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Greens act to defend Ombudsman and strengthen his position

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown says he will move to give the Commonwealth Ombudsman the same access as the Auditor-General to the Public Accounts and Audit Committee to overcome the roadblock on the Ombudsman reporting back to Parliament on his office's performance.

"A similar facility is offered the Ombudsman under NSW and New Zealand law and it was a blunder for no report-back mechanism to be built into Australia's Commonwealth law," Senator Brown said today in Canberra.

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Wilkie challenged to put up

Denison MHR Andrew Wilkie's warning (The Australian, 12/9/2011) that he will vote against any media inquiry which ‘smacks of politics', smacks of politics, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"He should put up his own terms," Senator Brown said.

"The Greens proposal includes an examination of the concentration of media ownership, and its impact, and the adequacy of self-regulation of ethical standards."

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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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Abbott challenged on Tassie insult

Bob Brown 27 Aug 2011

Greens Leader Bob Brown has challenged Tony Abbott's insult about Labor Green cooperation being a disease which began in Tasmania and is spreading to the mainland. "He is putting down most Tasmanian voters, but then he would, wouldn't he?" Senator Brown asked.

"Tony Abbott's admitted 70 billion dollar policy debt would be far worse than a disease, it would be death to hundreds of thousands of jobs, small businesses and to health, education and other services in Tasmania and around Australia," Senator Brown said.

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Tasmania will be winners - Brown

Tasmania will be winners in the clean energy package, Australian Greens Leader and Tasmanian Senator Bob Brown said in Canberra today.

"The hard work over months of Christine Milne and I will bring real dividends, for example through household payments, to Tasmanians.

"We have generally lower average incomes than mainland states so stand to get higher household payments proportionate to incomes. If used wisely, for example in making homes more energy efficient (see, these payments can lead to long term lower power bills.

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