Janet Rice

Hi and welcome to my personal blog. I'm looking forward to working with you and for you as Greens Senator for Victoria. I take my seat in July 2014.

Until then, I'm merely Senator-elect and without an office, staff or any resources! So in the meantime if you want to get in touch with what Greens are up to in Victoria and beyond , you are best to check out The Australian Greens , Greens MP's , Victorian Greens Senator Richard Di Natale or the Victorian Greens.

East West Link is bad for our climate

Thursday 10 April 2014 at 10:43 am

I presented to the panel considering the East West Link Comprehensive Impact Statement today, focussing on the likely impact of the East West Link tollway and tunnel on our climate.

Did you know that the Transport Integration Act, which is the legal framework that our transport system operates under says that 

‘The transport system should actively contribute to environmental sustainability by [inter alia]

My submission outlines how East West Link is completely at odds with the Act with regard to carbon pollution.

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Caring for refugees

Wednesday 09 April 2014 at 1:48 pm


Photo: Nawroz Festival Dandenong, April 2014 with Greens Candidate for Dandenong, Hazara Refugee, John Gulzari

I was a teenager, growing up in Altona when Australia accepted hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese refugees. They didn’t speak English. They looked different. Lots of them weren’t Christian.

My family and I were struck by the changes in Footscray, our regional shopping centre, and had to deal with the sense of change in our town. We got used to it.

The bipartisan approach from Whitlam and Fraser of accepting refugees was critical.  Both genuinely recognised the importance of treating people humanely, and this in turn was incredibly important in shaping community attitudes. We realised that although the Vietnamese didn’t speak English well, looked different and lots weren’t Christians that they were actually ok. That we had more in common than was different.

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Acting on climate change: yes we can

Monday 03 February 2014 at 11:57 am

I prepared and presented this presentation whilst on my Antarctic trip. It's got a few Antarctic specific references not surprisingly! Invoking the spirit of Mawson at the end is worth sharing more widely though. If you don't know Mawson's epic survival journey you should - here's a very readable summary. In short - the odds against Mawson surviving were astronomical once his companions had died, he had next to no food and precious little gear. 

But he got through because he didn't give in - he gave it his all and made it. We too can achieve the seeming impossible and protect ourselves from the disasters of global warming if we give it our all.

Acting on Climate Change: Yes We Can

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Tuesday 21 January Day 45. 11pm. South of Hobart. ETA 7am tomorrow.

Tuesday 21 January 2014 at 11:28 am

I stood out on the monkey deck tonight just before sunset, riding the waves. We were surfing home. A stiff south westerly was blowing, whitecaps were cresting the 2m swell, and the ship was surging up and down riding the waves with aplomb.

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Saturday 18 January. Day 42. End of week 6. 55 degrees south, 130 degrees East

Saturday 18 January 2014 at 12:38 pm

It was dark tonight. I went out on deck to properly appreciate it. It has been dark for a short time each night over the last couple of nights, but tonight was the first time in over a month that I have properly experienced darkness. It still wasn’t that dark – because a full moon had risen and was gloriously reflected in the sea below, creating a silvery trail for us to follow all the way to Hobart. It was mesmerising to stand on the bridge and just watch us head into the glittering light.

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Thursday 16 January. Day 40. Homeward Bound

Thursday 16 January 2014 at 12:35 pm

We left Casey lunchtime yesterday. Pulled out in glorious sunshine, waved good bye to Newcomb Bay and the views of Casey, the islands, the white slopes and grey gnarled rocks of the headlands, the observatory dome of the abandoned Wilkes station and made our way through a glittering sea.

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Sunday 12 January Day 36. Beginning of week 6. Day 10 on the Aurora Australis.

Sunday 12 January 2014 at 12:34 pm

Five weeks on board ships. And another week and a half or so to go.

But my mood and I suspect that of others has shifted today.

It’s all action at Casey, as the Aurora Australis personnel resume the resupply that was so rudely interrupted by their journey east to rescue us from the ice, some three and a half weeks ago.

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Wednesday 8 January. Day 32, Day 6 on the Aurora Australis.

Wednesday 08 January 2014 at 4:09 pm

The phrase emotional roller coaster is an over-used cliché. It’s also a very useful description. The good news has came through that the Shokalskiy and the Xue Long have been able to free themselves from the ice, with a change in the wind. Shokalskiy is expected to be in open sea within two days, and an estimated date of arrival back in Bluff New Zealand on 14 January.

