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Greens introduce new 'country of origin' labelling laws to support local growers

The Australian Greens are urging the major parties support farmers and workers in the Riverland by backing a new push for country of origin labelling laws.

Senator for South Australia Penny Wright said the Greens would introduce new legislation for mandatory labelling in the Senate this week.

"Everyone wants to support our farmers and workers by buying local, but the current labelling laws are too confusing and can be misleading," said Senator Wright.

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Greens urge caution on school fingerprint rolls

Penny Wright 7 Feb 2015

Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright has urged caution over the use of fingerprinting to record attendance at South Australian schools.

Senator Wright said the East Para Primary School community should have been more widely consulted and urged the State Government to conduct broader research and information campaigns before expanding the system.

"Biometric data is still not well understood and it's very natural parents will have concerns about privacy," she said.

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Repat closure must not disrupt veterans services

Services to veterans must not be interrupted by the planned closure of the General Repatriation Hospital, says Australian Greens Senator for South Australia Senator Penny Wright.

Senator Wright said the new centre of excellence must be fully operational before the Repat is closed, and consideration should be given to the cultural significance of the site for veterans.

"The General Repatriation Hospital is more than just a hospital to many veterans - it is a place to meet and to remember and has had a culture that respects and understands veterans," Senator Wright said.

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Appalling mental health funding uncertainty must end

Australian Greens spokesperson for mental health Senator Penny Wright says the Abbott Government must urgently guarantee funding for vital mental health services, as organisations report losing staff due to uncertainty.

 "The Abbott Government has the final report of the National Mental Health Commission's review of mental health services and they should release this without delay to end the uncertainty for the sector," Senator Wright said.

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New terror laws monitor needs greater powers to cope with Abbott agenda

Penny Wright 8 Dec 2014

The Australian Greens have called on the government to increase the powers of the newly appointed Independent National Security Legislation Monitor.

Australian Greens spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright said the Monitor needed greater funding and scrutiny powers to oversee the Abbott Government's massively expanded national security framework.

"The announcement of the new Monitor is long overdue and very welcome - but we now need to boost the position's powers to make sure it's more than a toothless tiger," Senator Wright said.

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Independent National Security Legislation Monitor (Improved Oversight And Resourcing) Bill 2014: Second reading speech

Penny Wright 3 Dec 2014

I am pleased to rise and speak to this important bill, which I have introduced with the aim of preserving and enhancing the crucial role of the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor (INSLM).

In a world characterised by unrest and fragile peace, the Australian Greens understand the need to have a robust conversation about our national security laws. We also have the highest regard for human rights and freedoms.

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Greens bill to boost terror law oversight

Penny Wright 3 Dec 2014

Australian Greens spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright will today introduce a new Bill to increase the powers of the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor.

Earlier this year, the Abbott Government was defeated in its bid to scrap the Monitor - which plays a crucial role in assessing counter-terrorism laws - but the position remains vacant and unfunded.

"The position has been vacant since April, while bill after bill has been rushed through Parliament without proper scrutiny," Senator Wright said.

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