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After Nigel Brennan’s ordeal: Senate agrees to inquiry on Australians held for ransom

In the wake of Queensland photographer Nigel Brennan's ordeal, shackled to the floor for years in Somalia, the Senate has agreed to a Greens' move for an inquiry and to help Australians kidnapped in the future, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

Greens Leader Bob Brown's motion passed the Senate on Thursday. He moved:

That the following matters be referred to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee for inquiry and report by 19 September 2011:

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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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Tasmanian pollies should support health insurance savings

Bob Brown 26 May 2011

Tasmanian politicians should support means testing of the private health insurance rebate to ensure a better flow of money into our public hospitals, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"The government's proposal to save $3.4 billion over four years by means testing the rebate will be a good thing for Tasmania as the savings flow into our public health system," Senator Brown said.

"Nine out of ten Tasmanians with private health insurance will not be affected by these changes."

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Old economy wins while new economy loses

Bob Brown 10 May 2011

Public mental health and private mineral wealth are the big winners out of this year's budget, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"The Greens are celebrating the $1.5 billion boost to mental health funding, although we are shocked to discover that almost $0.5 billion is outside the forward estimates. There is a bias in the overall budget to the influential mining barons who are unelected and send massive profits overseas. While the mining corporations gain, programs for Australians, including the environment have been cut by billions," Senator Brown said.

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The Greening of Tony Abbott

Bob Brown 28 Apr 2011

Tony Abbott has come full circle to back the Australian Greens' calls in 2005 for the roll out of unsniffable petrol in central Australia, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today in Brisbane.

"The roll out of OPAL petrol was delayed back in 2005, by a hostile health minister Tony Abbott, who insulted Aboriginal communities with his dismissive reference to petrol-sniffers as 'hell-bent on self destruction'."
"The ban on sniffable petrol should have occurred six years ago and that is six years of needless misery because Tony Abbott failed in his duty of care."

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Coalition and Labor vote down health bill

Bob Brown 3 Mar 2011

The Coalition used its balance of power numbers this morning to back the Gillard government and block a Greens' bill that aimed to ban junk food advertisements in children's TV hours.

The Protecting Children from Junk Food Advertising (Broadcasting Amendment) Bill 2010, from Greens Leader Bob Brown, would have emulated a ban on such junk food ads in Norway, Sweden, the UK and Quebec.

Senator Brown chided speakers for the Labor-Coalition majority for describing obesity as a "cultural" problem which would not be helped by further curbs on junk food ads.

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Greens support inquiry into enhanced territory powers - Brown

The Australian Greens are pleased that the inquiry into territory powers, blocked three years ago, will proceed and hope that the bill to enhance democracy for the territories will be law within months, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"Support for the bill is an outcome of the new politics in Australia where people have voted for greater diversity. There is a growing acceptance that representation in the territories should be improved," Senator Brown said in Canberra today.

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Greens move to curb junk food advertising - Brown

Bob Brown 2 Mar 2011

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown today urged all sides of politics to support the Greens bill to protect children from junk food advertising on television, amid an obesity epidemic that is costing the nation billions of dollars.

"As the Australian Medical Association says, obesity is a problem that the parliament can no longer afford to ignore, Senator Brown said in Canberra today. 

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