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GREENS BUDGET RESPONSE - Environment cut, still no carbon tax

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown says that the Rudd Government's third
budget makes major cuts to key environmental programs and has failed to
deliver a carbon tax to tackle climate change.

"The good news tonight is that as a result of the Greens-backed economic
stimulus package, unemployment will be at 4.75%, not the double figures
we would have had if the opposition had succeeded in blocking the
stimulus package," said Senator Brown.

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A tax on resources profits would benefit all of us

Australia is not benefiting enough from the sale of its natural resources.

The value of top mineral production between 2006–2007 totalled around $100 billion. But the Australian community saw little more than 7 per cent returned in state and Commonwealth tax revenue.

Compared with other nations, we are flogging off our vast natural resources at a cut price.

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Manage resource boom better to plan for future need

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown today called for the creation of a new National Resources Fund and resource rent tax to secure revenue and infrastructure funding for Australia into the future.

The Greens proposed resource rent tax would replace current Commonwealth and state mining tax regimes with a national 50% tax on excess profits on all major mineral production in Australia, including petroleum, gas, coal, iron ore and other minerals.

Depending on international market fluctuations, it could increase current resources revenue by $5 billion - $10 billion per year.

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Senate censures Government over climate program mishandling

The Senate has passed a censure motion moved by Australian Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown over the Rudd Government's mishandling of climate change programs.

An amended version of the censure motion moved by Senator Brown today was passed by the Greens and the Coalition and will now be conveyed to the House of Representatives.

This is the first time a formal censure of the Government has been passed by the Senate since 2005.

The final text of the censure motion by Senator Bob Brown was:

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Greens to move whole of Government censure motion

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown will today move in the Senate to censure the Government for its gross and systematic failure in the delivery of climate change programs.

The motion will also call for the establishment of a unified Ministry and Department of Climate Change and Energy.

The motion will be moved at approximately 3pm, following Question Time.

No censure motion has been moved or passed in the Senate in this term of office, and no censure motion has been passed in either House of Parliament since 2005.

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Greens welcome Garnaut backing

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown has welcomed Professor Ross Garnaut's support for the Greens proposal for an interim carbon tax until the nation finalises its carbon emissions reduction strategy.

Professor Garnaut called the proposal ‘another politically practical way forward'.

Senator Brown and Greens climate spokesperson Senator Christine Milne wrote to Prime Minister Rudd last week flagging the $23 per tonne carbon tax, to begin this July and apply only to the 1000 worst polluters in Australia.

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