- Protect our land and water from mining.
- Honesty and integrity in politics
- Local jobs
- People before profits
- Improved heath and education services.

Friday, 27 February 2015

A super system for everyone, not just the rich

The Greens have announced a new policy to make superannuation more equitable and raise $10 billion over the forward estimates.  'A super system for everyone' will replace the current flat superannuation tax rate of 15% with a progressive system that is closely based on a person's marginal income tax rate.

"Superannuation in Australia has become a tax haven for the wealthy. It should be a way of delivering a comfortable retirement for everyone," Greens Leader Christine Milne said.

"The superannuation system is being rorted by the mega rich, who can drastically reduce their tax by funnelling money into super that would normally be taxed at the highest marginal rate.

Greens support electrical workers right to strike

The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) has been hauled before the Fair Work Commission in an attempt to terminate lawfully protected industrial action as workers fight to secure their jobs in the face of the imminent privatisation of the electricity network.

The NSW Treasurer has joined with state-owned power distributors Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy in applying to stop a planned 4-hour stoppage on 3 March 2015, even though the union has promised its members will still respond to all power outages, interruptions to supply, and emergency situations.

Greens MP and Industrial Relations Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

"This anti-union action by the Treasurer and state-owned power companies is part of a sustained attack on workers' rights, which are more needed than ever if we are to halt the privatisation agenda of the Coalition.

Police bugging report calls for complete overhaul of police and covert surveillance oversight

The Parliamentary Inquiry into the police bugging scandal has today handed down its final report recommending sweeping changes to both the structure of police oversight and the system for obtaining covert surveillance warrants in NSW.

This is the first time that a public report has detailed why covert listening warrants targeting senior police, and at least one journalist, were obtained by the NSW Police and NSW Crime Commission from 1999 to 2001 after being rubber-stamped by the Supreme Court.

Liberal internal woes highlight need for political donation reform

The Australian Greens say today's report that the Liberal Party is facing a funding crisis as a spin off from its internal disputes is yet another  reason why we need far reaching reforms on political donations.

"There is always legitimate concern about the pressure on parties to chase large donations and deliver for their donors particularly when Liberal MPs report that it is 'very, very hard' to raise money for the next election,"  said Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Greens urge voters: "Vote for TAFE"

Queensland and Victorian voters have rejected the Liberals and National parties’ savage treatment of TAFE. It’s the turn of NSW voters next month.

Greens candidate for Clarence, Janet Cavanaugh, today supported calls by Greens NSW MP and Education spokesperson John Kaye for the community to protect the future of TAFE when voting in next month’s state election.

Janet Cavanaugh at Grafton TAFE
“Queensland and Victorian voters recently rejected the Liberals and National parties’ short-sighted agenda of privatising public assets and essential public services like TAFE,” Ms Cavanaugh said. “It’s the turn of NSW voters next month.

“In talking to the community, it is clear that the cuts to TAFE’s budget and staff, the massive increases in student fees, and the ever-increasing flow of public money to dodgy private training providers are deeply unpopular with voters.

“The four TAFE colleges in Clarence — at Casino, Grafton, Maclean and Trenayr — have suffered greatly in the past 5 years. First Labor savagely cut the TAFE budget in half. Then the NSW Liberal-National Government deleted courses, pushed students into online training and cut more than 1110 staff statewide.

“The Greens are calling for all cuts made since 2010 to be reversed,” she said.

Dr Kaye said: “The NSW Government's Reskilling NSW package, while finally acknowledging the appalling damage they have done to TAFE, goes nowhere near restoring TAFE's viability or re-creating the opportunities for education and training that have been lost.

"When averaged over 200,000 scholarships, the $48 million it promises provides only $240 per student.

"It's hard to see what TAFE can provide at that rate, given the funding cuts it has already sustained due to the introduction of the Liberals and Nationals’ Smart and Skilled training market.

“NSW Labor's policy of abolishing Smart and Skilled is a good start but voters should be wary. Labor is still committed to high fees and a training market that can eat up 30% of TAFE's funding.

“When they were in office, Labor stripped $1 billion out of TAFE’s budget and it was the federal Gillard Government that forced NSW to sign up to the competitive market.

“The Greens restate our commitment to work to end the public funding of private providers where a particular course can be offered by TAFE.

Dr John Kaye with Janet Cavanaugh outside Grafton TAFE

 “However, our priority is to stop Smart and Skilled from destroying TAFE. If we can't stop the scheme entirely, we would limit non-TAFE providers to 20% of public funding, ban any public funds for new non-TAFE providers and prohibit any public funding of for-profit training providers.

“Queensland and Victoria have voted to rescue TAFE from oblivion. On 28 March, NSW will get its turn to vote for TAFE,” said Dr Kaye.


For more information: 
John Kaye 0407 195 455
Janet Cavanaugh 0429 479 968

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Greens move to ban plastic bags in NSW

The Greens have announced they will introduce legislation in the new parliament to ban single-use plastic bags in NSW.
Going shopping? Janet Cavanaugh with a
re-usable bag she purchased in Yamba

Greens candidate for the seat of Clarence, Janet Cavanaugh, today confirmed that the Greens intend to introduce legislation after the election for NSW to finally put a stop to the environmental catastrophe that is single-use plastic bags. 

