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2010 Policy Initiatives


The Australian Greens 2010 Federal Election election policy initiatives.

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100 percent renewable energy
Australia can be a renewable energy powerhouse, harnessing our tremendous resources of sun, wind, wave, earth and human ingenuity to replace our reliance on coal with 100% renewable energy within decades.

Asylum Seekers
The Greens are committed to a long-term, practical and humane approach to asylum seekers and refugees, and to upholding Australia’s commitments to international law and human rights.

Access to flexible work arrangements
The Greens believe that all workers should be supported to better balance their work, family and community lives, and propose to extend the existing right to request flexible working arrangements to all Australians.

Aged Care
There is a serious crisis in aged care services in Australia. We have a growing demand for services that isn't being met. The existing system is dysfunctional, and ill-prepared to meet the needs of the future.

ATM Fees
The Greens believe that access to basic banking services, including the use of ATMs, is essential to function in today’s society and will introduce legislation to prevent banks from profiteering through ATM fees.

Australia as a good neighbour
The Australian Greens believe that Australia has an important role to play as one of the wealthiest and most stable nations in the Pacific region. The developing nations of the Pacific region are Australia’s nearest neighbours and Australia has a great responsibility to provide greater funding and support to create better health, educational and humanitarian opportunities and outcomes in these countries.

Banking Serves Community
A basic bank account is essential to function properly in present day Australian society. This means that the nature of banking services has a very broad impact. Consequently, the welfare of consumers should be protected by law.

Early Childhood Education and Care is something that we as parents trust to give our kids the best quality of care and should not be treated as a profit-driven industry open to manipulation by corporations and the stock market; rather it should be seen and supported as the essential service it is.

Climate and health
The impacts of climate change pose significant risks to human health globally. The Greens will establish a Climate Change and Human Health Taskforce to undertake research into the health risks posed to Australia by climate change to 2050 and develop a strategic plan to prevent and manage those risks.

Coal seam gas
Coal seam gas (CSG) extraction should not proceed at the expense of food production, water security, our endangered species or the climate. The Greens call for a moratorium on all coal seam gas extraction in Queensland and promise to introduce environmental laws to protect productive farmland and precious water supplies from harm.

Commissioner for Children
As a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Australia has a duty to uphold human rights, yet far too many children and young people are falling through the cracks of our society. These include children bullied in schools, the babies, infants and kids who are victims of neglect, the children and teenagers who are homeless on Australian streets every night, and young people who are in juvenile or immigration detention.

Commonwealth Super Pensions
The superannuation system is designed to take pressure off our social security system and provide employees with an adequate income for a reasonable standard of living once retired. For Commonwealth employees and defence force personnel in superannuation pension schemes, appropriate indexation of their pensions is an important factor is meeting these goals.

Commonwealth Teaching Scholarships
The Australian Greens are proposing the introduction of a national Commonwealth Teaching Scholarship Program to attract the best and brightest Australians into teaching, to raise the profile of the teaching profession and to assist in addressing teacher shortages.

Convert to Rent
The Greens Convert to Rent Initiative will increase the amount of affordable rental housing, increase the availability of private rental accommodation and revitalise local neighbourhoods and economies.

Coral Sea Marine Reserve
Australia’s Coral Sea is one of the world’s last flourishing tropical marine regions. At around 1 million square kilometres, the Coral Sea offers a diverse range of spectacular coral reefs and an abundance of marine wildlife, including many endangered species. Yet only around 1% of this vital area is adequately protected.

Dementia Care
The Greens support the vision for a world class dementia care system and will prioritise early intervention and diagnosis, support for carers and those living with dementia, and fund additional research into the causes of dementia.

It is firmly established that poor dental health leads to poor general health, yet many Australians are not able to access basic dental care. The Greens propose that non-cosmetic dental services are incorporated into Medicare under a universal dental health scheme, Denticare.

Education Ombudsman
The Australian Greens call for the expansion of the powers of the Commonwealth Ombudsman to safeguard the quality of, and access to, education in Australia.

Efficient Building Scheme
The Efficient Building Scheme bill targets the potential for energy savings and seizes the huge environmental, social and economic benefits of upgrading Australia’s commercial buildings to be energy efficient.

Electric Vehicles
With Electric Vehicles we can maintain our mobility while responding to the challenge of climate change and ensuring our energy security. Electric Vehicles will mean cleaner air, less noise in our streets and make Australia a better place to live.

