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World Heritage next step in forest protection

Bob Brown 23 Mar 2012

The Gillard and Giddings governments should move to extend the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area to include forests in the Tarkine, Styx, Weld, upper Florentine and Great Western Tiers, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"The report by Professor Jonathan West and his team of experts has backed what the Greens have been saying for 20 years - that Tasmania's giant eucalypts and rainforests are of World Heritage value," Senator Bob Brown said.

"The report says that this could be our 'last chance' to protect the heritage values of these forests.

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Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme

Today’s announcement from Anthony Albanese for a $20 million package to assist Tasmanian exporters is no substitute for amending the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme so that Tasmanian exporters are treated equally with their mainland counterparts, Australian Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown said today.

“The $20 million barely covers the losses by Tasmanian exporters in the last year because they are excluded from freight equalisation.

“Mr Albanese should immediately commit to freight equalisation for Tasmanian exporters from July 1," Senator Brown said.

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Someone's misinformed on Tas freight

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown is incredulous at today's news from Tasmanian minister David O'Byrne that federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has advised him "it will not be adjusting the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme to include north-bound international exports from Tasmania".

"Less than 24 hours ago I had very earnest discussions with Wayne Swan on this very issue and he was very considerate of it. I explained that, for just $21 million per annum, this fair proposal will help keep manufacturing jobs in Tasmania which has a 7% unemployment rate," Senator Brown said.

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Senate puts Indigenous recognition second

The Government joined the Coalition today to vote down Greens Leader Bob Brown's motion that recognising the indigenous people of Australia be the first matter for the Senate each day, as it is in the House of Representatives.

"The Senate is alone amongst parliaments, councils and public meetings around Australia in not beginning proceedings with acknowledgement of first Australians," Senator Brown said.

The Lord's Prayer will continue to go first in the Senate.

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Libs, Nats must disassociate themselves from Palmer as Coalition gags Senate debate

Bob Brown 21 Mar 2012

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown today called in the Senate for the leadership of the Liberal and National parties to disassociate themselves from the defamatory claims made by billionaire Clive Palmer against the Queensland Greens candidates for Saturday's election.

"Clive Palmer, one of the Liberal and National parties' largest donors, has made untrue claims aimed at damaging the Greens three days out from the election. Tony Abbott and Campbell Newman have failed to disassociate themselves from the false remarks made by Mr Palmer," Senator Brown said.

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15,000 Tassie businesses will gain from tax cut

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown estimates that 15,000 Tasmanian businesses will enjoy the cut in their tax rate from 30% to 29% on 1 July, assuming the Gillard government's tax legislation for small business, backed by the Greens, passes in May.

"The Greens are also calling for the Henry review's recommendation for the instant tax write-off for new equipment to be increased from $6,500 to $10,000 - a benefit for almost 100% of businesses," Senator Brown said.

"The Liberals oppose the tax cut, as they opposed the new mining tax which will fund it," Senator Brown added.

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Abetz/Kroger's 'defamation' thrown out of Senate

Bob Brown 19 Mar 2012

The claims by Coalition Senator Kroger against Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown and Deputy Leader Christine Milne, referred to the Senate's powerful Committee of Privileges, have been thrown out as having "no cogent evidence".

Similarly, the committee found Senator Kroger had no evidence for her claims against Mr Graeme Wood and that "no question of contempt arises". These findings were unanimous.

The claims, if proven, had opened the Senators to a sentence of six months in jail.

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Government should move now to protect Wild Rivers from Campbell Newman

Under questioning from the Greens today, Australian Government has acknowledged it has the power to use the national environment laws to protect Wild Rivers from Campbell Newman and a future LNP Queensland Government, which has pledged to roll back the laws against the wishes of many Aboriginal communities.

“Tony Abbott and Campbell Newman are trying to wind back these laws which protect our most pristine and valuable river systems from the ravages of big mining,” Australian Greens environment spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters said.

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Greens’ 40th at Hobart Town Hall

Bob Brown 19 Mar 2012

Hobart Town Hall has claim to be the birthplace of Green politics worldwide. The 40th anniversary of the first Greens meeting in the world will be celebrated there this Friday night, 23rd March.

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown will give the third Green Oration, on global democracy. The debut of his Song of the Earth, sung by Cygnet mezzo soprano Claire Dawson aka SiSi, will also feature Rod Thomson playing the Town Hall organ.

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