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Census

I, and also on behalf of Senators Lambie and Xenophon, move: That the Senate— (a) notes:

   (i) the technical failures of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website on Census night, 9 August 2016, prevented thousands of people completing the Census,

   (ii) subsequent attempts to address the technical failures further added to confusion and impacted public confidence in the Census process,

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$300 million to implement, 15 cents to circumvent

Mandatory data retention legislation that costs over $300 million dollars to implement, and around 15 cents a day to circumvent, was due to come into effect today, but most Internet Service Providers have not received a response from the Attorney-General's Department about the plans they were required to submit, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Communications Spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said today.

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Senate Inquiry into arts funding begins in Melbourne

“The mood of arts organisations has moved substantially from shock to anger. People want to know why this is happening and why they're being forced to cut staff, sack people or cancel touring schedules.”

“The mood is actually very bleak, not just because of the amount of money that has been shifted, but the fact that from now on, George Brandis and his little hand-picked selection committees will be able to make funding decisions about touring schedules and arts funding in general. 

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Government taking ABC debate to 'hysterical levels of stridency'

Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said today that the Abbott Government should cease using Monday night's episode of Q&A to further his government's attack on the ABC and public broadcasting.

"The discussion about the editorial decisions made by the ABC is now being wound up to hysterical levels of stridency by the Abbott Government," Senator Ludlam said today.

"The ABC has apologised and will conduct a review. That is a proper process.

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Leading Abbott policy maker marks 112th birthday

The Greens have today marked George Orwell's birthday, noting his seminal work, 1984, and its considerable value to policy makers within the Abbott government.

"When Mr Orwell penned 1984, he can scarcely have imagined that all these years later it would be such a foundational inspiration for government lawmaking on privacy, anonymity and free speech," Senator Scott Ludlam said today.

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Greens welcome Senate’s rejection of SBS advertising bill

The Greens have welcomed the Senate's rejection of the Federal Government's SBS advertising bill, calling it the latest in a long line of assaults against Australia's public broadcasters.

The Greens, ALP and some crossbench MPs ensured the vote was rejected 31-28.

"Prime Minister Abbott promised no cuts to SBS or the ABC, but since coming to office they're done just that and tried to effectively blackmail SBS with the threat of increased advertising or harsher cuts," Senator Scott Ludlam, Australian Greens communications spokesperson said today.

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Debate on site blocking regime begins- urgent search for Opposition underway

Parliament has begun debating a controversial website blocking regime at the behest of foreign rights holders and lobbyists who have collectively donated millions of dollars to the Liberal and Labor parties.

"This is a lazy and dangerous piece of legislation, and it wouldn't be happening if the Opposition hadn't gone completely missing," Senator Scott Ludlam, Australian Greens communication spokesperson said today.

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Statement on the third anniversary of Julian Assange's claim for political asylum

On the third anniversary of Mr Assange's entry into the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Senator Scott Ludlam joins with many millions of WikiLeaks supporters around the world to acknowledge the continuing value of the organisation, even as we condemn the hostility with which its staff and volunteers have been treated by Western governments including our own.

Three years ago today, Julian Assange entered the embassy seeking political asylum under the 1951 Refugee Convention.

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Cross-party Senate inquiry launched into arts funding raid

The Greens have combined with the Labor Party and Senate crossbenchers to initiate an inquiry into Senator George Brandis’ unprecedented raid on Commonwealth Arts funding. 

“The Government sent shock waves through the arts community with its $105 million budget-night raid on the Australia Council. Senator Brandis has established his own Departmental funding pool with no guidelines and no evident purpose apart from to play favourites and undermine the independence of the Australia Council,” Australian Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said today. 

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