The Australian Greens urge the Labor party to join them in committing to removing religious exemptions from the Sex Discrimination Act, following Rainbow Labor’s announcement to appoint an LGBTI discrimination commissioner. Greens sexuality spokesperson Senator Robert Simms says Labor’s plan is a good one, but won’t end discrimination against LGBTI people under the law.
The Australian Greens today confirmed they oppose the so-called backpacker tax. The tax, which would see backpackers paying a third of their earnings in tax, has been delayed for six month, pending further investigation. Australian Greens senator Rachel Siewert says nobody wins with a backpacker tax.
The Greens have welcomed news that a bill for Senate voting reform will be introduced into parliament this week, calling on opposition leader Bill Shorten to back the changes that are supported by many within his own party. Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon says the Bill will end the era of back room party preference deals.
The Green’s have commended the senate’s move to open an inquiry into a National Portable Entitlements Scheme. The inquiry would examine the possibility of changing long service leave, so that workers’ time is counted across their total employment time in the industry, rather than their time in one particular job. Greens Employment and Workplace Relations spokesperson Adam Bandt says the inquiry is something the Greens have been working towards for a long time now.
The Turnbull Government has this week announced a Ministerial Forum to look at vehicle emissions standards. However they have also announced any changes made will not be implemented until after March 2017. Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and climate change spokesperson, says the government’s inaction on this issue is unconscionable.
Australian second wave feminist Germaine Greer has cancelled an upcoming talk at Cardiff University, after a petition was launched to ban her, due to her transphobic comments and attitudes. The Australian Greens say the transphobic views of Germaine Greer show that she is out of touch with the community on this issue. I spoke to Greens spokesperson for gender identity and mental health Senator Janet Rice about this topic, and the effect prominent people like Germaine Greer can have on the gender diverse community.
NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has voiced her concern about the impact the loss of penalty rates will have on living standards, and has called on Liberal MPs to publicly oppose the push to remove penalty rates and change the minimum wage. She says, “Penalty rates are an essential work right that compensate people for working unsociable hours when most people have time off”.
The new federal government has announced they are spending an additional $100 million dollars to combat domestic violence. I spoke to Senator Larissa Waters and family lawyer Heather McKinnon about this. Continue reading Federal funding for domestic violence ‘not enough’