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Abbott's dam plan is ill-conceived - Brown

Dams can increase the risk of flooding and impose irreversible changes that damage forests, wetlands, fisheries and farmland, nor should the devastating Queensland floods cause any delay to Murray-Darling reforms, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"Dams may prevent smaller floods but can increase damage during exceptionally large floods when severe weather events cause a sudden release of water," Senator Brown said.

"Tony Abbott's plan is ill-conceived."

"Australia's flood history shows that major floods can top dams built in their way."

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Nationals put mining ahead of farmers

The Australian Greens are appalled that the Nationals have buckled to mining industry pressure to allow mining exploration under prime farming land without a water sustainability study.

Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown, who today moved amendments to the Water Amendment Bill, originally proposed in the lower house by New England Independent Tony Windsor, said the Nationals had buckled under mining industry pressure.

"When it came to the crunch - the mining industry raised its finger and the Nationals have come to heel."

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Senate backs pipeline opposition

The Senate today passed a motion by Greens Leader Bob Brown:

"That the Senate-

(a) notes the arrest of a farmer in Victoria who opposed the Sugarloaf Pipeline, which is being forcibly constructed from the Goulburn Valley to Melbourne; and

(b) calls on the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts
(Mr Garrett) to urgently reconsider his approval of this costly,
environmentally-unsound and controversial project."

The government opposed the motion.

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Brown calls on Garrett to review pipeline decision

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown today gave notice of a motion calling on Environment Minister Peter Garrett to reconsider the north-south pipeline in Victoria.

The motion reads:
That the Senate notes the arrest of a farmer in Victoria who opposed the pipeline being forcibly constructed from the Goulburn Valley to Melbourne and calls on Environment Minister Peter Garrett to urgently reconsider his approval of this costly, environmentally unsound and controversial project.

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Greens celebrate electoral gains

Greens Leader Bob Brown says the Greens' near-win in Mayo, Rob Oakeshott's landslide in Lyne, and the 4% state-wide swing to the Greens in Western Australia spell disintegration for the two-party system in Australia.

"Had the Greens' Lynton Vonow got the column inches or TV time given the Liberals' Jamie Briggs, Mayo would have gone to the Greens," Senator Brown said.

"As it is, the seat will be decided on absentee and postal votes and we Greens are keeping our fingers crossed.

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Garnaut's weak targets recipe for catastrophic climate change – Greens

Rudd must lead globe towards strict targets

The weak targets advocated in the supplementary report from the Garnaut review released today are based on outdated science, risk catastrophic climate change and will undermine global negotiations towards an effective climate treaty, Australian Greens Senators Bob Brown and Christine Milne said today.

"Professor Garnaut concluded that it 'is worth paying less than 1% of GNP as a premium for the 450[ppm] strategy'. Surely, then, this should be our starting point, not our ultimate goal," Senator Brown said.

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Greens could win Mayo, says Downer

"Voting Green is the best way to focus national attention on the Murray" - Brown

Alexander Downer's anguished letter to the voters of Mayo expressing fear that the Greens' Lynton Vonow or an independent could win the seat means just that - the Liberals could lose on Saturday, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"And no one will be more to blame than Alexander Downer himself because he dumped Mayo after his party lost office last November," Senator Brown said.

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Liberals in Mayo panic

Anti-Greens brochures from the Liberal Party that are being circulated in Mayo show a party in panic and fearing a loss of the seat, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said in Canberra today. The Greens candidate for Mayo is Lynton Vonow.

"These brochures, which follow the path of misrepresentation of the Greens taken the by the Exclusive Brethren at recent elections, are set to deceive the voters of Mayo," Senator Brown said.

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Senate supports Save the Coorong inquiry

The Greens say a landmark agreement by all sides of politics to urgently investigate how to save the Coorong and lower lakes of the Murray can be a blueprint for future action by the Senate.

Greens Senator for South Australia Sarah Hanson-Young today moved that the Rural and Regional Affairs Committee “urgently inquire into the availability of water for the Murray River’s lower lakes and Coorong regions, to save our Storm Boy country”, which was supported unanimously.

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