Convert to Rent
Around Australia, thousands of buildings are standing empty while thousands of potential small businesses are unable to find spaces to lease. There are shopfronts in central metropolitan malls and in the shopping strips of rural towns that are boarded up because it is cheaper for owners to leave them empty than to lease them at low rent.

Fuel efficiency
The largest source of Australia’s road transport emissions is passenger cars. That means that improving the fuel efficiency of passenger vehicles is vital for tackling the climate crisis.

Great Barrier Reef
The Australian Greens Great Barrier Reef Plan addresses three of the key challenges facing the GBR: Climate change; acidification of the reef; danger of increasing shipping through the reef; and declining water quality due to pollution run-off from the land.

High Speed Rail
Australia’s reliance on declining oil supplies, worsening air and road congestion and advances in train technology all mean that now is the time link the nation’s major east coast population centres with high speed rail (HSR).

Indigenous hearing
There is a crisis in Indigenous ear and hearing health in Australia, and this has a significant impact on Indigenous education and employment outcomes and sadly, has a strong association with Indigenous engagement with the criminal justice system. The Greens believe it is possible to break this cycle.

Integrity Transparency Initiative
The Greens believe that integrity, accountability and openness in politics are vital to a healthy democracy. The Greens have a legislative package to ensure that key aspects of the political process are enshrined in law and can only be changed with parliamentary approval.

Junk Food Advertising Children
The Greens will introduce legislation to limit the amount of junk food advertising on television. While an advertising ban alone will not eliminate the problem of obesity it is a sensible first step that has the support of health experts, including doctors, community groups and, most importantly, parents.

Junk Food & Alcohol Advertising Levy
The Greens propose the introduction of a levy on junk food and alcohol advertising, with the revenue to provide information to consumers.

LGBTI peak body
The Australian Greens call for the establishment of a federally funded, national peak-body to advocate for the rights and interests of LGBTI Australians.

Marine Reserves
The Greens believe that a much greater area of our precious oceans should be protected through marine reserves. We must ensure there are significant ecologically representative marine protected areas with significant areas of “no take”, to protect against the destructive effects of overfishing.

Mental Health
The Greens believe that years of under funding by successive federal governments have resulted in a mental health system which is not working. We are calling for the appointment of a new Minister of Mental Health to take responsibility for rapidly implementing the changes necessary to meet the needs of people with mental illness.

Mental Health - Rural & Regional
Mental illness has become a significant health issue in our community and it must be considered a fundamental component of the national health reform plan. The Greens believe that a range of different approaches are required to keep people well and out of hospital, and to obtain the community support they need for identifying and managing their illness, wherever they live.

Murray Darling Basin
The Murray-Darling Basin system is currently under substantial stress due to massive over-allocation of water, drought, climate change, and the impacts of resource extraction. Urgent action is required to protect this vital natural resource.

National Hearing Plan
One in six Australians suffers from some degree of hearing loss. This is forecast to grow to one Australian in four by 2050 largely driven by our ageing population. Hearing health is an issue the touches the lives of most Australians in one way or another.

National student card
The Australian Greens call for the establishment an Australian Student Card to grant all students – undergraduate and postgraduate, domestic and international – concession rates for public transport in every state and territory.

National Health Plan
The Greens believe that better funded primary health care services, that is general practice doctors, community-based health services and screening programs, can, if properly targeted and resourced, achieve better health outcomes at a lower cost than high cost hospitals and specialists.

Northern Mammals
Over the last two decades there has been a dramatic decrease in the diversity and abundance of small mammals across Northern Australia. Serious action is needed now to halt this devastation.
Nuclear Waste
The Australian Greens will move in the next Parliament to restore rights of appeal and procedural fairness in relation to the proposed dump at Muckaty Station in the NT. The Greens are also calling for a National Commission to properly investigate the best and safest options to monitor and store radioactive waste.

Oil spill initiative
In the light of the Montara and Deepwater Horizon oil wells spewing thousands of barrels of oil into the ocean daily, the Greens are proposing a 6 point plan to address the risks associated with offshore oil and gas exploration and drilling, through a comprehensive international regulatory overhaul of the offshore petroleum industry

Online Safety
The Greens unequivocally support measures that will genuinely protect young people online. We advocate replacing the Government’s proposed ISP level filter with a range of interlocking measures to strengthen existing cyber safety initiatives and tackle cyber crime, particularly child pornography offences.

