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Cruel court fee hikes could harm family violence victims

Penny Wright 15 May 2015

The Abbott Government's cruel hike to Family Court fees could delay victims of domestic violence from seeking a divorce, Australian Greens legal affairs spokesperson Senator Penny Wright says.

"When the previous government raised court fees, Attorney General George Brandis called it 'a disguised Labor tax'," Senator Wright said.

"Now he's copying their tricks and using families going through tough times as a way to raise revenue for the Abbott Government."

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Budget statement: School education

Penny Wright 13 May 2015

Statement from Senator Penny Wright, Australian Greens spokesperson for Schools:

"This government is trying to use tricky accounting to hide their broken promises on school funding and disability loadings," Senator Wright said.

"The Abbott Government promised a full disability loading this year - but instead they are continuing with a completely inadequate model which has left 100,000 students with a disability without any educational support at all.

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Abbott's Budget has no vision for SA

The 2015 Budget has no vision for the future of South Australia, say SA's Australian Greens Senators.

Senator Penny Wright said the Government was continuing to protect big business at the expense of everyday South Australians.

"The Abbott Government has absolutely no vision for South Australia's future. Rather than finding new sources of revenue from the big end of town, this Budget cuts one vital service to fund another," Senator Wright said.

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The Abbott Government must address unmet mental health needs

I move that the Senate-

(a) welcomes, after significant delay, the release of the National Mental Health Commission's Report of the National Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services, which found:

(i) mental health care in Australia often comes too late, is fragmented, fails to prevent crisis situations, and often does not take into account a person's broader social needs,

(ii) inadequate responses to significantly higher rates of mental distress, trauma, suicide and intentional self-harm among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and

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Speech: Tribunals Amalgamation Bill 2014

Penny Wright 12 May 2015

Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (12:36):  I rise to speak on the government's Tribunals Amalgamation Bill 2014, which provides the legislative framework for very significant reforms to Australia's merits review system. If enacted, this bill will amalgamate four separate specialist Commonwealth tribunal systems into one mega-administrative appeals tribunal.

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NAPLAN distorts education: Greens call for national overhaul

Penny Wright 11 May 2015

The Australian Greens are calling for drastic changes to the annual NAPLAN tests, which begin again tomorrow, saying the scheme undermines quality education.

Spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright said research has shown the tests are narrowing the curriculum, discouraging creativity and placing too much pressure on students and schools.

"More and more class time is being spent on NAPLAN coaching and parents are withdrawing their kids at record rates," Senator Wright said.

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