Dam hearings

The public hearings are being held for the Senate Committee inquiry into water supplies in south-east Queensland, which is focused particularly on the proposed Traveston Dam on the Mary River just south of Gympie. There is a fairly full program of witnesses on both days. Please like & share:

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Wins on petrol sniffing

Just over a year ago I wrote about a Senate Committee inquiry into petrol sniffing. As my comments at the time suggested, I was uncertain how much value would come out of the inquiry, given the number of similar inquiries which had preceded it. However, it does appear to have been some significant steps forward…

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Disability Agreement

I’m in Hobart at the moment for another round of hearings on the Commonwealth-State/Territory Disability Agreement (CSTDA), following on from some I went to in Brisbane last week. (It seems that unawares I flew in on the same plane as Princess Mary, which shows how unobservant I am) The next round of the CSTDA is…

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Red Tape smothers Black Lives

A Senate Estimates Committee yesterday revealed just how farcical the so-called greater efficiencies of the new ‘whole of government’ approach towards Indigenous Australians is. The Committee was questioning the federal government’s Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination about a report done into the Council of Australian Government (COAG) trial in the Northern Territory community of Wadeye….

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Stem Cell Inquiry reports

The report of the Senate Committee examining the stem cell legislation is released today, after three public hearings and nearly 500 public submissions. It is hard to know how many Senators and MPs are still undecided on the issue, but those that are will probably draw on the report for information to some extent. I…

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Stolen Wages hearing

Yesterday was the first day of public hearings for the Senate inquiry into the Stolen Wages issue. This inquiry was initiated by a motion from me, and I must say I was a bit anxious leading up to today’s hearings. Many indigenous people have already suffered a lot of frustration, anger and insult through stolen…

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Support for people with disabilities

The Community Affairs Committee is currently examining the funding and operation of the Commonwealth-State/Territory Disability Agreement (along with four other inquiries). I was in Sydney today attending part of a public hearing for this Inquiry. The next round of the CSTDA is currently being negotiated between the two levels of government. Hopefully the information provided…

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Government laws to further concentrate media ownership set to be pushed through Senate next week

The federal government’s legislation to allow further concentration in the ownership of Australia’s media was introduced into Parliament on the 14th September. It was sent straight to a Senate Committee which has to report by the end of this week (6th October). The government’s draft program has listed the Media Ownership Bills for debate as…

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Brown & the Brethren

There’s a motion being put by Senator Bob Brown today to hold a Senate Inquiry into aspects to do with the Exclusive Brethren, which is a fundamentalist Christian sect. Some members of the Brethren funded advertising attacking some of the Green Party’s policies in the most recent Tasmanian election. There have been some serious allegations…

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Land Rights Report Tabled

The Senate Committee Inquiry into the Northern Territory Land Rights Act (which I wrote about in this post) has tabled its report.* You can read the report by clicking on this link. Unfortunately, despite the overwhelmingly obvious evidence that there was insufficient consultation and time devoted to this most fundamental of issues, the government members…

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Wet Tropics world heritage

On Wednesday afternoon, our Senate Committee was standing in the richly red dirt, with Uluru looming in the background, listening to the land’s traditional owners speak of their concerns and the opportunities for their people and the region’s environment. On Thursday morning, we were standing around a stream in the rainforest of Mossman Gorge, north…

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