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January 2016

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Victorian Senate Ballot Ticket S – The Greens

Phew! This one is significantly longer than any of the others - over twice as long as the next longest one, in fact. It's taken around 5 hours to go through and summarise all of the Greens policies. Be prepared for a HUGE wall of text (and I'm now planning out how to break up these walls of text when I get this all nicely edited, formatted, linked, etc.)

Ticket S – The Greens http://greens.org.au/

The Australian Greens formed in 1992 as an amalgamation of approx. a dozen state and local level green groups and parties. The Australian Greens is made up of state and territory Greens parties, who set their own memberships fees and requirements, and who provide delegates to make up the National Council. This arrangement at times leads to frictions between various groups within the party over party policy and things such as centralisation vs. state/territory party autonomy. The Greens are a progressive left-wing party with a strong focus on environmentalism, human rights, health and education.

Their policies:
For: 2% company tax cut for small business, raise instant asset write off to $10k, more funding and legislative backing for the Small Business Commissioner, high speed rail, more funding for Medicare, lowering out-of-pocket health costs, build more social housing, ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, compensation for people wrongfully convicted of federal crimes, strengthening Australia’s anti-discrimination laws, equality, human rights, research and funding to identify/manage/protect important habitat and threatened species, refund the Biodiversity Fund, keep federal environmental veto powers with the federal government, establish no-go zones as part of bioregional plans, develop and resource recovery plans for threatened species and ecological communities, a National Energy Efficiency Scheme, an Energy Savings Agency, people to be paid fairly for the clean energy they produce, cleaner and cheaper energy, peak demand management targets, increasing the Renewable Energy Target to 90% by 2030, increase Clean Energy Finance to $3 billion/year for ten years, improve national electricity transmission planning, carbon pricing, emissions trading scheme, aiming for 100% clean energy, increase per student university funding by 10%, waive HECS/HELP debts for teachers in childcare day care, childcare assistance payments, more funding for childcare, streamline childcare payments, support community mental health care, Mental Health Nurses Incentive Program, Better Access program, establish a National Institute for Mental Illness Research, increased mental health funding, reintroduce the NGO Capacity Grants program for the mental health sector, suicide prevention education campaign, Western Sydney light rail network and Inner West light rail network, artistic activities that provide community benefits to be eligible for Centrelink mutual obligation requirements, additional investment for the ArtStart program, Parliament’s arts procurement polity to preference acquisitions from young and emerging Australian artists, additional tax breaks for artists starting small businesses, funding to pay artist’s fees for public art work, extend eligibility for the Australian Government Hearing Services program, investment in early language and communication intervention for hearing impaired children prior to them starting school, national database for children with hearing impairments, sound field systems for new classrooms, multidisciplinary project to address hearing impairments in Indigenous Australian communities, prioritise hearing screenings and follow up for children from remote Indigenous Australian communities, Renewable Energy Development Zones, clean energy producers/hotspots to be properly linked to the national energy grid, funding for economic development and social services for the Kimberley region, community processing for asylum seekers, bridging visas, 30 day time limit on initial asylum seeker detention, periodic judicial review of any detention longer than 30 days, double the number of Indigenous Rangers over 10 years, a Clean Air Act, regulate air pollution sources, air quality monitoring network, national standards for air quality, emission standards for non-road engines, tighter emission standards for heaters, national minimum standard for rental tenancies, review and increase funding to the state/territory Tenancy Advice Services, funding for landlords to make upgrades to meet the minimum standards, improve security of tenure of tenancies, increase stability and fairness of rent prices, better protection for vulnerable renter groups, increase safety and security of rental properties, efficiency and environmental standards for rentals, national standard times for child-friendly TV ads, Australian Community Renewable Energy Program, community-owned clean energy projects, funding to reform rural mental health services, investment into community-based mental health programs, increase investment into science research and innovation to 3% of GDP by 2020, Open Access Publishing of government-funded research, re-fund the Sustainable Research Excellence program, investment into health research, create Integrated Health Research Centres to translate research results to clinical practice, a new National Research Infrastructure Facilities Council, Future Fellowships schemes, default 5 year ARC and NHMRC grants, more investment in community broadcasters, Australian Music Radio Airplay project, establish a Content Creation Fund to support innovative programming, a community broadcasting training fund, funding for the Community Broadcasting Foundation to support development in rural and regional areas, investment in tagging and research studies of shark species, the Whale Shark Recovery Plan, prevent the Grey Nurse shark from going extinct, register of foreign ownership of agricultural land and water assts, lower the threshold for consideration by the Foreign Investment Review Board to $5 million, stronger national interest test to be applied by the Foreign Investment Review Board for purchases of agricultural land and water resources, food security, increased legal aid funding, increased funding for community legal centres, increased funding for Indigenous Australians’ legal services, reducing federal court fees to 2010/2011 levels, voluntary euthanasia, fair indexation for military and civilian Commonwealth superannuation, increased funding for the Australian Bureau of Statistics, strategic impact statements for the Great Barrier Reef before any new developments can be approved, increased funding to farmers to improve water quality, increased funding for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, reducing marine pollution, clear country of origin labelling