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The ecological debt of the nation

Senator MILNE (Tasmania) (10.59 am)-I rise to address the issue of debt. I particularly want to talk about the fact that the Leader of the Opposition, the honourable Malcolm Turnbull, has been saying that he does not want to look into the eyes of future generations and tell them that they plunged the country into debt. Let me say that no government plunged this nation into further debt-it was massive debt!-than the Howard government.

Senator Brandis-We paid off the entire debt.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN-Order! Senator Brandis!

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Environmental Impact of Exercise Talisman Sabre 2009

Senator Ludlam: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts (transferred to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence on 19 December 2008)-

(1) What environmental impact studies have been conducted in relation to the planned Exercise Talisman Sabre 2009, which will involve the movement of tens of thousands of troops, with associated tanks and other military hardware, on the fragile ecosystems of the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area in Central Queensland.

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Rudd Carbon Plan Unravelling: Urgent Review Needed

The Australian Greens say the growing discontent over the Government's carbon trading scheme - including the Government's own advisor Professor Ross Garnaut - now means it's imperative that an immediate review be held of the scheme's targets and design.

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Some are more equal than others - what does the emissions target mean?

This post was published originally this morning at ABC Online

One of the most important numbers in Australia's history was revealed yesterday - a number that carries with it the hopes and fears of millions of people and embodies our priorities as a nation, our balancing of the relative worth of human beings.

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Business-as-usual cannot trump the laws of science on climate change

The Australian Greens today warned the Rudd Government that its emissions trading scheme must be based on science.

"Prime Minister Rudd must recognise that he cannot negotiate with the laws of physics and chemistry. Speeding up already announced renewable energy funding will not compensate for weak targets," Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Climate Change Spokesperson, Senator Christine Milne, said.

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Ronan Lee is Queensland’s first Greens MP

The Member for Indooroopilly, Ronan Lee, is Queensland's first Greens MP. Mr Lee resigned from the Labor Party today.

Mr Lee, who won Indooroopilly from the Liberals in 2001 and then retained the seat in 2004 and 2006, says he will provide a strong, sensible response to the climate crisis for Queensland.

Mr Lee said, "Queensland needs to take advantage of its natural advantages to make our state the world's leading solar power economy".

"We also need to focus our infrastructure spending on building a world-class public transport system"

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Estimates hearings: Great Barrier Reef

STANDING COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT, COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTSGreat Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Discussion Senator MILNE—I am very interested to know what the current impacts of climate change are on the reef. I would like to start with the surface temperature. Could you tell us how the water temperature has changed—if it has changed—over the last decade and what the trend line is? What is the threshold that has triggered a bleaching event in the past? Are we anywhere near that in terms of average temperatures now?

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Bligh’s choice: Coal wins over the Reef

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has bought into Professor Garnaut's climate change defeatism and chosen to prioritise coal over the Great Barrier Reef, Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne said today.

Senator Milne said "Anna Bligh cannot have it both ways. She cannot claim to want to protect the Reef and the tens of thousands of jobs it provides, at the same time as arguing for a free ride for coal, aluminium and other big polluters.

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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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Garrett's Choice: Mega Coal or Shoalwater Bay

The Australian Greens have called on Environment Minister Peter Garrett to use his existing powers to protect Queensland beautiful Shoalwater Bay from the environmentally destructive Waratah Coal mine, pipeline, rail and port facility.

Greens Senator Christine Milne said the $5.3b. Waratah Coal project was projected to produce 50 million tonnes of coal per annum from an area 20 kms from Byfield town, linking by rail to a proposed port wholly located within a RAMSAR-listed wetland in Shoalwater Bay.

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