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Brandis presumption of terror guilt could trap journalists, aid workers

New anti-terror laws outlined by the Coalition today could see humanitarian workers and journalists in war zones having to prove they are not criminals, say the Australian Greens.

Australian Greens spokesperson for Legal Affairs Senator Wright said Attorney-General George Brandis's plans to reverse the onus of proof added to concerns the wide-ranging legislation would severely restrict human rights.

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Coalition budget likely to increase suicide and mental ill-health in young people

I table the document Budget 2014 Policy Briefing Papers from ConNetica, and I move that the Senate-

(a) notes the findings of the Connetica Budget 2014 Policy Briefing Papers which outline:

(i) the disproportionate burden the 2014 15 budget cuts will place on young people,

(ii) the potential for an increase in suicides and mental ill-health among young Australians as a result of harsh budget measures, including changes to Newstart, increases to university fees, cutting the Tools for your Trade program, and ending support programs like Youth Connections, and

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Donnelly should get the boot over corporal punishment comments

Penny Wright 16 Jul 2014

The Australian Greens have reiterated calls for Kevin Donnelly to be sacked from Minister Pyne's curriculum review panel in light of his comments on corporal punishment.

Australian Greens spokesperson for Schools Senator Penny Wright said Mr Donnelly's endorsement of corporal punishment was unacceptable.

"The Australian Greens have always said Mr Donnelly's radical views made him a completely inappropriate person for such a prominent review," Senator Wright said.

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The impact of the budget on youth mental health

Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (22:09):  On 13 May this year, the coalition government handed down a budget that was really quite unprecedented. I have seen quite a few budgets come and go in my life span, but I am hard pressed to think of a budget that has attracted such universal condemnation from people right across the political spectrum in terms of its unfathomable burden—the burden it places on some of the most disadvantaged people in the community.

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Gonski vote splits National Party

Penny Wright 14 Jul 2014

A widening split in the National Party over the Gonski school funding reforms has been highlighted by an Australian Greens motion in the Senate today.

Federal Nationals MPs opposed a motion supporting the New South Wales Nationals Annual General Conference vote in favour of the full six years of Gonski funding.

The motion, moved by Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright, came as Federal Nationals Senators mocked the Gonski reforms in a Senate Committee report.

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