Joint Communique - ACT Greens and ACT Labor reaffirm commitment to Parliamentary Agreement

ACT Labor leader Andrew Barr and Parliamentary leader of the ACT Greens Shane Rattenbury have reaffirmed their commitment to the 2012 Labor-Greens Parliamentary Agreement, following the resignation of Katy Gallagher as Chief Minister, and the nomination of Minister Barr as the new Chief Minister.

Mr Rattenbury will vote to formally appoint Minister Barr as the ACT Chief Minister in the Legislative Assembly later this morning.

Mr Barr and Mr Rattenbury yesterday exchanged letters to reaffirm the endorsement of the Parliamentary Agreement for the 8th Assembly and ensure continued progress towards the remaining items.

The Parliamentary Agreement is a shared agenda to be implemented over the four-year term of the Government covering all portfolio areas. The Agreement was made in 2012 to formalise the relationship between the ACT Greens and ACT Labor to form Government until the next election in October 2016, when the Agreement expires.

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My Week of Campaigning in Melbourne

To support the Victorian Greens for their recent election campaign, a group of ACT Greens supporters travelled to Melbourne to volunteer full-time. Rachel Lynskey spent a week campaigning on Ellen Sandell’s campaign for Melbourne - which saw Ellen become the first lower house Greens MP in the Victorian State Parliament.

Snap snap snap. Ring ring ring. Knock knock knock. For a week these were the sounds of my day.

Much of my time was spent in the campaign office - a large, open area filled with tables, computers, fruit, timeline posters and couches. Staff and volunteers worked together - there was no divide between staff who had been at their desks for months longer than new volunteers fresh of the train from Canberra. Everyone was welcome and willing on this team. It was a beautiful hive of activity orchestrated by a passionate team.

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Big parties cash in on electoral reform Bill

Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury has rejected a Bill presented to the Assembly today that would increase public funding for ACT elections from $2 to $8 per vote and see political parties receive a financial windfall at the expense of the ACT’s democracy.

 “While the Greens support public funding of elections to reduce undue or corrupt influence, the public funding must serve as a replacement to large donations - not be in addition to them,” said Mr Rattenbury

 “Yet this Bill increases public funding from $2 per vote to $8 per vote while removing the restriction on the size of donations.

 “The big parties want to see the $10,000 limit on donations removed; the Greens want that cap halved to $5,000. The big parties have given themselves a $1million budget for election campaigns; the Greens want to see election campaign spending cut to half a million for parties.

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ACT Assembly calls on Tony Abbott to reverse cuts to ABC and SBS

The ACT Assembly today passed a motion from ACT Greens Member Shane Rattenbury, calling on the Federal Government to reverse its short sighted funding cuts to the ABC and SBS.

 The Greens motion was passed with the support of the Labor Party, but was opposed by Jeremy Hanson and the Canberra Liberals.

 “It’s important that our local Assembly stands up against these cuts, imposed on the back of a spectacular broken promise, which will cause significant local detriment here in the ACT,” said Mr Rattenbury.

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ABC cuts a betrayal of local broadcasting and women's sport

The announcement earlier this week that the Federal Government would cut $254 million from the budget of our national broadcaster, along with $50m from SBS, will have a detrimental impact on local media coverage and a potentially devastating impact on women’s sport, said ACT Greens MLA, Shane Rattenbury.

 Mr Rattenbury has tabled a motion for debate in the Assembly calling on all members to oppose the cuts and to condemn the Federal Coalition Government for its attack on public broadcasting.

 “In response to the cuts, the ABC has announced a range of cut backs. Around 400 jobs will be lost across Australia and at least 8 staff will go from our local ABC,” said Mr Rattenbury.

 “It is likely that televising a number of women’s sports will cease, including the W-League and the WNBL.

 “This is a betrayal of women’s sport, which has grown vastly in the past few decades. Many of the teams now have a considerable supporter base and substantial sponsorship deals. 


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Greens call on ACT Government to Divest

ACT Greens MLA, Shane Rattenbury, is calling on the ACT Government to divest its investment in Whitehaven Coal, the company behind the Maules Creek mine proposal.

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Light rail to transport Canberra into the future

Today is an exciting day for the sustainable future of our city with the release of the business case for the ACT’s light rail project, ACT Greens Member for Molonglo, Shane Rattenbury said today.

“We’ve been talking about building light rail for over two decades and now, thanks to the Greens-Labor Parliamentary Agreement, we are seeing the project come to fruition,” said Mr Rattenbury. 

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Medicinal cannabis – exactly what trials are needed?

ACT Greens Member for Molonglo, Shane Rattenbury, has called on the ACT Government to specify what trials are needed and why overseas evidence is not adequate when it comes to the medicinal use of cannabis.

 “It’s positive to see politicians acknowledging the need for work on medicinal cannabis, but I am deeply concerned that Governments are finding excuses not to take real and immediate action,” said Mr Rattenbury. 

 “The ACT should act now on medicinal cannabis instead of calling for clinical trials or a national approach which will only defer or delay access for those who are suffering now.    

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Breaking News from Shane from the Assembly (Sep 25)

As Greens MLA and now Government Minister I am passionate about the sustainability of our city – streets that are safe for people to walk and cycle are a critical part of that. Today I am excited to see the tabling of a report that I’ve been working toward for some time – the ACT Government Response to the Inquiry into “vulnerable road users”. I moved to establish the inquiry because I know that so much more can be done to make our streets safer for those road users who are most vulnerable to injury – pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. As TAMS Minister and a member of cabinet I have been working through the recommendations of the inquiry, and helping to draft the formal government response.

 I am really pleased that so many of the policy, legal, educational and infrastructure reforms the Greens have consistently advocated for are now officially part of ACT Government policy. AS TAMS Minister in charge of delivering our roads and paths, I am really looking forward to getting on with implementing these reforms.

 Click here for more information and to read the full report


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ACT to lead the way on safety & sustainable transport

Shane Rattenbury, ACT Greens Member for Molonglo, said that new policy and legal changes to prioritise and protect “vulnerable road users” is a positive turning point for Canberra’s transport environment. 

 The changes come after the ACT Government responded to a Committee inquiry into vulnerable road users, which Mr Rattenbury established in 2013.

 “The Government response to this report is very positive, and to me it reflects the progress that can be made with Greens in Government,” said Mr Rattenbury, who is also the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services. 

 “I am pleased to have had input into the Government response and I think the process has worked well. As TAMS Minister I will also oversee and deliver some of the practical changes.

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