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Motion - International Overdose Awareness Day

I move: That the Senate— (a) notes that:

(i)   today is the 15th annual International Overdose Awareness Day, commemorating all those who have died or been seriously injured due to drug overdose, and

(ii)   six people lose their lives to preventable overdose in Australia each day; and

(b) calls on the Government to address the rising rates of harm associated with drug use by implementing and appropriately resourcing evidence-based harm reduction policies, including:

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Opening of the 45th Parliament

I begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land that we are meeting on, the Ngunawal people, and I want to pay my respects to their elders past and present. I want to acknowledge that their land was stolen and never ceded, and I look forward to a respectful dialogue in the 45th Parliament to achieve a just settlement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in this country.

Our Constitution says:

… the Senate shall have equal power with the House of Representatives in respect of all proposed laws.

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Greens will vote against plebiscite legislation

The Australian Greens have resolved to vote against any legislation enabling a plebiscite on marriage equality.

"No matter what the enabling legislation for a plebiscite looks like, the Greens will vote against it. We should never put questions of human rights to an opinion poll," said Greens Leader Richard Di Natale.

"The easiest, simplest, quickest, most effective, least costly and least harmful way of ensuring equality in marriage is through a vote in the parliament, and we can do that next week should the Prime Minister decide to show some leadership.

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New Greens’ portfolio allocations

The Australian Greens Party Room has changed portfolio responsibilities as we enter this new term of parliament.

“Thanks to the outstanding advocacy of our parliamentary team, the Australian Greens have been leading the debate on the major environmental, economic and social challenges facing our country,” said Senator Richard Di Natale, Australian Greens Leader.

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Don't punish doctors for voluntary euthanasia: Greens

Australian Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale has restated his party's intention to introduce laws to enable dying with dignity, in light of the police investigation into a Perth GP.

"Around Australia people overwhelmingly support the right of terminally ill people to end their lives on their own terms, and the law should reflect that," said Senator Di Natale, himself a former GP.

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Greens say entire plebiscite is a delay tactic against marriage equality

Expect more delays, says Greens Leader Richard Di Natale, unsurprised that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has pushed his promised plebiscite on marriage equality off to next year

"Delays are the entire point of the Liberals' plebiscite ploy. They don't want to end discrimination in the law, they want to push it off to the never-never," Senator Di Natale said.

"The Parliament could pass marriage equality into law next Tuesday, but instead the Liberals want to run a costly and divisive public vote that may be ignored by many of their so-called representatives anyway.

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Greens propose work-around to provide HIV prevention drug

The Greens are calling on the Federal Government to support personal importation of an HIV 'wonder drug' that has just been denied listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, to protect those who are most at risk.

"We simply cannot leave Australians at unnecessary risk, when this drug gives us the chance to end HIV transmission in Australia," said Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale, a former public health specialist who has worked on HIV prevention in India.

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Greens pledge to protect 18C as many times as it takes

The Australian Greens say they will keep standing with the community to protect Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, in the face of revelations Prime Minister Turnbull promised yet another attempt at changing it to win his leadership coup over Tony Abbott.

"In his rush to become Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull sold out those who would face discrimination to secure power for himself. It's disgraceful," said Greens Leader Richard Di Natale.

"Once again the far Right of the Liberal Party is leading Malcolm Turnbull, instead of the other way around.

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Legislate to protect dairy farmers: Greens

The Australian Greens are calling on the government to act to prevent retrospective price decreases in the dairy industry, while the ACCC investigates. The Greens outlined this proposal in a letter to the Deputy Prime Minister and Shadow Minister for Agriculture in June.

"Dairy farmers are hurting now and swift action is required from the government and ACCC," said Senator Richard Di Natale, Australian Greens Leader.

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