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Greens urge Labor to announce 2030 targets to pressure Morrison before Glasgow

Labor’s belated recognition that Scott Morrison’s 2030 climate targets aren’t good enough is a move in the right direction, said Greens Leader, Adam Bandt, but he called on Labor to join the Greens in setting science-based 2030 targets now, to help put pressure on Scott Morrison before the Glasgow climate summit at the end of the year.

Labor’s move comes as Scott Morrison has already announced that he is considering ‘updating’ the government's 2030 climate targets before Glasgow, suggesting government targets may be lifted but by an insufficient amount.

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Women falling behind as gender pay gap widens

Larissa Waters 19 Aug 2021

The Greens have renewed their calls for action on closing the gender pay gap after the Workplace Gender Equality Agency today revealed that the earnings gulf between men and women had widened over the last six months from 13.4% to 14.2%.

This means Equal Pay Day will this year fall on 31 August, marking the 61 extra days from the end of the financial year that women must work to earn the same annual pay as men.

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Government must provide immediate aid to support women and girls in Afghanistan

Greens senators Larissa Waters, Mehreen Faruqi and Janet Rice have written to the Minister for Women and Foreign Affairs Marise Payne to urge the Government to provide immediate and increased aid to help women and girls now subject to Taliban rule in Afghanistan.

To ensure that aid is targeted to those most in need the aid should be delivered through partnerships with civil society and aid organisations working on the ground.

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Prospective Marriage Visa holders

The Greens welcome the news that holders of Prospective Marriage Visas, who applied more than 12 months ago, will be exempt from the travel ban.

"This is an epic win for couples who have been unfairly separated through the pandemic," Greens Immigration and Citizenship spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

"They already had to prove their relationships to the Department, and spent thousands of dollars on paperwork."

"Their relationships and marriages have been unnecessarily put on hold, and it's great they can now resume their lives together."

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Morrison's Afghan Refugee Offer an Insult

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s refusal to increase Australia’s humanitarian intake to respond to the Afghanistan crisis is an insult and a failure of leadership, the Greens say.

“Given Australia’s decades of interference in Afghanistan and our culpability for the current instability, today’s announcement is grossly inadequate and a complete failure of leadership,” Greens spokesperson for Immigration and Citizenship Nick McKim said.

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Blaming individuals is not a Covid strategy

Mehreen Faruqi 18 Aug 2021

Statement from Greens Senator for NSW, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, following today’s announcement of 633 new locally-acquired Covid-19 cases in NSW:

“Today’s COVID-19 numbers are just devastating.

“But simply telling people to ‘stay home’ is not going to cut it when people aren’t getting the financial support they need to do so. The vast majority of people are doing the right thing, and have been for weeks. Blame-shifting onto individuals is very unhelpful.

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More support needed so people can stay safe at home

The Greens say that State, Territory and Federal Governments need to provide more financial support to people on income support and low incomes in lockdown if we are to succeed in fighting the delta variant.
 
"Last year we had the JobSeeker supplement and the JobKeeper payments which changed people's lives and enabled them to manage some very difficult times", Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 
"The Federal Government took those supports away cruelly and prematurely.
 

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Australia must go beyond our annual humanitarian intake to support Afghanistan

The Greens have responded to reports the Australian Government will pause deportations to Afghanistan, saying it is not nearly enough given our culpability for the current crisis.

The Greens are calling on the federal government to provide 20,000 permanent protection visas, in addition to Australia’s annual humanitarian intake, for Afghan people with a well-founded fear of being persecuted by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

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Electoral Act amendments would undermine democracy and stifle dissent

The Greens are calling on Labor and the crossbench to oppose government amendments to the Commonwealth Electoral Act that would limit democratic participation, stifle dissent and entrench a two-party system.

Greens deputy leader and spokesperson on democracy Senator Larissa Waters said:

“The Greens have long fought back against conservative government attempts to lock out smaller entrants to the political system, attempts which seek to entrench a two-party system and stymie a diversity of voices.

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Early learning services must be supported

Australian Greens Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has said that early learning and care services impacted by lockdowns must be supported through relief payments.

Senator Faruqi said:

“Thousands of early learning centres came to the brink of collapse in 2020 and we don’t want to see the same situation repeating itself.

“Centres are struggling to keep their doors open. Relying on the gap-fee waiver is unsustainable. In the end, families, children and early educators will be impacted.

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