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Motion: Introduction of Fair Work Amendment (COVID-19) Bill 2020

I move:

That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend the Fair Work Act 2009, and for related purposes.

Question agreed to.

I present the bill and move:

That this bill may proceed without formalities and be now read a first time.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a first time.

Second Reading

I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

I seek leave to table an explanatory memorandum relating to the bill.

Leave granted.

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Motion: Higher Education

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) successive governments have cut university funding, leaving the sector reliant on international student fees to fund education and research,

   (ii) the Covid-19 crisis has highlighted how vulnerable the government has left our tertiary education system, and

   (iii) the Government has allowed casualisation and insecure work to run rampant at universities, to the detriment of students' learning, staff well-being and research excellence; and

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Motion: Narrabri Gas Project

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) Prime Minister Scott Morrison has signed off on a $2 billion deal with the New South Wales Government that would fast track the Narrabri Gas Project (NGP), which will extract gas from coal seams lying deep beneath the mighty Pilliga Forest,

   (ii) the NGP is fiercely opposed by local communities, farmers, and ecologists because it threatens the Pilliga Forest, the Great Artesian Basin, farmers' livelihoods, and food and water security, and

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Motion: Indian Citizenship Act

Senators Di Natale and Faruqi: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act in India on 10 December 2019, which legalised the granting of Indian citizenship based on religion but specifically excluded muslims;

(b) expresses deep concern that the Indian Government has created the legal grounds to strip millions of muslims of the fundamental right of equal access to citizenship;

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Speech: Holden Closure Inquiry

Mehreen Faruqi 27 Feb 2020

The Greens support this matter going to an inquiry. Hundreds of workers at Holden are set to lose their jobs within weeks. We really need to look into the impact of this government's lack of future plans for our industry and manufacturing sector. Holden's shutdown should be a wake-up call to the Morrison government. We need to urgently deliver a coherent, forward-looking, clean and green industry, with decent jobs that value workers. Now is the time to ensure that Australia is on the path to be a renewables powerhouse.

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Order for Production of Documents: Australian Research Council

The Greens support this order for the production of documents, given the lack of transparency in the Morrison government and how they have politicised research grants. It is absolutely shameful. It wasn't too long ago that the Liberals inserted a jingoistic so-called national interest test for ARC grants. It wasn't too long ago that Senator Birmingham vetoed research grants that had gone through rigorous processes to be recommended for funding. During the election, the Morrison government used ARC grant announcements to try to gain electoral benefit.

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Motion: Baboons & Animal Testing

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) 3 baboons made a bid for freedom in Sydney this week,

   (ii) the baboons were from a colony bred for use in research,

   (iii) animal testing causes harm and suffering to animals, and

   (iv) the episode has highlighted the community's concern for the welfare of animals used in experimentation and research;

(b) wishes the baboons well; and

(c) calls on the Federal Government to:

   (i) ensure national transparency and accountability in the use of animals in research, and

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Speech: Industrial Manslaughter Laws

It has long been Greens policy to have federal laws on industrial manslaughter and to have them in the Crimes Act so that employers can be held accountable for the tragic loss of hundreds of lives on worksites around Australia. The current patchwork, really, of state and territory laws does not protect workers. I sat on this inquiry, and we heard devastating stories. In many cases the inquest takes so long that the statute of limitations expires, so no-one is held accountable. The system is definitely failing.

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Motion: Childcare

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) it is women who remain disproportionately more likely to arrange childcare and are assessed under the Government's 'activity test' to access childcare support, and

   (ii) under the government's 'activity test', only parents who undertake approved courses of education or study meet the activity test requirements;

(b) considers that:

   (i) it wrong that parents studying Masters degrees or PhDs that are not approved by the government do not meet the activity test requirements, and

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Speech: Climate Change

We are in a climate emergency, and those in the government are sitting on their hands, hands which are stained with the dirty donations from the fossil fuel lobby. The Liberals' lack of action has us fully on track for 3.4 degrees of warming, which will have catastrophic consequences. History will remember you as the cowards who did nothing in a climate emergency. History will remember you as villains who blocked international action on climate. And history will remember you as the dishonest government who knew the signs and chose not to act to save the planet.

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