SENATOR Lee Rhiannon was the keynote speaker at a dinner and information evening inMoruya onSaturday.
The evening was arranged to update Eurobodalla locals on events in the Senate, and washosted by Eurobodalla Shire councillor Gabi Harding.
It also marked the 30thanniversary of the founding of the Greens Party.
Cr Harding said Ms Rhiannon provided information about current Senate negotiations aroundcontentious aspects of the Federal Budget.
“She noted in particular that it was 102 days since the Treasurer introduced his budget,and during that time there has been an unprecedented level of discussion, as well as a great deal of anger,” Cr Harding said.
“The Senator pointed out that the government’s agenda is driven less by what she calleda concocted economic crisis and more about a philosophy of small government.
“She painted a picture for those present about that “small government” means reducedsupport for valued public institutions such as the ABC, CSIRO and even the Bureau ofMeteorology.
“It means a ‘user pays’ approach to things like health and higher education, which is notwhat should be happening in a rich country like Australia, where all our citizens have aright to expect that their taxes will provide them with good services.”
Cr Harding said Ms Rhiannonpraised the willingness of the Palmer United Party Senators andother cross-benchers to listen to various points of view and negotiate before voting onlegislation.
“Nevertheless, she said that group voting tickets were wrong, because they facilitated theelection to the Senate of people with tiny percentages of the vote. She called for changesto the system to make it fairer while still ensuring that parties were not locked out of thedemocratic process.
“The evening was a fascinating insight into the workings of the Federal Parliament at aparticularly interesting time in Australian politics,” Cr Harding said.
Greens councillor Gabi Harding and Senator Lee Rhiannon.
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