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SA farmers must have right to refuse fracking

The Australian Greens have moved to protect South Australian farmers from shale gas fracking, as community concern grows over unconventional mining on farming land.

Australian Greens Senator for South Australia Senator Penny Wright today sponsored a Senate motion in favour of giving landholders legal rights to refuse shale and fracking on their properties.

"This is a dangerous industry that puts our precious water and farming land at risk," Senator Wright said.

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Call to give farmers the legal right to refuse fracking

We give notice that on the next day of sitting we shall move that -

The Senate notes:

1.    The concern of communities in South Australia and Western Australia about their land and water being threatened by shale and other unconventional gas mining.

2.    That landholders lack the legal right to refuse shale and other unconventional gas mining on their land.

3.    The scientific uncertainty surrounding the environmental and health implications of hydraulic fracturing ('fracking') for shale and other unconventional gas mining.

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Greens to deliver millions for rural mental health care

The Australian Greens' plan to  invest more than half a billion dollars in mental health services across rural and regional Australia will save lives and build stronger communities, say Senators Penny Wright and Peter Whish-Wilson.

Launching the party's rural mental health policy in Launceston today, Australian Greens' mental health spokesperson Senator Wright said the policy was based on recommendations sought directly from rural communities.

"Years of under-investment in rural mental health continues to cost lives all across country Australia," Senator Wright said.

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Better rural mental health services: caring for country Australians

One in five Australians experience mental ill-health in any year. The consequences of mental ill-health in rural and regional areas are far greater than in urban areas given that access to mental health services is substantially lower.

Over 30% of Australians live in rural areas but they have limited access to essential health services compared to their urban counterparts. The Greens believe that this inequity must be addressed.

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Rural mental health tour report: Voices & Experiences

The Greens spokesperson for Mental Health, Senator Penny Wright, is pleased to launch the Report "Voices and experiences: Improving mental health services in country Australia:"

The report is the result of extensive consultation with frontline rural mental health workers, service providers, consumers and their families. Senator Wright toured regional Australia during 2012 and 2013, visiting 24 towns across six states.

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Budget 2013: Education, Legal Affairs, Mental Health and Veterans Affairs portfolio breakdown

The 2013 Labor Budget will do little to ease the stress on Australians. Senator Penny Wright talks about what was in the budget and what more could be done in each of her portfolio areas.

Education

What's in the budget:

  • $9.8 billion in new school funding
  • $3 billion in next the next four years, $6 billion to come in the following two years

What I think:

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Country South Aussies let down by budget

The 2013 Labor Budget will do little to ease the stress on country South Australians, say Australian Greens Senators Sarah Hanson Young and Penny Wright.

"Labor has spent more time listening to mining companies, the big banks and their factions than the people in rural and regional communities," Senator Hanson-Young said.

"The Greens stood up for regional South Australia during the Murray Darling Basin debate while our colleagues in the old parties and those upstream tried to sell us down the river.

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