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Crime prevention fund the beginning of a new approach?

Penny Wright 12 Apr 2013

As the Prime Minister announces a new crime prevention initiative, a Senate Inquiry is about to get underway which will challenge the management of Australia's justice system, says Australian Greens Legal Affairs spokesperson Senator Penny Wright.

"The Prime Minister's announcement today of a $40 million crime prevention fund is just the start of what could be done to create safer communities and reduce the financial impact of crime," Senator Wright said.

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Court fee hikes hit hardest those in greatest need

Penny Wright 2 Apr 2013

Disadvantaged Australians are being hit hardest by Family Court fee rises, according to submissions made to a Senate Inquiry chaired by Australian Greens spokesperson on legal affairs, Senator Penny Wright.

Fee increases of more than 300 per cent for divorce applications could have significant impacts on victims of domestic violence, the Inquiry has been told.

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Labor and anti-discrimination laws – where did the wheels fall off?

Penny Wright 20 Mar 2013

Did you know in Australia it is okay for a religious school to refuse an enrolment to a child just because her parents are gay?

Or that a woman can be refused accommodation because she's a victim of domestic violence and she has no legal protection to appeal this decision?

Or that fathers and mothers can lose their jobs because of family responsibilities?

Or that church-run nursing homes can refuse to accept gay or lesbian residents - even if it's the only nursing home in the area?

This seems so out of step with modern Australian society.

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Dumped discrimination reform leaves vulnerable unprotected

Christine Milne 20 Mar 2013

Labor has dumped its own plans for widespread discrimination reform, demonstrating they don't have the courage of their convictions on social reform, say Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne and Greens Attorney-General Spokesperson Penny Wright.

"This is nonsensical. The anti-discrimination reforms had every chance of succeeding in Parliament so why has Labor turned tail and given up on equality again? " Senator Christine Milne said.

"The timing issue is just an excuse from the Attorney-General.

"Labor has lost the political will to protect human rights.

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Access to justice increasingly under threat around Australia

Penny Wright 5 Mar 2013

Comments from the South Australian legal community this week about ‘chronic underfunding’ of legal aid affirm the need for proper funding of Legal Aid at both a federal and state level, Greens spokesperson for Legal Affairs, Senator Penny Wright, said.

The Commissioner for Victims of Crime and a prominent civil liberties lawyer said today that legal aid in South Australia is ‘chronically underfunded’ and that this ‘may give rise to injustices’.

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Court fee hikes subject to Senate Inquiry

Penny Wright 27 Feb 2013

The Labor Government's decision to increase federal court fees will be scrutinised by a Senate Inquiry initiated by Australian Greens spokesperson on Legal Affairs, Senator Penny Wright.

The Inquiry will examine whether the higher fees will exacerbate the access to justice crisis in Australia.

"Cost is the most common barrier to people seeking legal help," Senator Wright said. "Increasingly, ordinary Australians are being priced out of the court system because they cannot afford legal representation and court fees."

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Access to justice - court fee inquiry motion

Penny Wright 27 Feb 2013

I move that the following matter be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by Thursday, 6 June 2013:

The impact of federal court fee increases since 2010 on access to justice in Australia, with particular reference to:

a)            the impact of federal court fee increases on low-income and ordinary Australians and operators of small businesses;

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