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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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Australia should disengage from Afghanistan war

Greens Leader Bob Brown today urged Prime Minister Julia Gillard to make good on her promise to have an annual debate on Australia's military commitment to the war in Afghanistan and, amid an increasingly ugly debate on asylum seekers, urged all sides to respect the right of people fleeing that war to seek asylum in this country.

"Australian soldiers should be brought home, without delay. As Professor Hugh White said this morning, the government should consider that we might lose as many as another 40 Australians there over the next three years, Senator Brown said.

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