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The responsibility of Parliament

The following letter to the editor of The Australian was submitted on 21 June 2011:

Dear Editor

As I told your Canberra reporter on 20 June 2011, but you did not report to your readers, the difference between action on a republic and climate change is that the former requires a change to the Constitution and the latter requires a decision by the Parliament, as already empowered by the Constitution. The former requires a plebiscite and referendum, the latter requires neither - if you believe in the responsibility of Parliament.

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Abetz blunders on plebiscite bill

The Coalition's Senate Leader Eric Abetz today blundered into gagging Greens Leader Bob Brown when Abetz introduced Tony Abbott's bill for a plebiscite on a carbon tax.

Senator Abetz blocked Senator Brown's request for a two minute statement to inform the Senate that he would move to amend the bill to require the Opposition to accept a people's verdict in favour of climate action.

"It appears the bill will not have the numbers in the Senate," Senator Brown said.

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Senator Bob Brown doorstop - 15-6-2011

Australian Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown was interviewed this morning, where he welcomed Australians, including Dame Murdoch, speaking out in favour of pricing pollution. He also spoke about the eBay bidding for "Breakfast with Bob" ahead of tonight’s MidWinter Ball at Parliament House, the latest Newspoll, Greens legislation to prevent the export of live animals for slaughter and the need to process animals in Australia, and across-the-board support for plain-packaging for cigarettes.

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Mining tax featherbeds mining giants and puts future prosperity at risk: Brown

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today he will strive to improve the government's proposed mining tax in the coming months.

"By rejecting the Treasury-proposed Resource Super Profits Tax, Mining Minister Martin Ferguson has delivered $100 billion for the big mining companies at the expense of the long-term needs of Australia over the next decade," Senator Brown said in Hobart.

"The budget's corporate tax cut for big business should be shelved, helping to return the federal budget to surplus, and Dr Henry's tax should be adopted."

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Greens back 10% challenge

Greens Leader Bob Brown has written to the Senate's President John Hogg urging Parliament House to take a lead in the 10% challenge campaign by Do Something! and CHOICE for a voluntary 10% cut in fuel, electricity and gas use.

A copy of Senator Brown's letter has gone to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Harry Jenkins.

"Here's a way for parliament to join the Australian community and business to parallel our carbon price committee's reach for binding cuts in pollution," Senator Brown said.

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Brown welcomes "population crisis"

Greens Leader Bob Brown has welcomed Dick Smith's new book venture Dick Smith's Population Crisis launched today in Sydney.

"I'm looking forward to reading it. Dick makes a great contribution to Australian debate about population and resource pressures in this age of consumerism. We may not always agree with him but welcome his courage, commitment and stimulus to get us all thinking about the big issues of the day," Senator Brown said.

"He's right that exponential growth is clearly not sustainable."

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Cut pollution - Make clean energy cheaper

UPDATE: Read the details of the carbon price and clean energy package here.

Pollution from burning coal, oil and gas is driving a climate crisis, making our world more dangerous, increasing prices of food and water and jeopardising our way of life.

But if we cut pollution and invest properly in the clean alternatives, we can build a healthier, cleaner, more secure economy and community for all of us.

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