Paid Parental Leave
Support for parents in their efforts to care for their newborn children is an essential component of any Government policy that aims to promote the health and well-being of infants, and invest in the long-term health and educational outcomes of children.

Performing arts vibrant future
The Greens believe that a vibrant future for Australia’s performing arts will involve both the traditional arts, which enrich us and have provided so much to our culture for centuries, and a newer, more open approach to cultural policy, which brings arts into every aspect of our lives.

Pro Bono Dental
The Greens recognise the valuable role played by many dental professionals who voluntarily help some of the many low income Australians who are missing out on dental care, through programs such as the Filling the Gap program and the Dental Rescue Day. We believe that these programs and others like them should be supported with increased funding.

Protect Heritage
Safeguarding our natural and cultural heritage is a key goal of the Australian Greens.

Regional Remote Dental Care
People living in rural and remote areas have worse oral health status, less access to dental care and fewer dentists. The Greens Rural and Regional Dental Care Scheme outlines specific measures (in addition to our universal dental care scheme, Denticare) to address these problems.

Renewable energy loan guarantees
The Greens are determined to support the rapid and managed growth of the renewable energy sector to benefit all Australians. To overcome the barrier of accessing finance the Greens will introduce a loan guarantee scheme for large scale renewable energy projects.

Revitalising Asian Language Literacy in our Schools
For over two decades the importance of Asian literacy has been well recognised by uccessive Australia Governments. Teaching Asian languages in schools in Australia is vital or the social, economic and cultural well-being of life in Australia.

Revisiting Resale Royalties
The Australian Greens support the rights of artists to benefit from their creative work throughout their lifetime. Resale royalties enable artists to receive a percentage of the sale price whenever their artistic works are resold up to 70 years after their death. Such a scheme was first introduced in France in the early 20th century and was long over due in Australia.

Road Safety Towards Zero
In addition to the terrible grief that deaths and serious injuries from road accidents cause for victims’ families and friends, government figures show the financial burden of road crashes is at least $18 billion per annum. The Greens want a national road safety strategy, encompassing improved driver training, vehicle safety, road design and construction, and the reduction of drug and drink driving.

Save Super Art
The Australian Greens believe that art works and other collectibles must continue to be legitimate investments for self-managed superannuation funds.

Schools Community Fund
The Greens are proposing a Schools’ Community Fund which would enable public schools to apply for funding to provide important student well-being and support services in their schools, according to the needs of their student body, geographic area and their existing staff.

Small business
Small business is the mainstay of the Australian economy and the Greens have a strong record in the Senate of supporting small business across a range of issues including anti-competitive pricing and superannuation.

Support Emerging Renewable Energy Technologies
The Greens believe that we have tremendous community support to make the switch from a coal-based economy to a new, zero-emissions, renewable energy economy and with the right policy settings and the right political will, we can make it happen.

Supporting Teachers
Teaching is a profession essential to our community. We have an obligation to support teachers in their invaluable work, and as such the teaching profession should be valued highly and remunerated accordingly.

Timor Leste
Timor Leste is one of Australia’s closest neighbours and the relationship between our two nations is strong. The Greens believe that Australia should be committed to helping Timor Leste build a safe and sustainable future, in direct consultation with the Timorese.

Traffic light food labelling
The Greens will introduce legislation for a 'traffic light' front-of-pack food labelling system on all food and beverage products sold in Australia to allow consumers to easily identify healthier food products and quickly make comparisons between products.

Truth in Political Advertising
The Australian Greens will introduce legislation into the new Parliament to ensure truth in political advertising.

Women on Boards
Despite the fact that women make up over 51 percent of our population and 63 percent of all university graduates, they remain under-represented in leadership and decision-making positions in corporate Australia.. No economy can reach its full potential with the exclusion of such a large amount of highly educated, experienced and professional workers.

Young Emerging Artists
The Australian Greens are committed to supporting and promoting Australian artists and their work.

Youth Assistance and Housing
The right to a free, high quality education is a fundamental part of the Australia Greens vision for Australia's future, yet too many students are under enormous housing stress and struggle to make ends meet. The Greens believe that the barriers of decent student income support and affordable housing must be removed in order for this situation to be improved.

Water sensitive urban environments
The Greens urban water plan will help reduce demand for water through the introduction of mandatory minimum water efficiency building standards, and bolster supply by promoting greater use of stormwater.

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