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Greens back ethnic and indigenous groups on Racial Discrimination Act

The Australian Greens have today backed calls by a coalition of ethnic and indigenous groups to protect laws against racially-motivated hate speech, saying the Coalition’s plan to weaken protections against racism is shameful.

“The Greens will never support any moves that make it easier to abuse people on the basis of race,” said Senator Richard Di Natale, Greens spokesperson for Multiculturalism.

“Multiculturalism is one of Australia’s greatest success stories but racial vilification is still a reality for too many people in our society.

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Indigenous legal aid cuts must not go ahead

Prime Minister Tony Abbott must urgently clarify if he intends to reverse his party's election promise to make multi-million dollar cuts to indigenous legal aid, say the Australian Greens.

The Attorney General's Department last night confirmed frontline services could not be isolated from the $42 million cut to indigenous legal aid funding under questioning from Senator Rachel Siewert and Senator Penny Wright.

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Estimates: Crimes Amendment legislation review

Penny Wright 18 Nov 2013

Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee 
Attorney General's Department 

18 November, 2013

Senator WRIGHT: I have one more question. It is in relation to part VIIC of the crimes act relating to disclosing Commonwealth pardons, quashed convictions and spent convictions. On the 2013 review of the operation of subdivision A of division 6 of part VIIC of the crimes act 1914, I assume there is someone who knows what I am referring to.

Senator Brandis: They speak of little else!

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Estimates: Data related to incarceration rates

Penny Wright 18 Nov 2013

Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee 
Australian Government Solicitor 

18 November, 2013

Senator WRIGHT: I have some questions about the availability of certain types of data and, if it is available, where it is to be found. Does the institute collect figures that show the total national number of people received into prison each year? I will give you the background of what I want there. Do the figures show receptions over the course of the year, as opposed to a one-day census?

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Greens urge Brandis to protect Environmental Defender funding

Tony Abbott's government must not cave into pressure from the miners to defund legal rights groups, say the Australian Greens.

Australian Greens spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright has written to Attorney General George Brandis urging him to resist calls from the mining lobby to defund the Environmental Defender's Office.

"The Environmental Defenders Office is the only thing standing between state governments and a rubber stamp for mining approvals," Senator Wright said.

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‘Name and Shame’ laws a dangerous approach

Penny Wright 27 Sep 2013

Queensland’s proposed ‘Name and Shame’ laws are a dangerous approach to punishing juvenile offenders, says Australian Greens Senator Penny Wright.

Spokesperson on legal affairs, Senator Wright, said the proposed laws are out of touch with evidence that shows that naming and shaming may well increase juvenile crime.

“The Queensland Government’s so-called tough approach to juvenile repeat offenders is punitive and will actually be counterproductive,” Senator Wright said.

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Abbott cuts to Indigenous legal services hypocritical

The Australian Greens have condemned Tony Abbott's cuts to the Indigenous Legal Assistance and Policy Reform Program, saying it goes against all his past rhetoric and will exacerbate the shameful incarceration rates for Indigenous Australians.

"Tony Abbott says he wants to prioritise efforts to end Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage, but cutting Indigenous legal aid funding undermines this commitment," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues.

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Greens stand firm to stop racial discrimination

Penny Wright 5 Sep 2013

The Australian Greens have confirmed they will block any attempt by Tony Abbott's Coalition to change the Racial Discrimination Act to wind back protections against discrimination.

"The Racial Discrimination Act is an extremely important law to protect people against harmful stereotyping and vilification that reinforces systemic racial prejudice and discrimination," says Australian Greens legal affairs spokesperson Senator Penny Wright.

"Who would benefit by changing this law?

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