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Statement: Australian Greens on new chaplaincy program

The Australian Greens have urged state and territory governments to think twice before signing up to reinstate the schools chaplaincy program, says Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright.

Senator Wright confirmed the Australian Greens opposed plans to put religious chaplains in Australian schools.

"The Australian Greens have consistently said that the time for amateurs is over and funding must be redirected to putting professional mental health workers in schools," Senator Wright said.

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Senate backs action on rural suicide, despite Nationals opposition

The Senate has called on the Government to fund targeted suicide prevention measures in rural and regional areas, backing a motion by Australian Greens spokesperson on mental health Senator Penny Wright.

However, the National Party voted against the motion - despite making an identical election promise last year.

Senator Wright said enthusiasm about the cross-party support for action on rural suicide, including a national awareness campaign, was tempered by the Nationals' surprising policy reversal.

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Addressing the Hidden Toll of suicide in rural Australia

I move that the Senate

1.      notes that a disproportionately high number of completed suicides and suicide attempts involve men in rural areas; and

2.      calls on the government to implement the key recommendations of The Hidden Toll: Suicide in Australia report of the Senate Community Affairs References Committee during the term of the 44th Parliament of Australia, including:

a)      funding a national suicide prevention and awareness campaign, to run for at least five years; and

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Don't be panicked into terror changes: Greens

Penny Wright 26 Aug 2014

Australian Greens spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright has today warned against being swept up in the Abbott Government's anti-terror fear campaign.

The Australian Greens welcomed the restoration of the Countering Violent Extremism funding, but warned broader elements of the counter-terrorism package would undermine basic human rights.

"Today's re-announcement is a feel-good moment to distract from the more sinister elements of the Abbott Government's fear campaign on terrorism," Senator Wright said

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Greens sceptical on terror law push

Adam Bandt 6 Aug 2014

The Greens will not support the rushing of Tony Abbott's proposed terror laws through parliament and have called on the Prime Minister to immediately publicly release draft legislation.

The Greens also have serious reservations about the expansion of detention powers and new offences that reverse the presumption of innocence.

"Tony Abbott's 'Team Australia' deserves to know what his proposed terror laws will mean for our freedoms and the rule of law," said acting Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP.

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Ditching 'Andrew Bolt Protection Bill' a victory in fight against racism and hate speech

"The Greens are very proud to have been part of the community campaign against watering down race hate laws," said acting Greens Leader, Adam Bandt MP.   

"The Government's backdown on the 'bigot' laws show that the community can make this Government change direction.

"This victory will give a big boost to everyone campaigning against Tony Abbott's agenda.

"The Government's changes would have given the green light to racism and other hate speech, and we're very pleased the "Andrew Bolt Protection Bill" has been dumped

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