk
Captured: Portraits of Crime 1870-1930

Dr Penny Stannard with NSW State Archives will bring the stories from the exhibition to life.

Penny will unravel the compelling case studies of individuals captured in the criminal justice system and their contribution to the history of NSW.

WHEN: Thursday 6 December, 12.30pm
WHERE: Newcastle Library, Local Studies Lounge
COST: Free

Greens say Major parties ignore climate change impacts on the Murray

The Labor and Liberal parties have refused to support including the impacts of climate change in the flawed Murray Darling Basin Plan in the Senate today.

“Labor says they’re taking climate change seriously, but they refuse to acknowledge it affects the Murray Darling Basin,” Greens water spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“A party that takes climate change seriously does not side with an anti-science, climate denying Government to sell out the Murray.

“The Murray Darling Basin Plan is in tatters. It has been rife with corruption, water theft, and the simple fact it does not account for climate change proves it was set up to fail.

“South Australians know too well how important the Murray is to our state; to our drinking water, our environments, and our communities.

“We are experiencing climate change right here, right now. Our country is becoming drier and hotter and our river needs protecting. The major parties continue to turn their backs on South Australians who want a strong, healthy river.”

Labor voted with the Morrison Government against Senator Hanson-Young’s below motion:

That the Senate— notes that

  1. The Murray-Darling Basin Plan (The Plan) has come under serious scrutiny from both the South Australian Royal Commission and the recent inquiry by the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport.
  2. The Plan has no provisions to address the impacts of climate change on the Murray-Darling Basin.

Calls on the government to take the threat of climate change seriously and include the impacts of climate change within The Plan.

Senate calls on Government to admit Paris failings

The Senate has backed the Australian Greens’ motion calling on the Government to make a clear statement about its inaction on climate change.

“It is time for this anti-science Government to front up to the fact they are failing the nation and the planet,” Greens environment spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“Enough is enough. Scientists have made it very clear that we must reduce pollution and transition out of fossil fuels. If not, we will sink further and further into dangerous climate crisis. Australia has a responsibility to act for its citizens, environment and the planet. The Morrison Government is in denial and the Senate has called it out.

“On the day that New Zealand has announced a $100 million fund to reduce emissions, the Morrison Government continues to ignore our Paris Agreement responsibilities. It is a disgrace.

“Sir David Attenborough’s incredible, and important speech from COP24, sent shockwaves around the world. The climate denialists in the Morrison Government must wake up and admit business as usual does not allow us to even get close to reaching our Paris Commitments.”

The below motion was agreed to in the Senate today:

That the Senate— notes that

1.            National emissions levels for the June quarter 2018 increased 1.3 per cent relative to the previous quarter on a seasonally adjusted and weather normalised basis.

2.            With emissions continuing to rise, and no clear plan to reduce them, we are set to miss our Paris targets.

3.            Minister for the Environment, Melissa Price will represent Australia at the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24).

Calls on the government to make the following short statement to the COP24:

Australia has not taken seriously its responsibilities to meeting its Paris Commitments and will dramatically lift its ambitions to play its part in averting the climate crisis.