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Greens condemn Coalition school policy and venue choice

The Australian Greens have today condemned the Coalition’s education policy for not backing public schooling and questioned the venue choice for the launch.

Australian Greens spokesperson for Schools Senator Penny Wright said Penrith Christian School’s position on homosexuality also highlighted out-dated discrimination exemptions applying to religious schools.

“What’s more shocking than the school’s statements around homosexuality is that Australian law still allows religious schools to expel students and fire teachers on the basis of their sexuality,” Senator Wright said.

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Abbott gun plan not enough for safer streets

Penny Wright 19 Aug 2013

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's anti-guns policy will not do enough to get guns off Australian streets, Australian Greens legal affairs spokesperson Senator Penny Wright said today.

"The Coalition's plan is insufficient - tougher sentencing will not work on its own," Senator Wright said.

"The Australian Greens have a much more comprehensive plan which would ban the importation, ownership and use of semi-automatic handguns and includes a 12-month amnesty and buy-back scheme.

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Greens to boost funds for indigenous legal services

The Australian Greens have unveiled an election commitment to double funding to indigenous family violence prevention programs and increase funding to indigenous legal services by 50 per cent.

A total of $182.1 million would be invested over the next three financial years to improving access to justice for indigenous Australians, through organisations including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services.

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Greens scheme to make legal help easier for all Australians

Penny Wright 16 Aug 2013

An Australian Greens promise to inject a further $842.6 million into legal assistance services will help ordinary Australians resolve workplace issues, consumer battles and property disputes, says spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright.

The Greens have committed to doubling funding for community legal centres and increasing Federal contributions to legal aid by 50 per cent to end the long-term under-resourcing of legal assistance services.

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Access to Justice – Creating a justice safety net

Penny Wright 15 Aug 2013

Each year, half of all Australians over 15 years of age will face a legal issue, but approximately 500,000 will miss out on essential legal services. Increasingly, this is affecting middle-income Australians as well as the most disadvantaged.

Access to justice means Australians can resolve their legal problems and achieve fair results - based on the merits of their case – not the size of their wallet.

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Smarter, safer, stronger – Greens launch criminal justice policy

Penny Wright 1 Aug 2013

Spokesperson on legal affairs, Senator Penny Wright, and Greens Senate candidate for the Northern Territory, Warren H Williams, said Justice Reinvestment was a smarter approach to crime and would address escalating rates of imprisonment – particularly among indigenous Australians.

“The tired mantra of ‘tough on crime’ is short-sighted and has put huge pressure on budgets. It’s time to get smart on crime instead,” Senator Wright said.

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SMARTER, SAFER, STRONGER: The Greens’ plan for a more effective approach to criminal justice

Since 1984, the number of Australians in jail has tripled. The mantra of "tough on crime" has actually been tough on budgets because jails are phenomenally expensive to build and run.

The criminal justice system costs more than $14.5 billion every year and yet we don't feel safer.

While we will always need jails for the most serious offenders, there are many people who do not need to be there. Our prisons should not be storing houses for the mentally ill or those too poor to pay fines.

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Greens to strengthen discrimination law

Penny Wright 26 Jul 2013

Australian Greens have committed to reviving and improving anti-discrimination laws dumped by the Government earlier this year to protect Australians from being fired, expelled or bullied because of who they are.

In unveiling the Greens' 'Rule of Law' election policy today, Legal Affairs spokesperson Senator Penny Wright said the Greens would also provide further funding of $3 million over the next four years to the Australian Human Rights Commission to implement the stronger laws.

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The Greens' plan for stronger legal protections in Australia

Penny Wright 23 Jul 2013

The Greens care about people - that's why we're making better legal protections for Australians a priority.

Neglecting their 2010 election promises to consolidate equality laws, Labor dumped the draft Human Rights and Anti‐discrimination Bill in March, selling some of our most vulnerable citizens short on the legal protection they deserve.

Despite talk of ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) it signed in 2009, the government has failed to do so.

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