Media Releases

GREENS SEEING RED ON CODE BLUE CALL

 

The SA Greens have welcomed today’s announcement of a Code Blue emergency homelessness response but have renewed their calls (made in parliament last week) for a review and reform of the criteria for a Cold Blue to be called.

Quotes attributable to Greens MLC, Tammy Franks:

“After heavy rains have lashed Adelaide overnight and recording our wettest day in more than two years, it is a relief to see that a code blue has finally been called. However, given the recent spate of very cold nights consistently below 6 degrees, followed by last night’s stormy weather, strong winds, and heavy rain, it beggars belief that it has taken until now for a Code Blue to finally be called.

“We cannot pretend that last night’s storm was neither unexpected nor insignificant, while radio announcers were telling people in housing to get their washing done and off the line by nightfall we heard nothing about preparations for people sleeping rough to survive the night. The fact that a Code Blue wasn’t called at that time should show our Government that the current criteria is currently too restrictive and rigid to function as it should.

“Sleeping rough shortens lives by as much as 30 years and puts people’s lives at direct risk every day. We have already seen deaths this year from those sleeping rough on these cold city nights. We keep being told that there is enough flexibility in the criteria, yet we’re not seeing Code Blues being triggered or declared when we would expect them to be.  

Code Reds (hot weather) and Code Blues (cold weather) assist those sleeping rough by connecting them with support services and providing additional services, including extended operating hours, increased shelter operations, additional food etc, when weather conditions are extreme.

The current triggers for a Code Blue are:

  • conditions predicted to continue for at least three days by the Bureau of Meteorology with any two of the following:
  • temperatures dropping below an average night-time low of 6º Celsius;
  • significant rainfall causing difficulty for unsheltered individuals to remain dry; and
  • damaging wind gusts posing a high risk for the safety of those unsheltered individuals;
    • conditions predicted by the BOM to continue for at least five days when temperatures drop below an average night-time low of 5º Celsius; or
    • any other factors related to extreme winter weather which require a Code Blue response.
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LET’S RESPECT THOSE WHO PROTECT US:

This week is National Volunteer Week: a time when as a community we reflect on and celebrate the enormous value and work of our volunteers. This includes CFS and SES volunteers. Greens MLC Tammy Franks will be bringing her Fire and Emergency Services (Volunteer Charter) Bill to a vote on the 5th of June. This Bill seeks to enshrine the CFS and SES Volunteer Charters in legislation, as well as mandate that governments consult with the CFS and SES volunteers in respect to matters that concern them.

Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks:

“This is simple legislation that would take the CFS and SES Volunteer Charters that currently sit in the regulations of this Bill and move them into the legislation itself. This is an important move to ensure that volunteers know they are valued and know that they are supported by the work of Parliament and Government.

“This legislation keeps being promised to CFS and SES Volunteers and has repeatedly been brought before the Parliament, but we keep falling short. It’s well past time to make what is such a small change to the Fire and Emergency Services Act, but a change that has such a large impact.

“CFS and SES volunteers provide an essential and invaluable service to our community. It is vital that we recognize their work by guaranteeing they get a say in what happens to them at an organizational level.

“Whilst successive Governments have said they support this legislation and the Volunteer Charters in question, the reason this legislation is necessary is because Governments have not been abiding by the charter in letter or in spirit. This Bill will compel the government to respect the charter.

 

Both the SES Volunteers Association and the CFS Volunteers Association support moving the Charters into legislation, mirroring what has been done by the Victorian Government.

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Change the Rules on Industrial Manslaughter

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 1, 2019

CHANGE THE RULES

 ON INDUSTRIAL MANSLAUGHTER

 

 

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HIGH COURT THROWS OUT CASE AGAINST SAFE ACCESS ZONES

HIGH COURT THROWS OUT CASE AGAINST SAFE ACCESS ZONES

 

The High Court has thrown out the case against safe access zone laws in Victoria and Tasmania.  Safe access zones in Victoria and Tasmania create a 150 metre protection zone outside abortion clinics, and prohibit certain behaviours.

 

The High Court upholding these safe access zones as constitutional is good news for South Australia, where legislation introduced by Tammy Franks MLC seeks to establish such zones around health care providers that offer abortion services.

