RET report bad news for Hunter clean energy future, jobs growth

Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon has said that the Report into the Renewable Energy Target is bad news for the Hunter and should not be implemented.
 
"The backward attitude of the Liberal/National government on renewable energy plus this out of touch politically motivated RET Review will bring uncertainty to the industry in the Hunter and limit jobs growth," Senator Rhiannon said.
 
"The Hunter has benefited from the renewable energy industry with more households turning to clean energy, business opportunities thriving and a jobs growth this region badly needs.

Greens call on Provest to stand by his pre-election commitment to TAFE

Geoff Provest and his Nationals and Liberals colleagues are pushing TAFE to the brink of collapse, despite signing a pre-election pledge to protect public sector vocational education and training, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
 
Dr Kaye is touring the North Coast this week reminding local National MPs of the impacts of TAFE budget cuts, job losses, rising fees and a ruthless privatisation agenda on regional communities.
 
Teachers, students, union representatives and concerned community members joined Dr Kaye on a visit to Kingscliff TAFE campus on Friday 29 August to call on Mr Provest to stand by his pre-election commitment and back the Greens Save TAFE Bill.

Higher Education: Private providers, wealthy unis winners out of Pyne cuts.

The Higher Education and Research Reform Amendment Bill rips billions out of funding for public universities and will drive up student fees in order to offer public subsidies to private, for-profit providers said Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon.
 
“This Bill slams the door on hundreds of thousands of future students who see higher education as a pathway to opportunity,” Senator Rhiannon said.
 
“This isn’t about reform – it’s about slashing more than $5 billion in funding and widening the gap between wealthy metropolitan universities and small and regional universities that are crucial to Australia’s economic and social development.
 
“Public polling has repeatedly demonstrated the community has rejected the government’s right-wing, ideological attack on public higher education.

Piccoli must reject school chaplaincy program for NSW public schools

The Abbott government's plans to hand the funding and administration of the school chaplaincy program to the states has provided Education Minister Adrian Piccoli with the perfect opportunity to restore the secular nature of the public education system, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
 
('Tony Abbott to keep secular workers out of school chaplaincy program', Sydney Morning Herald, 28 August 2014 http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-to-keep-secular-workers-out-of-school-chaplaincy-program-20140827-1091u0.html).
 
Dr Kaye said: "The Abbott government has been busy working out ways to continue to deliver on its 1950s social agenda and circumvent the High Court decision.
 
"The good news for NSW public schools is that under Tony Abbott's proposed new arrangements Education Minister Adrian Piccoli would have the power to decline the funding and responsibility for administering the program.

Retain funding for specialist women-only services – Senate backs Greens motion

The Australian Senate today passed a Greens motion calling on state and federal governments to retain funding for specialist women-only services to allow them to offer independent, high quality and culturally appropriate services.
 
“It is truly shameful that the NSW Liberal government is forcing the closure of several women’s refuges in NSW while other will see their services cut back.
 
“More than 25 women-only refuges in NSW have had their funding cut by the state Liberal/National government.
 
“Although there has been a community campaign in NSW to keep these refuges in full operation, the NSW Liberal government has turned its back on women subjected to domestic violence and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds facing life-threatening situations.

Andrew Fraser to feel the heat as Greens Save TAFE campaign hits Coffs Harbour

TAFE in NSW is being pushed to the brink by budget cuts and a ruthless privatisation agenda under the Liberals and Nationals government, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye. 
 
Dr Kaye is touring the Mid North Coast to call on National MPs to stop the attacks on TAFE.
 
Teachers, students, union representatives and concerned community members will join Dr Kaye as he visits Coffs Harbour today to call on local Nationals MP Andrew Fraser to back the Greens Save TAFE Bill. 

Only “constructive” action Pyne could take on higher education bill is to start again

The Greens say Christopher Pyne’s higher education plan does nothing more than slam the door on opportunity for millions of Australians.

“The Greens will not support Mr Pyne’s legislative package that massively cuts government funding to higher education, adds to the financial burden students are under and strips away opportunities,” Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Rhiannon said.

"I met with Minister Christopher Pyne, at his invitation, to discuss his higher education plans. While my talks with Mr Pyne were cordial, it is clear our respective visions for higher education are fundamentally divergent.

WestConnex boss admits trucks will continue to use local roads

Greens NSW Transport spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi has labelled today's reports of admission by the WestConnex Development Authority's Chairman, Tony Shepherd, that trucks would continue to use Parramatta Road, even after the WestConnex is completed, as further evidence of the project's lack of credibility.

Dr Faruqi said:

"Mr Shepherd's admission that truck movement on WestConnex are hard to control is completely contrary to previous claims that 'by putting much of the traffic underground, particularly trucks, Parramatta Road can be transformed'.

"The government's continued claims that WestConnex will take 3,000 trucks off Parramatta Road have lost all credibility.

Gas pipeline will destroy jobs and push up bills

Plans for a massive gas pipeline to connect NSW to Northern Territory fields and create a national market will devastate the state's renewable energy industry, push up greenhouse gas emissions and impose much higher longer term household energy costs, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

('Gas plan to power nation', Sydney Morning Herald, 26 August, page 1, http://j.mp/gas140826)

Dr Kaye said: "Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane wants a gas-dependent future for NSW's economy.

Minister abandons women’s multicultural services in NSW

Greens NSW Multiculturalism and Status of Women spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi stated that in NSW Budget Estimates this week NSW Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello revealed he will not make representations on behalf of two struggling multicultural women’s-only services, which will likely see the removal of essential support for many vulnerable women.

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“The Immigrant Women’s Speakout and Muslim Women’s Support Centre provide essential services for women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds facing life-threatening situations such as homelessness and domestic violence,” Dr Faruqi said.