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Greens release plan for giant boost to science and research

The Australian Greens want to put Australia on a path to spending 4% of GDP on science and research by 2030.

Announcing the policy at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in the electorate of Melbourne, Greens Leader Senator Richard Di Natale and Science and Industry spokesperson Adam Bandt MP said the policy would make Australia a world leader in investment in research and development.

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Greens unveil plans for an Innovation Nation

The Australian Greens have today released a comprehensive Innovation Policy to back startup enterprises, support STEM education and boost innovation funding.

The policy was launched in Melbourne today with Innovation spokesperson Nick McKim, Industry and Science spokesperson Adam Bandt and Greens candidate for Higgins Jason Ball.

“The Australian Greens will reinvigorate the minds of Australian entrepreneurs by reinvesting the funding to the Entrepreneur’s Infrastructure Program,” Senator McKim said.

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Innovation Statement welcome, but not enough to replace massive research cuts

The Greens broadly welcome the Turnbull Government’s Innovation Statement, however it does not repair the huge damage done to the science and research and development sectors by the Liberals’ funding cuts in recent years.

Greens Innovation spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said: “The focus on innovation and the attached funding are welcome, but it does not come close make up for the Liberals’ massive cuts to science, higher education and research and development.”

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Greens will defend penalty rates

The Australian Greens today reaffirmed their support for penalty rates and pledged to oppose any changes from a future Abbott government.

Greens Deputy Leader and industrial relations spokesperson, Adam Bandt, said the Greens were a vital line of defence against any Abbott-led attacks on people's rights at work.

"As the Greens have repeatedly said, penalty rates are a recognition of the unsociable hours that many people work," said Mr Bandt.

"Many people, especially young workers, rely on penalty rates to earn a living wage," Mr Bandt concluded.

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Ban ATM fees at big 4 banks: Greens

Greens Deputy Leader and banking spokesperson, Adam Bandt, today released a proposal to ban the big 4 banks from charging ATM fees.

"The big 4 banks should be required to offer fee-free ATM access to all Australians," said Mr Bandt.

"The big banks made $23bn profits last year, yet they still charge us for the privilege of accessing our own money.

"You can't get by in society without a bank account, so it should be treated as an essential service, not an opportunity to charge us more fees.

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Car industry assistance needs to drive change: Bandt

Greens MP and industry spokesperson, Adam Bandt, says future assistance to the car industry needs to drive innovation and a shift to electric vehicles if an Australian car industry is to survive.

Minister Carr and car companies can't just blame the high dollar for job cuts. They must take responsibility for their failure to adapt to the new market.

"The car industry needs to go green if it is to survive," Mr Bandt said.

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Bandt moves for inquiry into Reserve bank

Greens MP and banking spokesperson Adam Bandt has given notice today of a motion calling on the government to establish an independent inquiry into the RBA banknote bribery scandal.

Mr Bandt said the inquiry should have the powers of a Royal Commission.

"Now more than ever we need to have confidence in the integrity and governance of the Reserve Bank. This inquiry is essential to restore confidence in the RBA."

The motion reads:

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Bank accounts more portable under new bill: Bandt

Greens MP and banking spokesperson Adam Bandt has released a new banking bill that will ensure direct debits and credits follow customers when they switch banks, making it easier for consumers to move their accounts.

The Banking and Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Mobility and Flexibility) Bill 2011 contains a mechanism for account portability. If a customer asks, banks will be required to forward all direct debits and credits to the customer's new bank for 13 months after they switch.

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Bandt moves to ban takeover mergers

Amendments to prevent the big four banks from acquiring smaller lenders are due to be moved in Parliament later today by Greens MP and banking spokesperson Adam Bandt.

Mr Bandt's changes to the Competition and Consumer Amendment Bill (No. 1) will ensure the ACCC will prevent mergers such as Westpac's takeover of St George.

"Australia has one of the most concentrated banking sectors in the world and it is killing competition for consumers."

"The Australian banking market is the most concentrated it has been for a century."

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