Wollombi community deserted by govt MPs in battle to save Public School

Liberals and Nationals MPs refused to accept a Greens motion supporting the unanimous resolution of the Wollombi community meeting to discuss the future of their local public school.

Greens NSW MP John Kaye, who attended the community meeting held on Tuesday 2nd September at Wollombi Community Hall, moved the motion (text below) in the NSW Upper House. It was blocked by Coalition MPs.

NSW Upper House supports ongoing recognition of forced adoption practices

Greens MP and spokesperson on Family and Community Services, Jan Barham, has welcomed the NSW Legislative Council's passage of her motion calling for recognition of forced adoption practices.
"September 20 will be the second anniversary of the NSW Government's apology for past forced adoption practices. I am gratified and deeply moved that the Upper House has supported the call for continued acts of recognition," Ms Barham said.
"The NSW apology, along with the apologies by the Australian Government and other states and territories, were profound acts of recognition our past mistakes. But just as the impacts of forced adoptions were lifelong, the apologies should be followed by ongoing efforts to remember and understand the harms caused to many parents and children.

Fred Nile “ban the burqa” Bill offensive and divisive dog-whistling

Greens NSW MP and spokesperson for Multiculturalism and the Status of Women Dr Mehreen Farqui has condemned the Reverend Fred Nile introducing legislation to ban full-face coverings, with his speech focussed primarily on banning Muslim women from wearing burqas.
“Whether it’s the right to abortion or wearing clothing of their choice, Reverend Nile seems obsessed with what women do with their bodies,” Dr Faruqi said.
“We live in a society where people have the right to wear what they want.
“Muslim women have the right to freedom of choice, just like every other Australian.

Door opens to NSW's first uranium mine

The NSW Energy and Resources Minister Anthony Roberts has announced six companies have been invited to explore for uranium in NSW.
Whilst the ban on uranium mining is still in place, the 26-year ban on exploration was overturned by then-Premier Barry O'Farrell two years ago.
"Let's not be in any doubt about what's going on here. This opens the door to NSW's first uranium mine," says Greens MP and uranium spokesperson, Jamie Parker.
"It's an outrageous decision which is short-sighted and ignores the warnings of scientists, public health professionals and economists.

Crisis in public high school capacity years in the making

After years of neglect by Labor, the Liberal state government is now compounding the problem with its continued failure to bring forward solutions to the capacity problem.
"The data in today's Sydney Morning Herald article is not new," said Jamie Parker MP, Member for Balmain. "In my electorate alone there is a projected increase of 1000 students over the next five years.

Auswide collapse a sign of things to come under Baird govt’s TAFE privatisation future

The Baird government’s ‘Smart and Skilled’ reforms of the vocational education and training will make the Auswide Merimbula experience the norm rather than the exception, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
Dr Kaye said: “The demise of Auswide Merimbula is an unfortunate reminder of the fragility and unreliability of private training providers.
“Private training providers will put their budget bottom lines ahead of their employees’ job security and their students’ right to complete the course that they paid good money for.
“The loss of local jobs from Auswide is another blow to the South East NSW economy.

Universities Australia should get off the Pyne bandwagon

Commenting on reports that the university sector want the Senate minor parties and independents to cut a deal on Christopher Pyne's higher education reforms (http://bit.ly/1CLpPHr), Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said:
"Instead of putting pressure on Senators to support the Coalition's regressive and discriminatory changes to higher education, Universities Australia would better off calling on the government to boost public funding to universities.

North-west rail tunnelling too small for Sydney trains

Greens NSW MP and Transport spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC has stated that the tunnelling for the North-west Rail Link which started yesterday cannot support Sydney's double-deck rail trains, signalling the official beginning of the privatisation of Sydney's train network.
Dr Faruqi said "This short-sighted smaller size tunnelling means we are losing the opportunity to extend our current rail network to a developing Sydney region and this is the beginning of the cannibalisation and privatisation of the current Sydney rail network.

ICAC: Group Colleges Australia and links with Nicolaou

Responding to news that Liberal NSW fundraiser Paul Nicolaou is again caught up in ICAC scandals, Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said:
"It's irresponsible for Group Colleges Australia to retain prominent Liberal fundraiser Paul Nicolaou on their board given his ongoing role in ICAC investigations.
"Surely Group Colleges Australia should suspend Mr Nicolaou's board membership while the current ICAC investigation into Liberal fundraising continues.
"Research from my office reveals Group Colleges Australia has donated over $74 ,000 to the Liberal Party since 2009.

Undemocratic corporate voting recommended for the scrap heap in Melbourne

Just one day out from the NSW Parliament’s vote on the Shooters’ proposal to give corporations two votes at City of Sydney local elections a Victorian government report has recommended this very same electoral model in the City of Melbourne be scrapped.