Foreign Affairs & Defence
09 Nov 2011
Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown spoke to reporters in Canberra today to wish the soldiers wounded in Afghanistan a speedy recovery and to call for all Australian troops to be brought home safely.
Senator Brown also answered questions about the passage yesterday of the climate bills, the proposed mining tax, and the activities of Malaysian logging company Ta Ann.
09 Nov 2011
Greens Leader Bob Brown today joined all Australians in wishing the injured soldiers a speedy recovery and urged the Gillard government to bring Australian troops home safely from Afghanistan.
"Unlike the Government or the Opposition, the Greens continue to call for Australian Defence Force personnel in Afghanistan to be brought home safely as soon as possible. A debate will be held in both houses of parliament on 21 November and we will be strongly putting that point of view," Senator Brown said.
"The Greens propose increased civil aid for Afghanistan to help the people determine their own future," Senator Brown said.
Some 32 Australian soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001 - 11 of those this year - and 212 Australian soldiers have now been physically wounded. Many will suffer long-term mental health issues that require support from their family, friends and communities.
"We should give our courageous defence force personnel a date to work towards, a specified withdrawal date, at the very least," Senator Brown said.
"The toll is not only rising but accelerating. And to what end? What will be different in 2014 or 2020 and how does a corrupt regime like the Karzai government maintain the faith of an increasingly armed and enlarged Afghan army?"
09 Nov 2011
Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown says a $31 million sports facility being built to host Team USA at London's Olympic Games is using timber sold by a company that sources wood from the logging of Tasmanian forests earmarked for protection by state and federal governments.
"Malaysian logging company Ta Ann, accused of destroying rainforest and Orang-utan habitat in Borneo, has supplied timber to the training facility in London from areas that were meant to be protected as national park with World Heritage status under the agreement signed by state and federal governments," Senator Brown said today in Canberra.
"An investigation by Markets for Change, which tracked the timber from Ta Ann, through Europe and to London, found that Team USA's athletes could end up training on the trashed Tasmanian forests."
"I was in these wild forests in October and saw huge logs destined for Ta Ann. Instead of wildlife habitat, the result is a totally destroyed forest subject to napalm-like fire-bombing which destroys remnant native seeds and causes huge greenhouse gas pollution of the atmosphere," Senator Brown said.
Bob Brown, Christine Milne and Greens colleagues: press conference immediately after the climate bills passed
08 Nov 2011
Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown and Deputy Leader Christine Milne, flanked by other Greens senators, speak to reporters outside the Senate chamber immediately after the passage of the climate bills.
04 Nov 2011
Citing this afternoon's Morgan poll showing 72% (up an astonishing 32%) of Australians want our troops brought home, Senator Brown said,
"It's a people's revolt against both major parties stance on Afghanistan.
03 Nov 2011
Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said he hopes the initial report into ADFA issued by Elizabeth Broderick today opens the door for significant change in the environment facing young people who choose to enter the defence force.
"The report, the first independent review into ADFA since its inception in 1986, is long overdue," Senator Brown said.
"The events at ADFA would offend any right thinking Australian. As I said at the time, Defence Minister Stephen Smith's very swift and strong reaction was the right way to go. This inquiry offers a chance work out how to change destructive and discriminatory thinking and behaviour," Senator Brown said.
"The inquiry's findings of widespread harassment, poor supervision, and clumsy procedures for reporting complaints challenge us all to action. Australia can do better by its young people."
01 Nov 2011
Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown and mining spokesperson Larissa Waters spoke to reporters in Canberra today about coal seam gas and water security. Other issues included Qantas, mining tax legislation, and Australia's vote against UNESCO's recognition of Palestine as an independent state.
Senator Waters will introduce a bill into the Senate today to protect the nation's water resources from mining, including coal seam gas.
31 Oct 2011
In a remarkable Senate vote, the Government and the Opposition have voted down a Greens motion:
That, in the opinion of the Senate, the following is a matter of urgency:
The pressing need for Australia to confirm a date for the safe return of Australian troops from Afghanistan.
"The Opposition provided one speaker, defence spokesperson David Johnston, who spoke for less than three minutes in the one-hour debate. All sides expressed condolences for the family and friends of the three Australian soldiers killed on Saturday," Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.
"The Senate has voted that while issues such as Paid Parental Leave (16 March 2010), Climate Change (22 November 2010) and Indigenous Health Services (18 November 2009) are urgent or important, setting a date for our troops to come home is not!"
"I doubt that this Parliament has ever debated less, and so neglected its responsibilities, to troops serving in a war on behalf of this nation," Senator Brown said.