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McSchools on the menu

Penny Wright 24 Oct 2014

The Federal Government could partner with McDonald's under a new corporate schools scheme, Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright has revealed.

Questioning in Senate estimates this week revealed the Education Department was discussing joining up with the fast food giant, and McDonald's has conceded it may participate in the Geelong pilot.

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Foreign Fighters amendments inadequate

Penny Wright 22 Oct 2014

Comment from Australian Greens' spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright on news the Abbott Government will adopt the recommendations of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security on the Foreign Fighters bill:

"The recommendations of the Liberal-Labor committee are not enough to save this from being a very bad bill that will trample on long-held civil liberties and democratic rights.

"The committee's recommendations are just tweaking around the edges - they do not fix the substantive problems of this bill.

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Curriculum questions should Spurr rethink of national review

Penny Wright 22 Oct 2014

Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright has called on the government to strike out advice to the national curriculum review from the academic at the centre of the racist emails scandal.

In Estimates questioning today it was also revealed that Professor Barry Spurr was paid $8250 for his input into the review of the Australian curriculum, and that the Education Department did not check the qualifications of the appointees.

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Estimates: What are the government's plans for Partners in Recovery?

Partners in Recovery and Medicare Locals

Senator WRIGHT: I have been in other committee, so if I ask questions that have already been asked just let me know. I understand the department has been unable to advise what plans they have for the future of Partners in Recovery contracts where the lead agency is a Medicare Local. I am interested in whether the department can provide any information about what will happen in these instances.

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Estimates: The Hidden Toll report

The Hidden Toll

Senator WRIGHT: I want to go to the recommendations of the 'The hidden toll: suicide in Australia', the Senate report into suicide in 2010. This might be a question for Senator Nash to start with. I note that their National Party's 2013 federal election policy platform included a commitment to implementing the recommendations of the Hidden Toll report. Is the minister able to comment on the government's intention to keep that commitment?

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Estimates:

The Hidden Toll

Senator WRIGHT: I want to go to the recommendations of the 'The hidden toll: suicide in Australia', the Senate report into suicide in 2010. This might be a question for Senator Nash to start with. I note that their National Party's 2013 federal election policy platform included a commitment to implementing the recommendations of the Hidden Toll report. Is the minister able to comment on the government's intention to keep that commitment?

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Estimates: Frozen indexation of mental health programs

Frozen indexation of mental health programs

Senator WRIGHT: I would like to ask now about the fact that it has emerged that there will be around about $20 million, arguably possibly more, of mental health program funding which will have its indexation frozen for up to four years. Is that correct?

Mr Booth: I am not sure. Could you give me some more information?

Senator WRIGHT: I might have to wait and get some more information about that.

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