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Science needs more support: Bandt

The government needs to set a national goal for research and development spending of at least 3% of GDP, Greens MP Adam Bandt told a meeting of the biotechnology industry today.

Addressing the breakfast meeting of the BioMelbourne Network at Melbourne's Federation Square , Mr Bandt said while there had been increased business investment in R&D, government funding was lagging behind.

"I believe that science, technology and innovation are crucial to Australia's current and future prosperity," Mr Bandt said.

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Save and expand foreign aid

This month the world is learning about the ongoing famine in the Horn of Africa, where about 12 million people have been hit by the worst drought in almost 60 years. Australia has pledged more than $11 million in aid. It's heart-wrenching to see malnourished children in refugee camps in Kenya with tubes in their noses to feed them because their hungry mothers cannot.

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Carbon price will cut pollution now, lay foundations for science-based climate action

Australia will start to cut carbon pollution immediately and is laying firm foundations for more ambitious, science-based climate action in the years ahead thanks to the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee agreement announced today.

"The Greens promised to deliver a climate action package which was a platform for stronger action rather than a ceiling which held Australia back and we have done just that," Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.

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Abbott being irresponsible with Whyalla residents for his own political purposes

The Federal Opposition leader is being irresponsible in his claims that the OneSteel plant in Whyalla will close should a price on carbon pollution be introduced, the Greens said today.

"Mr Abbott is creating unnecessary anxiety among South Australians by claiming that putting a price on pollution will lead to OneSteel closing in Whyalla," South Australian Greens Senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

"Just as he was plain wrong in claiming petrol prices would rise, he is wrong in talking up a One Steel closure.

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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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Greens secure further support for small companies in R&D bill

The Greens will support the government's research and development reforms because they increase support for small and medium sized businesses engaging in R&D, particularly after the Greens secured amendments to help the cash-flow of these companies which are the engine room of innovation in Australia.

The agreement to make quarterly cash payments to small and medium-sized companies, instead of annual tax credits, was reached after a lengthy consultation by the Greens with a broad range of industry representatives.

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Attack on campaign is hypocritical

Tens of thousands of people attended peaceful rallies around the country on Sunday in support of action on climate change, despite the Coalition and News Ltd media empire's negative campaign against cutting pollution via a carbon tax.

I am writing this from Christmas Island and could not attend the rally in Adelaide. I am gladdened Australians were not intimidated from speaking out.

The Sunday before the rallies, the News Ltd press attacked proponents of taking action, such as actress Cate Blanchett, for publicly supporting efforts to combat climate change.

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Urgent action needed to end live exports - Brown

Greens Leader Bob Brown today urged federal parliamentarians to unite behind new laws to stop live exports of animals for slaughter.

"We've written to the government and opposition to urge them to make debate on live exports a priority when parliament resumes on 14 June," Senator Brown said in Hobart.

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Bandt congratulates climate commission on forum

Greens MP Adam Bandt joined the Prime Minister, members of the Cabinet and other MPs at today's public forum held by the Climate Commission at Parliament House.

Mr Bandt congratulated the Commission on a fantastic forum and said it reinforced the need for urgent and profound action.

"The Commissioners are to be congratulated on an excellent event", Mr Bandt said.

"The Climate Commissioners clear answers to my question about the climate impact on Australia's agriculture show we have no time to waste."

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