General

news-stories

Queensland Floods Appeal

11 Jan 2011

The tragic loss of life in the Queensland floods, as well as the shocking images of besieged cities, evacuated suburbs, homes and cars swept away and farms ruined, leaves us luckier Australians asking how we can help.
Please join with us in giving to the Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal.From http://www.qld.gov.au/floods/donate.htmlThe Queensland Government has launched an appeal to help fellow Queenslanders affected by the recent floods. Many communities have been devastated. Some families have lost everything. You can help make a difference by donating to the Premier's Flood Relief Appeal.At this time, the Queensland Government is inviting financial donations only. Unfortunately this appeal cannot accept donations of goods or services.

The tragic loss of life in the Queensland floods, as well as the shocking images of besieged cities, evacuated suburbs, homes and cars swept away and farms ruined, leaves us luckier Australians asking how we can help.

Please join with us in giving to the Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal.

From http://www.qld.gov.au/floods/donate.html

The Queensland Government has launched an appeal to help fellow Queenslanders affected by the recent floods. Many communities have been devastated. Some families have lost everything. You can help make a difference by donating to the Premier's Flood Relief Appeal.

At this time, the Queensland Government is inviting financial donations only. Unfortunately this appeal cannot accept donations of goods or services.

estimates

OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises

23 Dec 2010

SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE ON ECONOMICS QUESTION - (Supplementary Budget Estimates 20 October - 21 October)Senator Ludlam asked:Senator LUDLAM-Thank you. So you have two cases ongoing. Mr Colmer has attended a couple ofmeetings. This might be germane to the meetings that Mr Colmer has attended: what is the Australiangovernment's position on calls to strengthen the text of the guidelines for the current review of the OECDGuidelines for Multinational Enterprises? There are obviously calls from several society groups and somegovernments to strengthen the guidelines in regard to human rights; free, prior and informed consent; duediligence; supply chains; transparency; and disclosure, among other matters. Has the Australian governmentgot a formal position, have we put a draft text, or is there any documentary position that you can provide for usthat we are taking into these negotiations?

SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE ON ECONOMICS QUESTION - (Supplementary Budget Estimates 20 October - 21 October)

Senator Ludlam asked:

Senator LUDLAM-Thank you. So you have two cases ongoing. Mr Colmer has attended a couple of
meetings. This might be germane to the meetings that Mr Colmer has attended: what is the Australian
government's position on calls to strengthen the text of the guidelines for the current review of the OECD
Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises? There are obviously calls from several society groups and some
governments to strengthen the guidelines in regard to human rights; free, prior and informed consent; due
diligence; supply chains; transparency; and disclosure, among other matters. Has the Australian government
got a formal position, have we put a draft text, or is there any documentary position that you can provide for us
that we are taking into these negotiations?

estimates

Strengthening the Australian National Contact Point (NCP)

23 Dec 2010

SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE ON ECONOMICS QUESTION - (Supplementary Budget Estimates 20 October - 21 October)Senator Ludlam asked:Senator LUDLAM-There have been some calls, since the last time we spoke, about strengthening theinstitutional arrangements and independence of the Australian NCP. Is their a view within government-eitherwithin the department or with the minister-that this would be appropriate? I guess what I am asking is: are we happy with the situation as it is?Mr Di Giorgio-I think it is fair to say that our thinking on the position is that there is a process in the OECD at the moment around that. We are part of that process in considering how that may evolve. But it is not a settled position as such and so it is something that we would have to consider and brief and seek the opinionof government on.Senator LUDLAM-When does that review conclude? What can you tell us about the timing of that?Mr Di Giorgio-I would have to check and give you the facts on that. I know there are meetings happening this year and there is another one occurring, I believe, in December.Answer:

SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE ON ECONOMICS QUESTION - (Supplementary Budget Estimates 20 October - 21 October)
Senator Ludlam asked:

Senator LUDLAM-There have been some calls, since the last time we spoke, about strengthening the
institutional arrangements and independence of the Australian NCP. Is their a view within government-either
within the department or with the minister-that this would be appropriate? I guess what I am asking is: are we happy with the situation as it is?

Mr Di Giorgio-I think it is fair to say that our thinking on the position is that there is a process in the OECD at the moment around that. We are part of that process in considering how that may evolve. But it is not a settled position as such and so it is something that we would have to consider and brief and seek the opinion
of government on.

Senator LUDLAM-When does that review conclude? What can you tell us about the timing of that?

Mr Di Giorgio-I would have to check and give you the facts on that. I know there are meetings happening this year and there is another one occurring, I believe, in December.

Answer:

media-releases

PM must retract “illegal” WikiLeaks claim

17 Dec 2010

The Australian Greens have called on Prime Minister Gillard to unequivocally retract her claim that the work of WikiLeaks is "illegal". Greens communications and legal affairs spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said the Prime Minister had attempted to back-pedal on her original claim but a straight-forward retraction was in order.


