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Mining tax needs fixing to protect state royalties - Brown

The federal government should not featherbed the big mining corporations by rebating state royalties, and Barry O'Farrell should get his facts right on the carbon price, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"The Gillard government is in a bind over its feeble mining tax. Already, $100 billion is being lost over the next 10 years from the public purse. This is money which should be going to hospitals, housing, schools, dental care or developing high-speed rail," Senator Brown said in Hobart.

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Brown counters Abbott’s offer on asylum seekers

The Greens are offering the Gillard government help to implement the most popular option on asylum seekers which is to process them in Australia, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"We already have a Senate bill for 30-day processing of asylum seekers, to match best process overseas. The bill also repeals offshore processing," Senator Brown said in Hobart.

"I think it would be a real pity if the government used the High Court and the Solicitor-General as an excuse to cave in to the Coalition and to cave in to the right generally."

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Greens getting on with the job

1 September marks one year since the Australian Greens signed an historic agreement with Prime Minister Julia Gillard's Labor Government.

The Gillard agreement has achieved outcomes for Australians in terms of passage of bills and lack of confrontation between the houses. We have consultation instead of confrontation.

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PBO a great step forward for democracy: Brown

Australian Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown has welcomed legislation to establish an independent Parliamentary Budget Office, which will provide non-partisan costings of policies and advice on budget and fiscal settings.

“The establishment of a Parliamentary Budget Office is a great step forward for democracy in Australia, and lends greater accountability and transparency to political promises made by all parties.

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A milestone for Territorians and Australian democracy: Brown

Bob Brown 18 Aug 2011

Greens Leader Bob Brown said he is delighted that the Senate has passed the Greens' territory rights private senator's bill.

"This important democratic legislation prevents territory laws being overridden at the whim of just one federal minister," Senator Brown said in Canberra today.

"Territorians in the Northern Territory and ACT deserve better than that. I hope that the House of Representatives will soon deal with the legislation and that all MPs will back the bill and the territories' rights," Senator Brown said.

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The Green Dividend - Senator Bob Brown's National Press Club Address

Transcript is after the break

Ladies and Gentlemen

I acknowledge the traditional owners of the Canberra region and all the Indigenous people of Australia.

This Friday, 1 July, is the 28th anniversary of the High Court judgement which stopped the Franklin Dam. But in the preceding week of 1983, Tasmania recorded the lowest temperatures in history. It snowed heavily to sea level. The bulldozers in the Franklin and Gordon Valley were stopped. So, Mother Nature got into the act ahead of the High Court!

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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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