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High Speed Rail Study spiked in Senate

The Government and Opposition have voted down Greens Leader Bob Brown's motion advocating a feasibility study into a high speed passenger rail service linking Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.

The Government opposed the study but presented no reason. Speaking for the coalition, Senator MacDonald said the study would cost too much.

"This is a good idea derailed by sheer ignorance," Senator Brown said.

"High Speed Rail is established or being built in Japan, China France, Britain, Spain, the USA and Saudi Arabia.

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Greens propose High Speed Rail link

With the Melbourne-Sydney flight route the 4th busiest in the world, Australian Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown today called for work to begin on establishing a High Speed Rail (HSR) link between the nation's biggest capital cities.

Launching the Greens proposal for a major concept study into an east coast High Speed Rail link at Southern Cross Station in Melbourne, Senator Brown said travel between Sydney and Melbourne or Brisbane on a High Speed Rail network would take only 4 hours city centre to city centre, with comfortable seats, phone and internet access.

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Greens lambast Minister over forest toxin scare

Tasmanian Minister Nick Sherry, who represents Forestry Minister Tony Burke in the Senate, had ‘no briefing' when asked today about the high-profile fear of forest plantation run off poisoning drinking water in Tasmania.

Greens Leader Bob Brown asked Senator Sherry when Minister Burke first knew about the toxins from Eucalyptus Nitens plantations and how much taxpayers' money had gone into genetic selection of the species. The Minister replied he had no briefing from Minister Burke.

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Brown calls for Parliament House walk

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown has called for a direct, uninterrupted walkway and bikeway from Canberra's Civic city centre to Parliament House.

Parliamentary authorities have said they will look at the proposal.

Describing pedestrian access from Civic to Parliament House as an ‘imbroglio' and ‘a mess,' Senator Brown told a Senate estimates committee this morning that visitors saw Parliament House as the iconic building of the nation's capital and the pivot of democracy, and wanted to visit it.

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Greens release National Recycling Scheme plan ahead of COAG environment ministers meeting

The Australian Greens are calling on the federal government to stop wasting time and use its power to immediately adopt a national approach to recycling.

The Greens today released a policy paper which outlines a National Recycling Scheme to provide co-ordination, support and incentives to grow the $12 billion recycling industry. The paper highlights the great business and job creation opportunities in recycling as well as the significant contribution it makes to greenhouse gas abatement.

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Hawke's Environmental Review must be heeded by Rudd

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown says today's review of the nation's environmental laws, which flags Commonwealth supervision of logging in Australia's forests, should be heeded.

"This review is badly needed," Senator Brown said.

"It echoes the findings of Justice Marshall in the Federal Court, that logging of native forests is helping drive rare and endangered species towards extinction.

"The Regional Forest Agreements are a licence to slaughter endangered species which would see other operators put in gaol," Senator Brown said.

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