All blubber, no bone in Government whaling plans

  Environment Minister Peter Garrett has decided that he should attend the meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Portugal next month instead of his much touted Whaling Envoy, Sandy Hollway, it was revealed today.   Questioning in Senate Estimates today revealed that despite spending more than $309,106.36 for Mr Hollway’s fees and travel costs,…

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Rudd Government ‘Indian givers’ to SBS

  Supposed extra funding for SBS might be little more than an accounting trick, Senator Simon Birmingham said today.   The Rudd Government claimed in its recent budget that it was allocating additional funding of $20 million over three years to SBS.   However, in Senate Budget Estimates today it was revealed that the Government…

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Regional communications promise on the never never

  $325 million promised by Labor for regional communications has vanished from the budget, leaving regional Australia with little hope of seeing improved services, Senator Simon Birmingham said today.   Under questioning in Senate Budget Estimates today it was revealed that of the $400 million interest earned by the former Communications Fund – and promised…

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Senators united in opposing pipeline

  Coalition, Greens and Independent Senators have today expressed unusually strong and united opposition to the Victorian Government’s Sugarloaf Pipeline now under construction, Senator Simon Birmingham said today.   The parties have taken the rare step of issuing a consensus dissenting report to the Government-controlled majority report for the Senate inquiry into the Water Amendment…

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Missing water will cost millions

  The failure to include water issues and management of the Murray-Darling Basin on the agenda for tomorrow’s COAG meeting will cost taxpayers millions in legal fees, according to Liberal Senator for South Australia Simon Birmingham.   The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meets in Hobart tomorrow.   “With South Australia threatening to take Victoria…

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The warning label Mr Rudd should have at COAG:

  Plans by the Prime Minister to talk about alcohol warning labels at the COAG meeting in Adelaide today but not the River Murray just aren’t good enough according to South Australian Senator Simon Birmingham.   “Making alcohol producers put warning labels on their products is an easy decision for a Prime Minister looking for…

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Desperate and dateless on water

  Kevin Rudd needs to urgently set a date for a meeting with the states on saving the Murray-Darling Basin, Senator Simon Birmingham said today   Senator Birmingham said with the Murray-Darling left off of this week’s COAG meeting agenda, Mr Rudd needs to immediately set another date to bring the states into line and…

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Waste inquiry not a waste for the environment

  Waste management will be the subject of a parliamentary inquiry, after the Senate passed a motion moved by Senator Simon Birmingham this morning.   The move comes as the federal and state governments claim to be working towards a phase-out of single-use plastic bags by 2009, but with the Rudd Government flip flopping on…

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Next G™ connection problems? Call me.

  Senator Simon Birmingham wants to hear from South Australians having difficulty with the transition from the soon to be closed CDMA mobile phone network to Telstra’s Next G™ network.   It follows Communications Minister Stephen Conroy’s decision today to push back by three months to 28 April the switch off of the CDMA network.…

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