on products, fibre to the home NBN, structural separation of Telstra’s wholesale and retail arms, NBN information to be available under the Freedom of Information Act, moves to privatise the NBN being subject to review to protect the public interest and to require Parliament approval, a Capital Grants Fund to build or expand childcare centres, increased funding to rural and regional hospitals, infrastructure grants for rural and regional clinics, grants for doctors to provide training in rural areas, funding after hours care in rural areas, gun control, Australian Youth Parliament, youth Question Time, Parliamentary Press Gallery to have a mentoring program for young aspiring journalists and newsmakers, UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, national action plan for Indigenous Australian reconciliation and equality, nuclear testing veterans to receive the same health care as combat veterans, increase TAFE funding, more investment in agricultural research and development, create a Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, re-prioritise Commonwealth funding for agricultural sectors and rural communities, Independent Health Advisory Panel to monitor asylum seeker health and wellbeing while detention is still ongoing, regulate sports science (accreditation, medical oversight, etc.), strengthen competition laws, increase resources and effectiveness of the ACCC, extend the Australian Consumer Law framework to include business agreements involving small business and farmers, ACCC ex-post assessment into their decisions relating to the grocery market, support wildlife carer training programs, funding for wildlife care expenses and equipment, research into wildlife care and rehabilitation, 24 hour wildlife care advice hotlines, community education on wildlife care, targeted awareness campaign on eye health, increased funding into eye health and vision research and monitoring, development and funding of a 10 year national eye health and vision strategy for high risk populations, funding into research and technology for eye disease and eye health treatments, Justice Reinvestment programs, increase humanitarian intake to 30 000/year, fund safe assessment centres run by UNHCR and welfare organisations for asylum seekers, assist the UNHCR to speed up asylum seeker assessments and resettlements, farmers markets, community food box schemes, producer cooperatives, local food hubs for packaging and value-adding local food, creating and marketing a regional food brand, a National Biosecurity Commission, a National Biosecurity Authority, $1 bet limits on pokies, pokies load up limit of $20, pokies jackpot limit of $500, flood levees, permanent fire breaks, coastal protection works, increase funding to the National Disaster Resilience Program, re-fund the National Climate Change Adaptation Facility, $2/tonne levy on coal exports to fund disaster prevention/mitigation programs, six months paid maternity leave at 100% replacement wage (capped at $100k/year), two weeks paid paternity leave at 100% replacement wage (capped at $100k/year), amend workplace laws so women have stronger rights to return to their jobs and low income/casual workers are not disadvantaged, increase funding for schools, bring public schools up to the Schooling Resource Standard, direct additional funding for schools to where it is most needed, direct school funding to assist children with disabilities, $50/week increase to Newstart and Youth Allowance, a further $40/week increase to Newstart for single parents, higher income free threshold for single parents, better indexation of allowance payments, better job services, enforceable right to ask for flexible working conditions, independent measurement of methane emissions from coal seam gas, extend water protection to shale gas/tight gas/underground coal gasification, stronger environmental laws, the right of farmers and landholders to say no to coal mining and coal seam gas on their land, water protection, increase funding to homelessness services, build 7000 new homes by 2020, 30% Location Tax Offset for films, location offset to apply to all films, restore the Regional Arts Fund, invest in artistic cultural development officers for regional and remote local governments, simplify grants programs for the arts, work/life balance, grant program to help farmers under pressure from high energy usage for capital equipment upgrade and renewable energy system installation, include national parks under national environmental laws, same-sex marriage, Denticare, protecting native forests, sustainably managed logging plantations, 40% mineral resources rent tax, higher tax rate on incomes over $1 million/year, bank levy on bank assets in excess of $100 billion, a National Anti-Corruption Commission, greater transparency and accountability for corporate lobbyists, clean energy subsidies, regulate coal dust in the atmosphere, Fair Trade Agreements, support local manufacturing, assist local manufacturing to become more energy efficient, penalty rates, fair wages, unfair dismissal protection, permanent jobs over casual jobs, support for firefighters who contract cancer in their line of work, increased investment in science/maths/Asian language education in schools, increase the living away from home Youth Allowance by $100/fortnight, increase affordable rental and student housing places under the National Housing Affordability Plan, increase renters’ rights, more effective Rent Assistance, National Disability Insurance Scheme, aged care reform, sustainable transport infrastructure, public transport, freight rail, active transport (e.g. bikes), housing affordability, sustainable housing, new federal Equality Act, Constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians, improve the Native Title Act, increase foreign aid to 0.5% GNI by 2015 and 0.7% by 2020, additional investment to meet our commitment to the UN Millenium Development Goals for reducing global poverty, legislate to make the power to declare war and deploy armed forces contingent on parliamentary approval, better scrutiny of Free Trade agreements, support equal pay, assist women to achieve greater financial security, pro-choice, increase women’s representation in all levels of government, regulate 40+% board positions of large companies to be held by women, anti-discrimination laws to extend to domestic violence victims, support women’s reproductive health foreign aid programs, legislate truth in political advertising, three year fixed terms for Parliament, tougher regulation of lobbyists, disclosure of lobbyist activities, a referendum to recognise local government in the Constitution, lower the voting age to 16, online privacy and civil liberties, amend the Telecommunications legislation to include warrant requirements for law enforcement, media reform, public interest tests to prevent further consolidation of the media, reform copyright law,