The following quotes are attributable to Tammy Franks:

“Free speech is not a license to harm others without consequences. People should be able to seek and provide health care without being harassed, health care workers deserve to do their work in a safe environment so I’m glad that this basic principle has been upheld by the High Court today, we need these same protection in SA now.

Anti-abortionists have an established track record of causing serious distress, fear, and anxiety both to women seeking an abortion but to health workers who work in clinics that provide abortion services. The behaviour creates an unsafe workplace for health care staff and causes some women to delay medical treatment, and even women seeking non-abortion treatments such as pap smears and check-ups have to face the protesters. 

 “SA and WA are the only states in the country that don’t yet have safe access zones in legislation; the Bill for abortion law reform I introduced late last year seeks to change that.

“Most importantly, as the High Court so rightly pointed out; a woman’s decision whether or not to abort her pregnancy is not a political decision.”

 

 

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Public Health - Not Polemics - Should Guide Immunisation Debate

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 4, 2019

PUBLIC HEALTH - NOT POLEMICS - SHOULD GUIDE IMMUNISATION DEBATE

The SA Greens are dismayed that the Shadow Minister for Health, Chris Picton, continues to prioritise playing politics over public health and an evidence based approach in the so called ‘No Jab No Play’ debate.

The state Upper House today passed legislation (South Australian Public Health (Early Childhood Services and Immunisation) Amendment Bill 2019) that will require early childhood services to keep and provide immunisation records for all children attending their services. In the case of an outbreak significant powers and penalties will apply for non compliance, and children will be able to be excluded from attendance for non-compliance.

The following quotes are attributable to Tammy Franks: I am firmly pro-vaccination. I understand the public health outcomes, but I am also very cautious when it comes to punishing the children for the decisions of their parents and restricting rights to education as a supposed public health measure. I am even more cautious when an organisation such as the Royal Australasian College of Physicians raises concerns.

“The Bill today was supported by all parties, including Labor but the Shadow Minister Chris Picton then sulked on Twitter – complete with emojis- when he didn’t get everything his way.  A companion Bill will come before this Parliament after further public consultation. That consultation will inform future votes on these matters.”

“However, rather than consult and listen, Labor today has used the failure of their amendments to this Bill to yet again play politics with public health matters with scant regard to the impact they may have had on child protection or the rights of a child to education.”

“The SA Child Development Council recognizes the complexities of the issues around so-called ‘No Jab No Play’ legislation and the potential impacts on the human rights of a child’s right to both health and education. The Royal Australasian College of Physicians have also raised their concerns that by using too blunt an instrument in so-called ‘No Jab No Pay’ approach we may be violating the child’s human right to access education. Labor today attempted to weaponize the Bill like a sledgehammer to crack the nut of immunisation non-compliance.”

“Perhaps Labor should listen to the health professionals rather than launch into a dummy spit when their amendments didn’t pass today. Punishing children by restricting access to education for the choices their parents make is a bridge too far. The Greens also remain highly cognisant that the social determinants of health include that very access to education.”

“Vaccination works. Punitive measures made without proper consultation may well not.”

“However, when we are talking about public health measures, public health and cautious consultation guide The Greens on our votes in this matter and not the Shadow Minister’s dramatics, polemics and dummy spits.”

 

 

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UNITED FRONT TO TAKE THE POLITICS OUT OF THE COORONG UNDER NEW BILL

 

March 29, 2019

UNITED FRONT TO TAKE THE POLITICS OUT OF THE COORONG UNDER NEW BILL

Tomorrow MPs across the political divide will be joining the local community in the Coorong to talk about new legislation proposed by Greens MLC Tammy Franks. The legislation, which has been called for by the local community, will establish the Coorong Environmental Trust; an independent body with the objective of driving the restoration of flows and ecological stability within the Lower Lakes and the Coorong, with a strong focus on the Ramsar principle of sustainable use.

Labor, Liberal, Greens, and SA Best MPs will all be at the Goolwa Wharf, Goolwa tomorrow March 30 2019 from 10:00am to launch the Coorong Environmental Trust Bill 2019, which will be introduced by the Hon Tammy Franks MLC into parliament next week.

The Trust will consist of members representing organisations with a professional, financial, physical or legal commitment to the ecological wellbeing of the Coorong. This will be an independent Trust that operates outside of the Government to manage the Coorong Ramsar site.

