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Put precious places ahead of industry interests

To mark today's International Hands Across the Sand day of action, Senator for South Australia, Penny Wright, has highlighted the unacceptable risks posed by Bight Petroleum's proposed oil and gas activities to the west of iconic Kangaroo Island.

Bight Petroleum currently has permits to explore for offshore petroleum in an area to the west of the island known as the Kangaroo Island Canyon and Pools, and intend to undertake seismic tests in early 2013 and start drilling in 2014.

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Major parties baulk at national gun reform, fail to condemn shooting in NSW national parks

 In the shadow of legislation passed in the NSW Upper House which allows recreational hunters to shoot feral animals in designated national parks and reserves, Labor and the Coalition parties today voted against a Greens Senate motion condemning this move and calling on the Attorney General to strengthen national gun laws.

The motion below was moved by Greens Senators Penny Wright and Lee Rhiannon.

Greens spokesperson for Legal Affairs, Senator Penny Wright, said strengthening uniform gun laws would help increase public safety.

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Marine Sanctuaries Speech

Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (16:00): I rise to make a contribution to this debate because I cannot stay silent in the face of the scaremongering and hysteria being peddled by some unscrupulous elements of the fishing sector, fanned by equally unscrupulous and opportunistic claims from some members of the coalition of the Liberal and National parties. The recent announcement by the environment minister of a national network of marine reserves is certainly a substantial and major step forward for marine conservation in Australia and globally.

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Marine park scaremongering continues as resource threats remain

The Australian Greens have called for an end to the scaremongering around the Government's marine plans, saying more attention needs to be paid to the real elephant in the room - the free ride given to the oil and gas industry.

"Minister Burke has stated that less than 1 per cent of GVP will be lost to the fishing industry as a result of the marine plans recently announced," Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens marine spokesperson said today.

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Kangaroo Island Canyons left vulnerable: Greens

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke has missed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by failing to protect the area west of Kangaroo Island from oil and gas exploration and production, Australian Greens Senator for South Australia, Penny Wright, said.

"This is an extremely disappointing outcome for Kangaroo Island and its residents. Minister Burke has not listened to their concerns, instead leaving the Island vulnerable to the very real threat of an oil spill," Senator Wright said.

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Biodiversity Fund delivers for South Australia

Almost $47 million will go to support communities and protect the environment in regional South Australia during the first funding round of the Biodiversity Fund, which was established as part of the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee agreement.

 

Australian Greens Senators for South Australia, Senator Penny Wright and Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, said the fund of almost a billion dollars over six years was one of the aspects of the climate change package the Australian Greens were most proud of.

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Seismic Testing Threatens Iconic Species in the Great Australian Bight: Greens

The Government needs to stop putting the interests of big companies ahead of the protection of Australia's unique environment and marine life, Greens Senator for South Australia, Penny Wright, said.

Senator Wright moved a motion in the Senate today calling on the Government to cease issuing oil and gas exploration leases in the Great Australian Bight until after final decisions have been made on the establishment of marine sanctuaries. Currently less than 1 per cent of the Bight is protected from oil and gas operations but it is home to many species found nowhere else on earth.

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AFP Monitoring of Environmental Protestors

Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee
Tuesday 14 February 2012

Senator WRIGHT: Thank you for your time today. I would like to ask you some questions today about surveillance of environmental protest groups. Does the AFP monitor the activities of environmental issues motivated groups and activists that undertake peaceful protests at coal mine sites, power stations, coal export facilities and other related sites?

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Penny Wright Discusses the Wentworth Group Murray Darling Basin Briefing on ABC 891

Today, the Greens hosted a briefing for South Australian State and Federal MPs in the SA Parliament House featuring Tim Stubbs from the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, and Prof. Chris Miller from Flinders University.  Mr Stubbs and Prof. Miller called on all political leaders to insist on sustainable river flows for the Murray Darling system based on the best available peer reviewed science.

Senator Penny Wright gave a round up of the event, and discussed the Greens' concerns with Sonya Feldhoff on ABC 891's drive program.

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