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Debate on the Omnicuts Bill

I think it is really important to understand what is going on here. What is going on here is that we have a piece of legislation that is going to result in a saving of $6 billion; it is an incredibly complex piece of legislation. For the benefit of the new senators, who have not even had the opportunity to look at this legislation in detail, the legislation involves the abolition of Medicare-funded dental care for young children—something that was negotiated as a result of the 2010 parliament.

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Restoring Territory Rights (Dying with Dignity) Bill 2016

Senator DI NATALE

I move:

(1) That so much of standing orders be suspended as would prevent this resolution having effect.

(2) That the Restoring Territory Rights (Dying with Dignity) Bill 2016 be restored to the Notice Paper and that consideration of the bill be resumed at the stage reached in the last session of the previous Parliament.

Question agreed to.

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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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