Against: mistreatment of people in detention, low bulk billing rates, high out-of-pocket health costs, religious exemptions to anti-discrimination laws, subsidies to fossil fuel companies, coal exports, fossil fuel power plants, higher education budget cuts, overspending on new roads, mining in the Kimberley, mandatory detention, Pacific solution, PNG solution, Malaysia solution, indefinite and long term detention for asylum seekers, offshore detention centres, high rents, targeted advertising of harmful products to children, subscription TV channels dedicated to children’s programming showing ads for junk food/gambling/alcohol, companies using email and smartphones to target underage customers with advertising material for unhealthy food/gambling/alcohol, the purchase of agricultural land and water assets by wholly owned subsidiaries of foreign governments, dredging and offshore dumping of dredge spoil in World Heritage waters, new coal or gas ports in pristine areas, damaging port expansions, fibre to the node NBN, semi-automatic handguns (government owned weapons exempted), supermarket duopoly owning agricultural land, children in detention, exotic pests and diseases coming into Australia, coal seam gas, gas and coal ports along the Great Barrier Reef, homelessness, sponsorship of sporting teams by gambling companies, advertising live odds at any time, ‘cash-for-comment where sports commentators integrate promotion of betting companies into sports programs’, Future Fund investment in fossil fuels, nuclear weapons and nuclear power, uranium mining, live exports, industrial native forest logging and woodchipping, converting native forests to plantations, importing primates for experimentation, fossil fuel industry subsidies, Free Trade Agreements, WorkChoices or similar, casual and insecure jobs, asbestos, traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, Northern Territory Emergency Response program and Stronger Futures program, taking money from foreign aid for military needs or asylum seeker detention, mandatory internet filtering,

Top 10: The Wikileaks Party, Sex Party, Pirate Party, Drug Law Reform, Secular Party of Australia, Group T, Bullet Train for Australia, Stop CSG, Group AJ, Australian Democrats

Bottom 10: Country Alliance, Smokers Rights, Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party, Shooters and Fishers, No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics, Australian Christians, Stop the Greens, Citizens Electoral Council, Rise Up Australia Party, One Nation

Where is my vote likely to end up?: The Greens or Labor