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Coalition, Fielding stymie public accountability

Bob Brown 11 Mar 2009

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

The Coalition and Family First today blocked six patently reasonable reforms to the Electoral Act to keep a system of Howard-era cover-ups and political murk in place, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"They voted against fair democratic reform aimed at reducing the influence of wealthy donors. It corrupts politics. Senator Fielding has relegated the idea of putting the interests of families' first," Senator Brown said.

Further information: Ebony Bennett 0409 164 603

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TAX LAWS AMENDMENT (POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS AND GIFTS) BILL 2008 - Second Reading

Scott Ludlam 3 Feb 2009

Senator LUDLAM (Western Australia) (1.41pm)-I rise to speak briefly about the position of the Greens on the Tax Laws Amendment (Political Contributions and Gifts) Bill 2008 that is before us today and also to foreshadow the amendments which we will move in the committee stage that a number of other senators have already referred to. Firstly, I will go to the issue of whether we should be moving now or whether we should wait for the outcome of the green paper process that is afoot.

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Greens call for public funding of elections and ban on corporate donations

Bob Brown 2 Feb 2009

Greens call for public funding of elections and ban on corporate donations

Gunns Limited donates $64,750 to the Liberal Party before election

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown says corporate funding of political parties is corrupting and should be replaced, as in Canada, by public funding.

"The Gunns Ltd donations tallying $64,750* to the Liberal Party in 2007 underscore the problem, as pro-pulpmill Liberals in Bass and Braddon faced defeat by the Liberal voters defecting from the Howard government to the Greens," Senator Brown said.

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Greens call for truth in political advertising

Bob Brown 17 Dec 2008

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown today welcomed the release of the federal government's Electoral Reform Green Paper.

"The Greens will consider the options discussed in the Electoral Reform Green Paper over summer," Senator Brown said.

"The Green Paper process should include introducing proportional representation to the lower house, which is the best way to strengthen democracy and ensure that every vote counts and guaranteeing one person, one vote, one value.

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Greens to introduce bill to strengthen democracy and end secret party deals on Senate preferences

A bill to end Senate preference deals by parties will be introduced into the Senate tomorrow by Australian Greens leader Bob Brown.
The Commonwealth Electoral (Above-the-Line Voting) Amendment Bill 2008 will allow voters to order parties by preference above-the-line in the Senate. At present voters wanting their own choice face the complex job of preferencing individual candidates, rather than parties, below-the-line. With this bill, voters will have the option of numbering the parties above the line in their order of choice, giving them control over the flow of preferences.

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Abetz' foolish claim on Wielangta logging challenge funds

Forestry Minister Eric Abetz' claims that Bob Brown has flouted electoral laws, by accepting donations for his federal court action against logging in Tasmania, are foolish and self-defeating, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.  
The real reason for the Minister's anger is the government's exposure in the Federal Court to its appalling licensing of logging in Tasmania's Wielangta (pronounced Why-langta) forest.

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Brown says Donations 'Reek'

A former Labor Minister approved export licences for three major woodchipping companies on the only day of the 1994-95 financial year that two of these companies donated money (totalling $242 500) to the ALP and the Coalition.

The then Resources Minister, David Beddall, extended woodchip approvals for Boral, Amcor, and Wesfarmers Bunnings on 21 December 1994, in what became popularly-known as 'Beddall's Blunder". The community backlash led to then Prime Minister Keating declaring three weeks later on 13 January 1995 that all export woodchipping would be phased out by 2000.

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Young & Black Voting Rights Threatened

Bob Brown 14 Feb 1999

Greens Senator Bob Brown says Government electoral reform legislation to be debated in the Senate on Monday will mean tens of thousands of voters, disproportionately young and black, will miss out on voting.

The Electoral and Referendum Amendment Bill (No. 2) 1998 dramatically shortens the period before an election when people can enrol or re-enol to vote.

"This provision will mean young people and those who generally move house more are much more likely to miss-out on voting at the next election," said Greens Senator Bob Brown.

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