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Iraq training mission another ill-advised captain’s call

Liberal and Labor combined today to deny the Parliament a debate on sending more troops to Iraq, leaving it to Tony Abbott to make another captain's call, said Greens Leader Christine Milne.

"Prime Minister Abbott has made another ill-advised captain's call, deploying more Australian troops to Iraq without reference to the Australian Parliament or the Australian people," said Senator Milne.

"Mr Abbott backs himself with a row of flags, but he doesn't have enough respect for the community to seek the backing of their elected representatives.

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Coalition’s delay on food labelling hurts consumers, farmers, themselves

The Australian Greens are calling on the Coalition to stop bickering and vote for clearer food labelling.

"The Country of Origin food labelling Bill that is currently before Parliament is the result of years of consultation with the industry. It deserves this government's support," said Greens Leader Christine Milne.

"This issue has cross-party support. Why would Barnaby Joyce deliberately reject the help of others who have a long-standing commitment to it?

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No extra food safety checks after Hep A outbreak

Under questioning by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert, the Department of Agriculture has confirmed berries being imported to Australia are not being subjected to any extra safety checks, in spite of contaminated products sparking an outbreak of Hepatitis A.

Department of Agriculture Secretary Dr Paul Grimes has told a Senate Estimates hearing this morning, "We have not made changes on surveillance rates broadly at this stage."

Senator Siewert has described that as a completely ludicrous failure.

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Greens move for food label honesty for Tasmania

Tasmanian producers could benefit from greater honesty in food labelling if a bill to be introduced in the parliament today by Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne is passed.

"Tasmanian food producers have carved a niche for themselves domestically and globally for quality, regional goods and that should be protected," Senator Milne said.

"My bill in the parliament will ensure that only Australian grown or produced products can be labelled that way.

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Greens say urgent efforts needed to spare Australians on death row

Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne says further, urgent efforts must be made to save Australians Andrew Chan and Mayuran Sukumaran from execution in Indonesia, and changes are needed to ensure their situation is not repeated.

"I'm calling on Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to make one last trip to Indonesia to try to intervene on behalf of these men, who have now been told they will be killed within three weeks," said Senator Milne.

"Let's not talk about the ‘fate' of these men while we may still have the power to change it.

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Press freedom worth fighting for

Greens Leader Christine Milne says it is great news and a democratic victory that Australian journalist Peter Greste has finally been released from prison in Egypt.

"I am so happy for Peter and his family, who have all been so strong and stoic throughout these 400 days of injustice," said Senator Milne.

"Journalism is not a crime, and we must keep up the pressure on Egypt to free Peter Greste's Al Jazeera colleagues, who have suffered alongside him for simply doing their jobs.

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