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Greens challenge Andrews, Labor, over Haneef

The decision by Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews to hold Dr Mohamed Haneef in Villawood Detention Centre, overriding the Queensland magistrate's grant of bail will unnecessarily threaten Australia's name overseas, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.
"This is a politician overriding the judiciary.  It is also domestic politics overriding international reputation – a hallmark of Howard government politicking which has made Australia a less democratic, fair and secure country," Senator Brown said.

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10 climate crimes

The Howard Policy Agenda 1996 to 2006
Over the last 10 years the Howard government has repeatedly pushed climate change policy in the wrong direction. The economics of climate change are straight forward, we need to charge polluters for their emissions and give people and companies incentives to increase efficiency. The politics of climate change, however, has encouraged the Howard Government to spend billions of dollars pushing the economy in the wrong direction. The biggest mistakes of the last decade are:

Perverse policy measure

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Door left open for Brown visit to Guantanamo Bay

The government, in consultation with the American administration, is considering a request from Greens Leader Bob Brown to visit David Hicks at Guantanamo Bay next week.  
Senator Brown told the Senate today that the new US ambassador Robert D. McCallum Jr, had written to him advising that the Australian government is 'the clearing house' for such visits.
Senator Helen Coonan, representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, says the government is consulting Washington to see if Senator Brown should 'be enabled' to visit Hicks.

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Brown heads to the US for award,

Greens Leader Bob Brown will travel to San Francisco on Wednesday to receive an environment award from the Rainforest Action Network.
The award honours environmental activists from around the globe and recognises Senator Brown's efforts to protect Tasmania's forests and wildlife from destruction.
Senator Brown has sought permission to visit Australia citizen David Hicks in Gunatanamo Bay during his trip, but has been given the run-around by both the Australian government and US embassy.

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Ruddock's torture comments 'dangerous' – Greens

Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock's dangerous claim that sleep deprivation is not torture will send a shudder through Australians who believe in internationals laws against torture, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.  
"Using ghettoblasters and extreme cold and light to keep prisoners awake for days on end is part of new torture techniques aimed to scar the mind but not the body," Senator Brown said.
"Phillip Ruddock is dumping long-held Australian values," Senator Brown said.
Further information: Ebony Bennett 0409 164 603

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Family Farce

It is clear from Steve Fielding's interview with Laurie Oakes (Channel 9, Sunday program) that his trip to the Indonesian embassy and West Papuan refugees in the last few days were political pantomine, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.  
Fielding says he will vote against the government's immigration bill because the government is 'obviously wanting to please Indonesia' and is 'not prepared to play by the rules', adding that if other countries transferred refugees to third countries (like Nauru) 'there would be absolute chaos'.

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Hicks disgrace should now end – Brown

"The Prime Minister's decision to back David Hicks' imprisonment in Guantanamo Bay broke Australian and International law: it is a disgrace which should end now the US Supreme Court has ruled against Military Commissions trying the inmates", Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.
"The Howard Government, backed by the Labor Opposition, recognised these illegal Military Commissions in the 2004 Transfer of Prisoners Act, a recognition which the Greens strenuously opposed," Senator Bob Brown said.

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Howard should reverse Papua blunder

Prime Minister John Howard should reverse the blunder of legislating for West Papuan refugees to be banned from Australian soil, Greens Leader Bob Brown said in Sydney today.
"There is no common ground between a Nauruan solution and processing refugees in Australia. That given, the PM should look at how to allay Indonesian anxiety that Australia will simply be a receptacle for West Papuans activists," Senator Brown said.

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