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Tobacco taxation in Australia

I was able to hear the first part of Senator Leyonhjelm's speech, which was more of a pitch for tobacco donations to help fund his re-election campaign than it was based on evidence or fact. Senator Leyonhjelm is, clearly, somebody who benefits substantially from those huge donations from the tobacco industry.

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A good idea but chronically underfunded

Australian Greens Leader and former public health doctor, Senator Richard Di Natale, today said the government’s new chronic illness package has acknowledged the right problem but allocated the wrong resourcing.

“Improving coordinated care for people with chronic illness is sorely needed but the government’s proposed trial is light on detail and funding,” said Senator Di Natale.

“Based on the Minister’s comments this morning, a funding commitment equal to $340 per patient appears to be woefully inadequate.

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Greens announce health funding proposal

Australian Greens Leader and public health specialist, Dr Richard Di Natale, has today announced the Greens plan to phase out the private health insurance rebate and reinvest the savings in the public health system, including reinstating hospital funding now and for the long-term.

“It’s never easy to talk about withdrawing subsidies in an election year,” said Senator Di Natale. “But the Greens have the courage to call the private health insurance rebate what it is – unfair, inflationary and inefficient.

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Income tax proposal a cop out

The Liberals are proving they're not up to the task of tax reform, again dumping their budget problems on state and territory governments, the Australian Greens have said.

"The Turnbull Government doesn't have the ticker to take on any difficult areas of reform so it's looking for an easy way out," said Greens Leader Richard Di Natale.

"Instead of having the courage to take on unfair tax breaks like negative gearing, capital gains tax and fossil fuel subsidies, the PM is surrendering on real reform.

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Restoring Territory Rights (Dying with Dignity) Bill 2016

That the following bills be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend certain territory legislation to restore legislative powers concerning euthanasia and to repeal the Euthanasia Laws Act 1997, and for related purposes.

Question agreed to.

I present the bill and move:

That this bill may proceed without formalities and be now read a first time.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a first time.

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Immunisation

Senator DI NATALE

I move:

That the Senate notes that:

(a) in the past 20 years, Australia has an excellent record of achievement in the prevention of disease through immunisation;

(b) in the most recent annual data records (2012), there were 1,897 adverse events following immunisation;

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Cross-party push for Territory rights on dying with dignity

Australian Greens leader Dr Richard Di Natale has today reached across party lines to give notice of a co-sponsored bill that would overturn a 20 year old private member's bill by Kevin Andrews that banned the Northern Territory and ACT from legislating dying with dignity laws.

"This bill will help put dying with dignity legislation on the national agenda," said Dr Richard Di Natale.

"As a doctor, when someone gets a terminal diagnosis the feel very anxious about what their final days may bring - this legislation can give comfort at a time of great distress.

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Greens welcome passage of medicinal cannabis legislation

Australian Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale has today welcomed the passage of legislation to establish a national licensing scheme for the cultivation of medicinal cannabis.

“The Greens believe medicinal cannabis needs to be available to every patient who needs it and today we’ve seen the first piece of that puzzle pass into law,” said Senator Di Natale.

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Greens start national conversation to reduce drug harm

Australian Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale has been hosting a series of roundtables, including in Hobart, the Gold Coast, Sydney and Newcastle this week, with people working on the front lines of dealing with drug harm.

"Australia has one of the highest rates of illicit drug use in the world, despite our no tolerance policy. Treating drug use as a criminal matter, rather than a health matter, clearly isn't working," Senator Di Natale said.

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