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Migration Bill contravenes human rights

Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (11:37):  I rise to speak on the Migration Amendment (Protection and Other Measures) Bill 2014, which seeks to amend the Migration Act 1958. If those listening to the debate today take away nothing else, I would ask them to take away the understanding that this bill, if passed, has the very real likelihood of Australia deporting people-fellow human beings-who have come to us legally-

Senator O'Sullivan:  Illegally.

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Mandatory minimums wrong way to address gun crime

Penny Wright 15 Mar 2015

The Australian Greens have urged the Labor Party to remain strong in opposing mandatory minimum sentences for gun trafficking, saying the Abbott Government's legislation would not make Australians safer.

Australian Greens legal affairs spokesperson and chair of a current Senate inquiry into illicit firearms Senator Penny Wright said there was no evidence mandatory minimum sentences were effective and tackling gun crime required a more sophisticated approach.

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Indigenous legal cuts a national embarrassment

The Australian Greens have condemned the funding cuts to indigenous legal aid services, which will see the peak body NATSILS close its doors in June.

Spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright said the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service advocacy was crucial to addressing shocking levels of indigenous incarceration.

"More than one in four prisoners are Aboriginal, despite making up only a fraction of our population. Too many are in jail because of inadequate legal understanding and representation," Senator Wright said.

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MySchool hype distorts school priorities

Penny Wright 5 Mar 2015

Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright says the emphasis on NAPLAN testing has gone too far, as new MySchool data is released today.

The Australian Greens have previously called for the ranking functions on the MySchool site to be removed.

"There is no doubt MySchool site has introduced a competitive element which is damaging student and teacher wellbeing and distorting our idea of what matters in education," Senator Wright said.

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Greens introduce new laws to protect landholder rights

The Australian Greens will today introduce a bill to give South Australian landholders the right to say no to coal and gas mining on their land.

The bill also seeks to ban all fracking for unconventional gas, said Australian Greens Senator for South Australia Penny Wright.

"It's a disgrace that landholders still do not have any legal rights to protect their land, water and climate from coal and gas mining," Senator Wright said.

"It sets landholders up for a David and Goliath battle, because the mining companies know farmers don't have any options.

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