According to Ms Cavanaugh, NSW is lagging behind several other states that have already adopted this measure to reduce the environmental damage caused by plastic

“South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT have successfully banned lightweight plastic bags,” she said. “There is no excuse for NSW to still allow them, and I call on the Labor and Liberal parties to support this ban.

Some individual communities already have bans in place or are working to reduce plastic bag use. 

“I applaud the Yamba community for their EcoBag and Borrow Me Bag initiatives, and the participating Yamba businesses,” she said. 

“Unfortunately the problem is too big for it to be solved one community at a time, particularly when a major supermarket has chosen not to join in. 

“An estimated 50 million plastic bags end up in the environment each year in Australia, mostly in our waterways and ocean, where they kill and injure dolphins, turtles and other marine life,” Ms Cavanaugh said.

The Greens’ legislation will introduce a plastic bag ban by the end of 2015 and be similar to other states’ laws, which ban lightweight shopping bags being given out or sold by retailers to customers to carry away goods. The ban will focus on plastic bags of less than 35 microns, which includes single-use, lightweight bags such as grocery bags with handles, and other bags used to carry away products such as take away food or alcohol.

“It is an issue I am personally committed to: I have been advocating a plastic bag ban for many years.

“As well as preventing the death of thousands of marine animals, a plastic bag ban would help reduce overall plastic consumption and our reliance on fossil fuels,” she said.

“When South Australia introduced their ban in 2009, people very quickly changed their behaviours and brought their own bags to the supermarket — something many people in Clarence already do,” said Ms Cavanaugh.

“There are plenty of alternatives to plastic bags available for businesses and consumers, so it is time to get on with a ban. Some national retailers, such as Aldi and Bunnings, already operate effectively without plastic bags. There is no reason other supermarkets and shops couldn't adopt similar practices throughout the state,” Ms Cavanaugh said.

Janet Cavanaugh wrote an opinion piece on banning free plastic bags that was published in the Daily Examiner in early 2009.



A number of jurisdictions have already banned plastic shopping bags, including South Australia in 2009, the ACT and NT in 2011 and Tasmania in 2013.
The Greens’ bill to ban plastic shopping bags in New South Wales will:
  • minimise the number of plastic bags entering waterways and the marine environment, and reduce harm to marine animals
  • reduce consumption of plastic products
  • encourage more sustainable packaging solutions using reusable and biodegradable alternatives to plastic
  • support the community’s aspiration for improving environmental sustainability.
  • reduce the visual impacts of plastic bag litter.

What bags would be affected?

Plastic bags of less than 35 microns thickness would be banned. This includes lightweight single use plastic bags such as grocery bags with handles and other lightweight bags used to carry away products from retailers, such as take away food or alcohol.

The following bags would not be included in the ban:
  • Barrier bags – the type dispensed from a roll to hold items such as loose fruit and vegetables
  • Heavier style retail bags – the type usually used by clothing and department stores
  • Sturdy bags designed for multiple use such as ‘green’ bags
  • Biodegradable compostable bags that meet the Australian Standard 4736-2006
  • Paper bags
  • Bin liners for purchase
  • Zip lock storage bags
  • Plastic bags that are an integral part of the packaging (such as bread, frozen foods, ice bags or bait bags).
  • Re-usable plastic bags
Some communities in NSW (e.g. Lord Howe Island, Kangaroo Valley, Huskisson on Jervis Bay, Manly and Yamba) have taken steps independently to reduce plastic bag use, either at a council level, or with the cooperation of local retailers and customers.

State-based regulation can help to accelerate this change, reduce consumption of plastic and reduce the entry of plastic bags into the environment.

Environmentally devastating

Plastic pollution is a major waste problem in NSW, contributing to landfill and polluting the state’s waterways, coastlines and oceans.
  • Australians use more than 4 billion plastic grocery-style bags each year.
  • An estimated 50 million of these bags enter the environment, blown from bins or landfill, and often ending up in waterways and the ocean.
  • It is estimated each bag is used just 12 minutes on average.
  • A plastic bag can take up to 1,000 years to break down.
  • Plastic bag litter kills tens of thousands of birds, whales, dolphins, seals and turtles every year.
  • These bags are made from fossil fuels, a non-renewable resource that requires environmentally damaging mining and drilling to access.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Greens Back Koala National Park, But Koalas Need Protection Across The State

Greens NSW MP and Spokesperson for the Environment, Dr Mehreen Faruqi has backed the proposed Koala National Park in the Coffs Harbour but called for a more holistic approach to protecting koalas across the state.
Greens Forestry Spokesperson, David Shoebridge MLC, has also highlighted Labor’s role in removing koala habitat on the State’s mid north coast through signing wood supply agreements.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Greens Announce Clarence Candidate

Media Release

The Clarence Greens today confirmed that Janet Cavanaugh would be running as their candidate in next month’s State Election for the seat of Clarence.

A resident of the area for 25 years, Ms Cavanaugh has announced that her campaign will focus on the need for clean politics and also clean energy.

