Challenge to Labor as Greens launch star candidate in Kingsford-Smith
The first real test of Rudd Labor may come before this year's election if the team of scientists assessing Gunns' pulp mill gives it the expected bad report, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.
"If Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull gives the mill the thumbs down, Peter Garrett can hardly say "don't expect me to decide until after the election"," Senator Brown said.
"There is a strong pro-chainsaw lobby inside Labor tied to Gunns. But the logging industry should be the first referred to Kevin Rudd's new Skills Australia board which he announced yesterday. This dinosaur industry needs reform. It should be taken out of Australia's wild forests and into the wholly plantation-based era, like New Zealand," Senator Brown said.
In Peter Garrett's electorate of Kingsford-Smith for the announcement of Sue Mahony as the Greens candidate for 2007, Senator Brown said the pulp mill decision will showcase the Rudd team's environmental credibility and regard for decent process.
"The sheer failure of the Labor Lennon government's to properly assess Gunns' proposal must be redressed by Canberra. This polluting mill has no place in the Tamar Valley," Senator Brown said.