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Greens to advance Abbott's call for farmers' rights

The Australian Greens will bring a bill into the Senate, in the next fortnight, to require the permission of landholders before companies can explore for, or extract, coal seam gas, Greens Leader Bob Brown announced today.

"Queensland's new Greens Senator Larissa Waters' bill will use the corporations power in the constitution to require coal seam gas corporations to get written permission before entering a farmer’s land," Senator Brown said.

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Rethink Ramu Nickel waste: Brown

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown has expressed concern about the Papua New Guinea National Court's decision not to ban a nickel mine from dumping waste into the sea off Madang on PNG’s north coast.

A group of landowners had taken the court action to prevent the Ramu nickel mining dumping up to 5 million tonnes of mine waste into the Astrolabe and Basamuk bays off Madang.

Senator Brown said that the judge recognised that it is likely the dumping would cause ‘serious environmental harm’ but that it isn't illegal under domestic laws. 

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Talks with steel workers

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown met with representatives of steel workers in Wollongong today, making good his promise to do so after Opposition Leader Tony Abbott promised to block the Gillard Government's $300 million Steel Transformation Plan when it comes to parliament later this year.

Accompanied by NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, Senator Brown said their talks were a preliminary exchange of ideas and information.

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Tasmania will be winners - Brown

Tasmania will be winners in the clean energy package, Australian Greens Leader and Tasmanian Senator Bob Brown said in Canberra today.

"The hard work over months of Christine Milne and I will bring real dividends, for example through household payments, to Tasmanians.

"We have generally lower average incomes than mainland states so stand to get higher household payments proportionate to incomes. If used wisely, for example in making homes more energy efficient (see, these payments can lead to long term lower power bills.

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Support moves to protect Australians’ assets - Brown

Greens Leader Bob Brown today urged politicians of all stripes to engage in a mature debate about ownership of Australians' assets, including farm land and minerals wealth.

"The Australian Greens have one initial solution - the Foreign Acquisitions Amendment (Agricultural Land) Bill 2010 jointly sponsored by Christine Milne and Nick Xenophon - with all acquisitions by foreign interests to be subject to a proposed $5 million threshold," Senator Brown said in Hobart.

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Australia’s foreign-owned mining industry to ship $50b in dividends offshore

Some $50 billion reaped from Australia's mineral resources will be sent overseas as dividends to foreign owners over the next five years, according to a report released by Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown during his press club address today.
Key findings of the report Foreign ownership of Australian mining profits are:
*In the next five years foreign owners will earn about $265 billion from their investments in Australia's mineral resources;
*Increasing foreign ownership is creating a significant drag on Australia's current account balance;

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The Green Dividend - Senator Bob Brown's National Press Club Address

Transcript is after the break

Ladies and Gentlemen

I acknowledge the traditional owners of the Canberra region and all the Indigenous people of Australia.

This Friday, 1 July, is the 28th anniversary of the High Court judgement which stopped the Franklin Dam. But in the preceding week of 1983, Tasmania recorded the lowest temperatures in history. It snowed heavily to sea level. The bulldozers in the Franklin and Gordon Valley were stopped. So, Mother Nature got into the act ahead of the High Court!

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Brown says Abbott is unwise to consort with Monckton

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott should rethink plans to associate with Lord Monckton, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"Monckton's despicable abuse of Professor Ross Garnaut can't simply be shaken off and accommodated as free speech," Senator Brown said in Canberra.

"Last year, Mr Abbott met Viscount Monckton of Brenchley and he will renew that association next week at a mining conference in Perth. I urge Mr Abbott to think again," Senator Brown said.

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