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Greens condemn Abbott and Shorten over back-room mass surveillance deal

The Australian Greens have slammed the rushed passage of the government's mass surveillance regime through the House of Representatives thanks to a back-room deal between Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten.

"Bill Shorten has thrown the beleaguered Prime Minister a surveillance lifeline that could cost in excess of $400 million in the first year alone," Senator Scott Ludlam, Greens communication spokesperson said today.

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Transcript:press conference on media reform

Subjects: Media reform, Andrew Wilkie

 

CHRISTINE MILNE: We're on the cusp of securing media reform in Australia. This is something that the Greens have been campaigning for, working for, for a long time, negotiating in good faith. I'm pleased to say that we have reached an agreement with the government on two major areas of concern.

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Greens stand up for community radio

The Australian Greens will call on the Federal Government to fund community broadcasters' digital radio services in Parliament today, marking the national day of action for community radio.

Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam and Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt will move motions in the Senate and the House recognising the great contribution made to Australian civil society by community broadcasters and calling on the Government to commit to adequate support for the sector.

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ANZ job cuts mean Treasurer should call Finance Industry Summit: Bandt

Greens' banking spokesperson Adam Bandt called on the Treasurer to hold a finance sector job summit in the wake of ANZ's announcement today to cut a thousand jobs.

Mr Bandt also called on Treasurer Swan to act on Lenders Mortgage Insurance after he acknowledged that it was a barrier to competition. He called on the Treasurer to back the Green's bill allowing insurance to be refunded when customers switch banks.

"A thousand jobs in finance should be just as important as a thousand jobs in manufacturing," Mr Bandt said.

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Bandt welcomes high speed broadband for Melbourne

Greens MP Adam Bandt has welcomed the decision to make Melbourne one of the next places for the roll out of high speed broadband.

NBN Co has released its 12-month construction outlook. The schedule lists the communities in each state and territory where work will begin between now and September 2012.

Further details on the specific sites in the electorate will be released in July next year.

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Good day for democracy, time to go online: Bandt

Speaking in Parliament Greens MP Adam Bandt has backed a bill that will restore the voting rights of tens of thousands of Australians and criticised the Coalition for continuing to back Howard government restrictions on late enrolments.

Mr Bandt has also said it is time the Australian Electoral Commission looked at online enrolment.

The ban on late enrolments was successfully challenged in the High Court before the last election by the campaign group GetUp.

"This is a good day for democracy in Australia", Greens MP Adam Bandt said today.

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Bandt FOI amendments on broadband pass lower house

Greens MP Adam Bandt has successfully amended the National Broadband Network legislation to allow freedom of information requests to be made of the company running the network.

The amendments passed despite a last minute Opposition attempt to derail the amendments.

"This is a big win for transparency and openness in the rollout of high-speed broadband in Australia," Mr Bandt said today.

"High-speed broadband is crucial to Australia's future and it is essential that its development is subject to high levels of accountability."

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