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Australia must keep GM-free advantage

With the Coalition supporting the states' plans to give away Australia's genetically-modified (GM) free food status, Rudd Labor should declare its hand, Greens leader Bob Brown said today, campaigning with SA Greens senate candidate Sarah Hanson-Young in Adelaide.
 "GM-free status has been giving Australia's canola producers a premium on world markets. Worldwide, consumers are more and more diligent in avoiding contaminated foods and are increasingly drawn to organic foods," Senator Brown said.

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Questions for Eric Abetz, Minister for Forests

Minister for Forests Eric Abetz, will today launch the Coalition's forest policy at the 10,000 hectare Wielangta forest, which he wants to log and burn.
 
The Federal Court ruled against Forestry Tasmania, Senator Abetz and Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull last September and in favour of Senator Bob Brown's challenge to protect Wielangta forest as the habitat of rare and endangered species. The decision is under appeal.
 
Senator Brown said Forest Minister Eric Abetz needed to answer the following questions:
 

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Howard and Turnbull should explain climate grant against advice

Australian Greens leader Bob Brown today called on Prime Minister Howard and Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull to explain a decision to bypass some of the world's top climate scientists in awarding a grant for climate change impacts studies earlier this week.
 
"Prime Minister Howard and Mr Turnbull must categorically state there was no political interference in this decision to award a $50 million grant to a bid from a marginal Coalition seat," Senator Brown asked.
 

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GREENS National Initiative on Forests and Climate POLICY

 Launceston. Both Labor and the Coalition are promoting Gunns' Tamar Valley pulp mill which, together with two Gunns' export woodchip mills, will consume more than 200,000 hectares of native forests over the next 20 years.  The mill will increase national greenhouse gas emissions by up to two per cent.
 
The Greens' plan in Tasmania, launched in Launceston today by Greens leader Bob Brown, is to:

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Tax cuts and big spending promises inflationary – Greens

Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown has labelled the tax cuts and spending programs of the Coalition and the ALP as inflationary.
 
"Both John Howard and Kevin Rudd are spending to win the election, not to secure the nation's future," Senator Brown said.
 
"If you inject money in the form of tax cuts into an overheated economy you get inflationary pressure. It is far better to put that money into infrastructure and services such as health, education and public transport instead of tax cuts."
 

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Healthy Universities – a public investment in the public interest

Greens Leader Bob Brown was at Sydney University today to launch the Greens Higher Education Policy for Election 07.
"The Greens policy recognises the urgent need to boost public investment in public universities, to support students and assist researchers to equip Australia to thrive in the 21st Century," Senator Brown said.

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Howard shepherding Gay's pulp mill – Brown

 
In a breakdown of proper political process Prime Minister Howard is insisting Cabinet approve Gunns proposed pulp mill in Tasmania despite growing scientific evidence against it, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.
"Howard has a cosy relationship with Gunns' supremo John Gay. The two consulted closely before the ambush on Mark Latham in 2004. However, Howard has no similar contact with the Tasmanian winegrowers, fisheries, farmers, and tourist operators facing the $3 billion negative impact if Gay's pulp mill goes ahead in the Tamar Valley," Senator Brown said.

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Challenge to Labor as Greens launch star candidate in Kingsford-Smith

The first real test of Rudd Labor may come before this year's election if the team of scientists assessing Gunns' pulp mill gives it the expected bad report, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.
 
"If Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull gives the mill the thumbs down, Peter Garrett can hardly say "don't expect me to decide until after the election"," Senator Brown said.
 

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