The Australian Greens have called on Prime Minister Gillard to unequivocally retract her claim that the work of WikiLeaks is "illegal".

Greens communications and legal affairs spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said the Prime Minister had attempted to back-pedal on her original claim but a straight-forward retraction was in order.

news-stories

Frustration in Senate stalling on NBN legislation

25 Nov 2010

Senator Ludlam expresses frustration at the Opposition filibustering instead of debating the amendments in the Tesltra separation legislation on what was supposed to be the last day of Parliament.

Senator Ludlam expresses frustration at the Opposition filibustering instead of debating the amendments in the Tesltra separation legislation on what was supposed to be the last day of Parliament.


media-releases

Australian Government must stop supporting Indonesian “torture” unit

04 Nov 2010

The Australian Greens have called on the Federal Government to stop funding and training an Indonesian "counter-terrorism" unit linked to a series of human rights abuses.
"On the day the Government lodged our National Report for the United Nations Human Rights Council's review, we should be taking a strong stand for human rights in our region by refusing to support an agency that is using torture," said Senator Scott Ludlam. "Special Detachment 88 has been linked to grievous human rights abuses for three years - and operates with funding and support from the Australian Government."
At a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Senate Estimates session last month Senator Ludlam grilled department officials on the Detachment's reported arbitrary arrest and torture of people in Ambon, Maluku, for peaceful protests. He was told there has been no formal or informal inquiry into the allegations.
"How much money and resources do we commit to training this outfit?" Senator Ludlam asked the hearing. "This is a unit that we fund and assist in training which is being accused of some quite horrific activities... surely we are interested in what is occurring there."
"These are not terrorist activities that these police are investigating. The demonstrators arrested in Ambon unveiled their independence flag at an event at which the Indonesian president was present... They have subsequently been jailed and many of them tortured and hospitalised," Senator Ludlam said. "70 political activists in Maluku have been imprisoned since 2007."
Detachment 88's major facility at the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Co-operation was established in 2004 with almost $40 million of Australian funding. According to its website, most of the counter-terrorism seminars at the Centre are run by the Australian Federal Police, and it is a major beneficiary of $16 million in annual funding allocated to the AFP to combat terrorism in south-east Asia.
"The United States introduced a ban on training or assisting Detachment 88 members in Maluku in 2008 after the allegations of torture first emerged in 2007, but our Government continues to actively support this unit," said Senator Ludlam.
 http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/content/transcript/detachment-88

The Australian Greens have called on the Federal Government to stop funding and training an Indonesian "counter-terrorism" unit linked to a series of human rights abuses.


"On the day the Government lodged our National Report for the United Nations Human Rights Council's review, we should be taking a strong stand for human rights in our region by refusing to support an agency that is using torture," said Senator Scott Ludlam. "Special Detachment 88 has been linked to grievous human rights abuses for three years - and operates with funding and support from the Australian Government."


At a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Senate Estimates session last month Senator Ludlam grilled department officials on the Detachment's reported arbitrary arrest and torture of people in Ambon, Maluku, for peaceful protests. He was told there has been no formal or informal inquiry into the allegations.


"How much money and resources do we commit to training this outfit?" Senator Ludlam asked the hearing. "This is a unit that we fund and assist in training which is being accused of some quite horrific activities... surely we are interested in what is occurring there."


"These are not terrorist activities that these police are investigating. The demonstrators arrested in Ambon unveiled their independence flag at an event at which the Indonesian president was present... They have subsequently been jailed and many of them tortured and hospitalised," Senator Ludlam said. "70 political activists in Maluku have been imprisoned since 2007."


Detachment 88's major facility at the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Co-operation was established in 2004 with almost $40 million of Australian funding. According to its website, most of the counter-terrorism seminars at the Centre are run by the Australian Federal Police, and it is a major beneficiary of $16 million in annual funding allocated to the AFP to combat terrorism in south-east Asia.


"The United States introduced a ban on training or assisting Detachment 88 members in Maluku in 2008 after the allegations of torture first emerged in 2007, but our Government continues to actively support this unit," said Senator Ludlam.


 http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/content/transcript/detachment-88

media-releases

Lesson of Afghanistan and Iraq: Only Parliament Should Have The Power To Declare War