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Sunday 5 January 2014. Day 29

Sunday 05 January 2014 at 4:06 pm

Happy birthday Penny. I love you so much and I’m missing you so much. Hope you had a lovely day volcano spotting whilst I am here sailing the southern ocean

I have had such a relaxed day today. It’s been very special. It’s day 3 on the Aurora Australis, day 29 of our journey – the beginning of week 5.

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Saturday 4 January 2014. Day 28. Day 2/3 on the Aurora Australis

Saturday 04 January 2014 at 11:22 pm

Hello world!! Yes, I’m safe and sound, on the Aurora Australis on our way west to Casey. It’s so good to be back in touch and on ourway home!

Arriving on Aurora Australis was like returning to Australia after a long trip away. Friendly Australians to greet and welcome us, offer us cups of tea, make us feel at home. The relief of being safe and sound. Thanks flowed genuinely and profusely from all of us as we arrived.

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1 January 2014. Day 25. Beset, still.

Wednesday 01 January 2014 at 9:09 pm

New Year offers an opportunity for change, to reinvent oneself, to try something new and different. In which case I think being here is simultaneously highly appropriate and ill-fitting. I’ve just heard that 15 seconds of video of us singing ‘Bloody great shame we’re still stuck here!’ was featured on the CNN New Year’s Eve broadcast from Times Square today, to an estimated global TV audience of 70 million people. That’s new and different! I wasn’t thinking of that sort of exposure when I sat down at a table in the corner of the bar with Nicole, Terry and Ian the night before last composing a bit of a ditty for a few of us to sing!

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New Years Eve

Wednesday 01 January 2014 at 08:45 am

Happy New Year!

We heard this morning that that we are definitely going to be evacuated when the weather clears – maybe tomorrow… we’ll see!

Meanwhile today has been a lot of fun. I lead the writing of a song which we have rehearsed a few times today and which will be sung as part of our New Years Eve celebrations tonight. For your pleasure the words are below!

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Tuesday 31 December. New Years Eve. Day 24

Tuesday 31 December 2013 at 8:52 pm
I’m in much better spirits today. Couldn’t quite bring myself to write yesterday – feelings of homesickness, missing Penny, family and friends, uncertainty of how long we are going to be here for, and how exactly we will be getting out of here were rather overwhelming me. I think quite a few of us felt similarly. Judy instigated hug day and set herself the task of hugging everyone on board. It was much appreciated!
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Day 22. Beginning of week 4.

Sunday 29 December 2013 at 8:49 pm

We should have been half way back to New Zealand by now. Instead we’re enjoying our sixth day at 66˚41’ S, 144˚18’. ETA in New Zealand in the best case scenario is 9 January – 5 days late.

Regardless, there was lots of excitement today. This morning’s briefing provoked much discussion. We talked about the contingency plan if the Aurora Australis and Xue Long/ Snow Dragon are unable to free us. And the fact that it was probably a 50-50 chance as to whether it would have to be put into action.

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Saturday, 28 December 2013. Day 21.

Saturday 28 December 2013 at 8:54 pm

Wonderful views, secluded, surrounded by nature, amazing photographic opportunities… there are far worse places to be marooned.

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Thursday December 26. Day 19

Thursday 26 December 2013 at 8:20 pm

It’s summer. I’m on holidays. The weather is bad, so we’re stuck inside reading books, playing scrabble, watching movies and eating chocolate and leftovers from Christmas Day. Seems pretty normal really; a not unusual Boxing Day.

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Christmas Day. Day 18

Wednesday 25 December 2013 at 8:18 pm

Happy Christmas to the world from the Australasian Antarctic Expedition! We are celebrating Christmas in an amazing place- 66˚41’ S, 144˚18’ E to be precise. We’ve been here or hereabouts for over a day now, drifting with the pack ice, officially ‘beset’. Our ship the Shokalskiy is ice strengthened, not an ice breaker and the ice around us is currently beyond us.

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Monday 23 December. Day 16

Monday 23 December 2013 at 8:16 pm

It’s past 1am. It’s hard to make yourself go to bed when it’s constant daylight outside. I’ve just returned to my cabin after a bracing constitutional around the deck, following a very pleasant evening socialising and imbibing a not inconsiderable amount of red wine.

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Sunday 22 December. Day 15

Sunday 22 December 2013 at 8:15 pm

Ah it must be because the days are now getting shorter that the weather has changed! There’s a blizzard on the way apparently!

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Saturday 21 December. Summer Solstice. Day 14

Saturday 21 December 2013 at 8:13 pm

I thought I’d just go down onto the ice for 10 minutes or so to wander about a bit, and bid the Commonwealth Bay fast ice farewell before we upped anchor late morning. Didn’t bother putting my big boots on – I wouldn’t be long.

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