The following quotes are attributable to Tammy Franks MLC:

“It’s time to take the politics out, and put science and the community back at the heart of the management of the Coorong and Lower Lakes.

“This Trust will empower the local and scientific community to manage the lower lakes and Coorong in the way they know and can demonstrate is best, taking some of the politics out of the management of that waterway for the benefit of the local community and the environment.

We want this Trust to be as independent from state Government, while still affording the state Government and the Parliament the opportunity to use information and reports from the Trust to inform decision making.

 

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ADELAIDE TO HOST THE SEX WORK ‘DAMES OF DECRIM’

 

March 17, 2019

ADELAIDE TO HOST THE SEX WORK ‘DAMES OF DECRIM’

Adelaide will this week host a visit from two sex work advocates who have both recently received Queens’ Honours in recognition of their services to the decriminalisation of sex work in both NSW and New Zealand. Affectionately known as the “Dames of Decrim’ they are bringing their experience to Adelaide to boost the campaign for legislative reform in SA. Both ‘Dames’ will speak at an event in support of the Decriminalisation of Sex work this Thursday night at the West Adelaide Football Club.

Dame Catherine Healy – New Zealand : "I still keep thinking we are going to be arrested at dawn, not acknowledged. I never, ever imagined this day would come."

  • Awarded the title of Dame in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2018
  • Founding member and National Coordinator of the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective (NZPC)
  • Helped draft the Prostitution Reform Act, to decriminalise sex work and to protect the rights and occupational safety of sex workers (passed in 2003)
  • Formerly a primary school teacher, she became a sex worker in the 1980s
  • Co- editor of Taking the Crime out of Sex Work (2010 Policy Press Bristol University.)

Julie Bates AO – NSW : “I thought ‘Oh my God, what have I done now?’” It's been 23 years since the sex industry was decriminalised in NSW, and still, sometimes, “the only thing you expect first thing in the morning is a knock on the door from the cops ... that kind of trauma and instinct still sits with you, no matter how many years ago it was.”

  • Awarded an Order of Australia in the 2018 Queen's Birthday Honours
  • Principal of Urban Realists Planning & Health Consultants (providing advice and support to non-government organisations representing sex workers and people who use drugs illicitly)
  • Founding member: Australian Prostitutes Collective of NSW, and the NSW Users and Aids Association (NUAA)
  • Contributed to the first National HIV/AIDS strategy
  • Former sex industry liaison officer for former South Sydney Council
  • Former consultant to the World Health Organisation on sex work and HIV/AIDS
  • Sex worker, focused on senior citizens living with a range of disabilities including dementia

The current Sex Work law reform bill is sponsored by Tammy Franks MLC and will be taken to an Upper House vote in June this year.   The model is decriminalisation and based on that which has existed in both NSW and NZ for over a decade. Ms Franks said: “South Australia has the oldest sex work laws in the country and we need reform to protect the rights of people in the sex work industry. Like it or not, sex work will always be around. So it’s time our laws matched the reality of what happens not reflected the wishes of those who would rather it didn’t. 

 

 

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Greens Call for Education Ombudsman

The Education and Children’s Services Bill is currently before the state Parliament’s Upper House.

The Greens have moved that the new Act enshrine a specialist Education Ombudsman as part of the so-called ‘once in a generation’ reform.

The following quotes are attributable to Tammy Franks:

In what the Government is touting as the biggest overhaul of education legislation in a generation we are still missing an Education Ombudsman – despite the Liberal Party in Parliament having previously supported the creation of an Education Ombudsman while in Opposition.  

As they grow up, every South Australian will likely spend more than a decade in our school system and the education system is the second largest government employer: surely, we can get the best for all in that system with the protection, rigor and reform that a specialist ombudsman would bring to the table.

Reports of problems in our education system are all too common, from teacher’s union complaints about stress placed on under-resourced staff, to parents feeling pressured to vote for school closures, to seemingly an epidemic of bullying. It’s deeply disappointing that we still don’t have an independent person or body to handle an education complaint.

We have an Ombudsman for many areas of life, but not for education. Yet education is so pivotal surely it deserves the scrutiny and specialist expertise of an Education Ombudsman to address issues and identity problems before they become systemic and intractable.