27 Oct 2010

The Australian Greens used the Afghanistan war debate today to strengthen their call for Parliament to be given the power to declare war.
The Greens believe the power to send Australian forces to war should rest in the hands of Parliament," Senator Scott Ludlam told the Senate today. "The former Government's reckless and indefinite commitment to an unwinnable war in Afghanistan is a stark reminder of the need for Parliament, as the body in which the will of the people is invested, to decide upon the deployment of the nation's defence forces."
The Greens' legal affairs spokesperson used comments from the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition to support The Greens' push for more democratic decision making on war.
"The Prime Minister said she believes this debate is ‘an important one for our people and our Parliament' and that ‘our highest duty is to make wise decisions about war'," he said. "The Leader of the Opposition said ‘something as grave as a serious military campaign should be justified to the Parliament'. This justification should take place before the campaign begins, rather than nine years after the fact."
Senator Ludlam said the decision to support the invasion of Iraq was, to the best of his knowledge, made by only 17 people - a situation that must not be repeated.
"There was no debate, no discussion and certainly no vote," he said. "Never again should the executive be able to unilaterally commit this country to war."
The Senator said the United Kingdom was on the brink of adopting similar changes and the US Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war. He added that a large number of other democratic countries around the world require parliamentary approval for declarations of war.
Senator Ludlam said non-military aid would do more to assist the Afghan people than an ongoing military intervention. He was critical of the high civilian death toll and the Karzai Government's alleged corruption and vote rigging.
"The ongoing presence of foreign armed forces in Afghanistan acts as a provocation for recruitment to insurgent forces... Only a legitimate Afghan government - which draws its legitimacy from the mandate of its people - could successfully put an end to the fighting in Afghanistan."

The Australian Greens used the Afghanistan war debate today to strengthen their call for Parliament to be given the power to declare war.

The Greens believe the power to send Australian forces to war should rest in the hands of Parliament," Senator Scott Ludlam told the Senate today. "The former Government's reckless and indefinite commitment to an unwinnable war in Afghanistan is a stark reminder of the need for Parliament, as the body in which the will of the people is invested, to decide upon the deployment of the nation's defence forces."

The Greens' legal affairs spokesperson used comments from the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition to support The Greens' push for more democratic decision making on war.

"The Prime Minister said she believes this debate is ‘an important one for our people and our Parliament' and that ‘our highest duty is to make wise decisions about war'," he said. "The Leader of the Opposition said ‘something as grave as a serious military campaign should be justified to the Parliament'. This justification should take place before the campaign begins, rather than nine years after the fact."

Senator Ludlam said the decision to support the invasion of Iraq was, to the best of his knowledge, made by only 17 people - a situation that must not be repeated.

"There was no debate, no discussion and certainly no vote," he said. "Never again should the executive be able to unilaterally commit this country to war."

The Senator said the United Kingdom was on the brink of adopting similar changes and the US Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war. He added that a large number of other democratic countries around the world require parliamentary approval for declarations of war.

Senator Ludlam said non-military aid would do more to assist the Afghan people than an ongoing military intervention. He was critical of the high civilian death toll and the Karzai Government's alleged corruption and vote rigging.

"The ongoing presence of foreign armed forces in Afghanistan acts as a provocation for recruitment to insurgent forces... Only a legitimate Afghan government - which draws its legitimacy from the mandate of its people - could successfully put an end to the fighting in Afghanistan."

estimates

Transparency and Performance Audit of Infrastructure Australia

27 Oct 2010

Rural Affairs and Transport CommitteeInfrastructure Australia 21 October 2010CHAIR-Questions for Infrastructure Australia?Senator LUDLAM-I have some broad questions about the operations of IA with particular regard to the ANAO's recent performance audit. I will just do a quick trip around the country and fill in some of the issues that Senator Macdonald raised around different parts of the country. I will go first to the recommendations of the audit report. IA has agreed to 1 and 2. With regard to recommendation 1, which just says that there be greater transparency over the development of the priority lists, IA has agreed to that, which is good. Can you tell us what that is going to look like in future funding rounds? What can we expect to be different?

Rural Affairs and Transport Committee
Infrastructure Australia
21 October 2010

CHAIR-Questions for Infrastructure Australia?

Senator LUDLAM-I have some broad questions about the operations of IA with particular regard to the ANAO's recent performance audit. I will just do a quick trip around the country and fill in some of the issues that Senator Macdonald raised around different parts of the country. I will go first to the recommendations of the audit report. IA has agreed to 1 and 2. With regard to recommendation 1, which just says that there be greater transparency over the development of the priority lists, IA has agreed to that, which is good. Can you tell us what that is going to look like in future funding rounds? What can we expect to be different?

estimates

Public housing in WA boom towns - Port Hedland and Roebourne (Dampier and Karratha)

13 Oct 2010

Senator Ludlam asked:Do you have figures for either Port Hedland - Port and South (either together or disaggregated), and for Karratha and Dampier?

Senator Ludlam asked:
Do you have figures for either Port Hedland - Port and South (either together or disaggregated), and for Karratha and Dampier?

media-releases

Australian Greens, Labor commit to agreement for stable Government

01 Sep 2010

The Australian Greens and the Labor Party have signed an agreement to ensure stability for Labor in Government. The Greens will ensure supply and oppose any motion of no confidence in the Government from other parties or MPs.Labor will work with the Greens to deliver improved transparency and integrity to Parliament and pursue policies that promote the national interest and address climate change.As part of the agreement there will be regular meetings between the Prime Minister and Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown and newly-elected Lower House MP Adam Bandt."There will be a Climate Change Committee resourced as a Cabinet Committee, an investment in dental health care in the next budget and completion of a $20 million study into High Speed Rail by July 2011," said Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown.

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