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More professional mental health workers needed in country areas

I move that the Senate:

1.      notes the study by Melbourne's Monash University which shows less people in rural, remote  and disadvantaged areas accessing mental health services;

2.      acknowledges that rates of severe mental illness are higher in the most disadvantaged areas;

3.      recognises that people in wealthier areas access psychologists and psychiatrists up to three times as much as those in the most disadvantaged areas; and

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The Government's appalling treatment of Professor Gillian Triggs

Penny Wright 24 Feb 2015

If I’m feeling battered, I wonder how the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission is feeling. Probably the most difficult day I’ve experienced in Senate Estimates, today, as I had to witness a fine person and exceptional lawyer, Professor Gillian Triggs, being relentlessly hounded by two government Senators, shamelessly assisted by the overwhelmingly partisan Chair of the committee. Senate committees can often be political but can also be a source of good information and strong cross-party work. For me, this was an absolute low point.  

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PM pushes terror button again, ignores social cohesion

Christine Milne 23 Feb 2015

The Greens say Prime Minister Tony Abbott is again desperately trying to distract from his failing government, by embedding himself in an agenda of fear and anxiety, while completely ignoring the need to bring Australians together.

"Tony Abbott is again pressing the terror button in order to shore up his own position. It won't make us safer," Greens Leader Christine Milne said.

"Real leadership will bring people together, not divide them.

"An effort to build our community, rather than to implement divisive new laws, is what's required.

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$180m overspend on SA's private schools for same results

Penny Wright 23 Feb 2015

South Australia's private schools only achieve the same results as comparable public schools, despite spending almost $180 million more a year more on their students.

Analysis by researchers Chris Bonnor and Bernie Shepherd, prepared for Australian Greens Senator for South Australia Penny Wright, shows almost a quarter of government funding to private schools is in excess of what it costs to educate similar students in public schools.

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Greens launch plan to save SA auto manufacturing

The Australian Greens have today launched a bold plan to save South Australia's ailing car industry by redirecting funds from the Automotive Transformation Scheme to components manufacturers looking to tap into the global market for electric vehicles.

Australian Greens Senator for South Australia Penny Wright said the Greens plan would offer South Australian workers a future in global markets.

"Adelaide has a very skilled workforce when it comes to making cars and components," she said.

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Government must apologise to David Hicks

Christine Milne 19 Feb 2015

The Greens say David Hicks deserves and immediate apology for the injustice he has suffered, also calling for a thorough investigation about how and why the Australian Government let this happen.

"David Hicks was subjected to a bogus conviction, torture and wrongful imprisonment. An apology should be immediate," said Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne.

"Mr Hicks has described himself today as exhausted, worn out and defeated. An apology is about acknowledging the injustice he's suffered, and doing something to make it right.

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