“It is time to clean up this state,” she said. “This election is an opportunity for the community to cast a vote of ‘no confidence’ against the corruption of the major parties.

“The Greens have a history of maintaining ethical stands across a range of issues,” Ms Cavanaugh stated. “By acting with integrity, the Greens offer a better way of doing politics — a way that is resulting in better outcomes for our community.

“The Greens have consistently opposed plans to privatise and undermine public services,” she said. “If elected, I'll work hard to defend our schools, TAFEs, hospitals, gaols, and our water and electrical networks from privatisation.

“Cleaning up our energy supply is linked to cleaning up our politics,” she said. “The major parties receive large donations from mining and gas companies — the same companies that are seeking licences or leases from the NSW Government to exploit the state’s resources.

“The Greens are advocating a statewide ban on unconventional gas as the risks are too great,” she said. “Our area’s economy relies on its natural resources for agriculture, fishing and tourism. It’s vital we keep them healthy into the future.

“Instead of risking our future with unconventional gas, we should be expanding our clean energy infrastructure and the jobs that come with it.

“I am standing as the candidate for Clarence because I believe we can change the future by protecting and building our region in a way our grandchildren will thank us for,” she said.


Contact: Janet Cavanaugh – 0429 479 968

Short biography

Janet Cavanaugh has lived in the Clarence for 25 years and her connections to the Clarence go back five generations. Living in Whiporie in the Richmond Valley and working in Grafton means she has a wide appreciation of both local government areas in the electorate.

Janet holds degrees in engineering, natural resources and environmental management. Working in the NSW public sector for 23 years has given her extensive experience in the operation of Government. She currently works as a planner, specialising in park management.

Janet joined The Greens in 1995 as a founding member of the Clarence Greens. She was the Greens candidate in 2011 in the state election and also the by-election that was held in that year.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Why police should not be investigating police

Stop Police

It is well and truly time that NSW had an independent police oversight body. The current system sees 99% of police complaints, and all critical incident reviews, undertaken by police. The various police oversight bodies are a tangled jurisdictional mess.

Currently the Ombudsman, Coroner’s Court, Police Integrity Commission and Police Internal Affairs all exercise overlapping powers, with each agency largely dependent on the initial evidence and investigation undertaken by police.

Greens offer to shift company tax burden

With ongoing confusion about Coalition leadership and the government's position on company tax and a big business levy, the Greens are prepared to consider a two-tiered company tax system, combined with stronger anti-avoidance measures.

"Business wants certainty and there's none to be found in the Liberal leadership. Regardless of who leads the government they have an opportunity to restructure company tax to make the big end of town pay its way," Greens Leader Christine Milne said.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

A plan to phase out coal is prudent

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today questioned why the Labor and Liberal Parties were afraid to talk about the future of the thermal coal industry, saying the Greens were the only party willing to grapple with the issue of coal and climate change, and coal’s structural decline after launching the Greens policy for a managed phase out of coal.
“It’s clear that to avoid dangerous climate change we need to phase out thermal coal mining.  

Monday, 9 February 2015

Thousands of NSW residents tell Abbott and Pyne – ditch higher education cuts

 Two thousand New South Wales residents have joined the ‘1 Million Reasons’ campaign to send key crossbench Senators a postcard asking them to vote down the Coalition government’s higher education cuts.

Launched a month ago, already nearly six thousand Australians have joined the ‘1 Million Reasons’ campaign. Postcards signed by students, former students and their allies all across Australia have been sent to each of the six cross bench Senators.

Australian Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon said: “Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne would do well to listen to the tens of thousands of Australians who have spoken out against the Coalition’s elitist higher education bill over the past 10 months.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Greens commit to restoring Solitary Islands Sanctuary protections

Vernon & Faruqi (background) at C.H. jetty
The Greens have committed to making the health of our oceans a priority for the 2015 State Election calling for the restoration of full protections to the State’s marine sanctuary areas including in Solitary Islands Marine Park. 
Greens NSW MP and Marine Environment spokeswoman Dr Mehreen Faruqi was joined by Greens candidate for Oxley Carol Vernon, Craig Christie, Greens candidate for Coffs Harbour, Justin Field, Greens candidate for the Upper House, to announce the Greens election commitment today at Coffs Harbour.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Nationals sell soul to Santos & climate denier through donations

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today accused the National Party of selling their soul to coal seam gas company Santos and prominent climate denier Ian Plimer, after the release of political donation records by the Australian Electoral Commission.

  • Climate denier Ian Plimer donated $60,000 to the National Party

  • Santos donated $32,935 to the National Party and $155,525 to the Liberal Party 

    “It’s no wonder the National Party are peddling climate change denial, stifling renewable energy, and pushing coal seam gas when they are taking money from climate deniers and coal seam gas company Santos,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham. 

1.3 billion tonnes of coal mine approvals suicidal for the climate

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today said the flurry of coal mine approvals in NSW was negligent and represented a suicidal attitude to climate change, and that the planning system needed to reform to account for the cumulative impact of the emissions from when NSW coal was burnt.


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