Union to give evidence against solar means test

  Union officials opposed to the Rudd Government’s means test on solar rebates will be among those giving evidence today to a Senate committee inquiry into its impact, Senator Simon Birmingham said today.   The hearings in Melbourne today follow those in Canberra on Friday, at which Environment Department officials responsible for the rebate program’s…

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Murray needs more than buyback

  The Rudd Government continues to avoid taking immediate steps to provide immediate assistance to the Coorong and Lower Lakes, Senator Simon Birmingham said today.   “Today’s announcement of a tender to purchase water entitlements in Queensland and northern New South Wales is welcome, but it will do little to address the immediate needs of…

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Department and Minister at odds over VSU

  Revelations in Senate Estimates show that Youth Minister Kate Ellis is at odds with her Department in no less than three areas over the review into voluntary student unionism.   Senator Simon Birmingham said Ms Ellis and officials today contradicted each other on: 1.    the timing of when the report into VSU was provided…

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Government can move ahead on Murray without new drain

  The Senate’s decision to block the controversial Melbourne pipeline has been enthusiastically welcomed by Senator Simon Birmingham as an historic opportunity for the Rudd Government.   The Senate has this evening voted 33-20 in favour of an amendment to the Government’s Water Amendment Bill 2008 blocking the construction and operation of the heavily criticised…

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ACT Government urges solar means test removal

  The ACT Labor Government has joined calls for the Rudd Government to abolish its means test on rebates for solar panels, Senator Simon Birmingham said today.   ACT Chief Minister John Stanhope has urged the means test’s removal in a strongly worded submission to a Senate committee inquiry into its impact:   “No consultation…

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Unions & lobbyists exempt in Labor grab for cash

  “Labor’s secret agenda to rig the political donations and disclosure system to give them an unfair political advantage has been exposed today,” Senator Simon Birmingham said today.   Senator Birmingham is a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters which today heard evidence as part of its inquiry into Labor’s plans to…

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Garrett thumbs nose at Senators, approves pipeline

  Environment Minister Peter Garrett has cynically approved a pipeline allowing Victoria to rip more water out of the Murray before a relevant Parliamentary Committee reports, Senator Simon Birmingham said today.   “In approving the north-south pipeline, Mr Garrett has today put water for Melbourne ahead of water for the Murray,” Senator Birmingham said today.…

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