There is currently no specialist independent person or body to handle complaints within the education system. We are lagging behind other OECD countries on this, where approximately two thirds of countries have an Ombudsman or agency to receive complaints related to public schools.

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RELEASE THE REPORT, EXTEND THE ROYAL COMMISSION

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

29 January 2019

RELEASE THE REPORT, EXTEND THE ROYAL COMMISSION 

Today the Royal Commissioner will deliver his final report to His Excellency, the Governor of South Australia at 11am. The SA Greens back calls for the report to be released TODAY.

 

Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks, Greens MLC:

 

Premier Marshall must ensure the public has immediate access to this important report today. This is the first true test of his leadership for our State. South Australians fought too hard to secure the Murray Darling Basin Agreement for this report to be cut short or silenced. We have waited a year for answers and a way forward, and the public should not be kept waiting any longer.

 

However, whether we see the Royal Commission report released publicly today or after the next Marshall Cabinet meeting, the Greens will ensure that the Murray River is the first order of business when Parliament returns. That includes responding to the report and urgent consideration by State Parliament of extending the work of the Royal Commission as the Commissioner requested. To date the Marshall Government has snubbed that request. That snubbing is just not tenable.

 

The Commissioner asked for more time and adequate resources to do this job properly. It will be years before a Federal Royal Commission would report; we don’t have the luxury of that timeframe, we must continue the work this State started and work together for water security. $10,000 a day is a small price to pay for the truth we need to ensure our rivers run.

 

With each news report of the devastating impact that water theft, corruption, mismanagement, and lack of flows has on communities and on the environment, our Premier cannot afford to ignore what is happening to the lifeblood of our State. The MDB Royal Commission must be extended.

 

We are experiencing environmental collapse in the Murray Darling Basin. With multiple fish kills, all eyes are once again back on the Murray and whether Premier Marshall will stand up for our State or go to water on the Murray in defence of his NSW and federal LNP party pals.

 

Last year the SA Parliament established a Royal Commission into the Murray Darling Basin and claims of water theft, corruption, and maladministration. Not a single party stood in the way then. We recognised then the urgency and importance of such an inquiry, and that hasn’t changed. If anything, it has intensified.

 

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Greens vow ongoing debate #changethedate

GREENS VOW ONGOING DEBATE ON #CHANGETHEDATE

 

It is now fifteen months since the SA Liberal party announced a plan to force Local Governments to observe Australia Day and perform citizenship ceremonies on January 26th. Now, in the past few weeks we’ve seen their federal counterparts announce that they will do the same – on top of a ridiculous ban on boardshorts and thongs at such ceremonies. Both the State and National Liberal Governments continue to ignore the fact that January 26th marks more than 200 years of ongoing dispossession and oppression for First Nations peoples.

Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks MLC:

“For over 80 years there has been a debate on this date. That important conversation won’t be stopped by banning shorts and thongs at citizenship ceremonies, nor by somehow forcing councils to carry out ceremonies on this date.”

I’m intrigued to see how The Marshall Liberal Government had been planning to implement their election promise, anyway, given that it appears to be unconstitutional. Little wonder that 15 months after they first pledged it they have yet to present a Bill to Parliament to make it happen. 

Holding a celebration on January 26 is inherently divisive, so it’s time we changed the date. January 26 is the day in history of the second landing of the First Fleet’s and Admiral Arthur Phillip’s establishment of a penal colony in what later became NSW by the raising of a Union Jack on the land of the Eora nation back in 1788. The land then, as it is now, was Aboriginal land at the time.

By portraying that historical moment with a blinkered view, we ignore that today is the anniversary of the beginning of an invasion, and the subsequent killing, colonising, dispossessing, converting, “protecting”, assimilating and discriminating. These things cause intergenerational pain. These things are no cause for celebration.

By changing the law to stop us ever changing the date the SA Liberals will entrench that pain in our statutes.

State and federal liberals vows of legislating to enforce Australia Day activities and outfits on January 26 is just not necessary. Shutting down debate will only serve to deepen the divisions.  We need to find a date that heals not hurts, and that all Australians can celebrate.

Tammy Franks will be available for comment on Saturday the 26th at the annual Survival Day event at Semaphore Beach between11:00am – 12:00pm.

 

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