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Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown Stands Down, Bound For EU …

  • April 16th, 2012
  • Posted by EUEditor

bob-brown-wikipedia.jpg franklin-wikipedia.jpgThe leader of the environmentalist third party in Australia, Senator Bob Brown, announced his resignation from parliament, 13.4.12, declaring the green movement would continue to expand.

WILDERNESS CAMPAIGNER

Senator Brown, originally a medical doctor then a campaigner for preservation of wilderness in his home state of Tasmania, built a stable following for the Green Party, with a bloc of ten members in the federal parliament.

It had become the “most cohesive, sure-footed and settled of the parties”, he said.

GLOBAL COMMITMENTS, EU AND ELSEWHERE

His agenda, apart from a return to spectacular landscapes in  Tasmania, takes in some global commitments, beginning with a visit to Germany as the home of an early and now powerful green party.

“Amongst many anticipated things to do comes accepting a kind invitation from Stuttgart University and the (world’s first) Greens government of Baden-Württemberg to give a speech in the city hall in Stuttgart in September”, he said in a message to supporters.

“I have also offered to accompany the Rwandan Greens Party leader, Frank Habineza, whose deputy was recently found beheaded, safely back to his country later this year, to help re-establish the Rwandan Greens right to exist there. As well, I am keen to see Papua New Guinea Greens leader Dorothy Tekwi win her courageous bid for the seat of Vanimo – held by the current Deputy Prime Minister – in PNG’s elections due soon.”

HANDING OVER

The Senator said that at 67 he’d decided it was time to go, of his “own volition”, handing over to his deputy, Senator Christine Milne.

In  2010 he negotiated terms with the minority Labor government to provide it with support in parliament, in exchange for environmental initiatives, notably the commencement of an emissions trading scheme, set to come into law in July.

It would start with a charge or tax, based on the principle of “polluter pays”, he said.

FURTHER COMMENTS

Further comments from the statement by Bob Brown:

franklin-river-iinet.jpgI have just returned …from the Third Global Greens Conference in Dakar, Senegal. There I gained the rewarding impression of Green politics growing to meet the needs of the Twenty First Century world. The Australian and New Zealand Greens are taking key roles in that Greens advance. It was in the lead to, and at this get-together with the Greens global leadership, with Paul by my side, that we finally determined this is the right time for me to move on.

The Greens are a logical response to the post industrial age human community’s need to secure the biosphere, biodiversity, equal opportunity and long-term economic, employment and lifestyle security. Greens political philosophy will grow and spread regardless of any individual. I arrived in Tasmania shortly after the Greens established in 1972 and I will leave before we Greens inevitably gain much stronger roles in governance in Tasmania, Australia and beyond.

Out of elected office I will continue to enjoy being part of this optimistic and enlightened new politics and tangling with its often bleak and recriminating critics. The future is Green.

I have been contemplating parliamentary retirement for some time. I started 10 turbulent years in the Tasmanian parliament beginning with the Franklin River blockade in 1983, and ending with the very successful Labor-Green accord of 1989-92: witness Tasmania’s Freedom of Information laws, economic reforms, educational outcomes and 650,000 hectares of new World Heritage wilderness.

Since then, there have been 12 exciting years in the Senate with the Greens since Tampa [stranding of asylum seekers aboard a Norwegian ship of that name in 2000, the then Howard government of Australia refusing them landfall], defending international law on refugees and leading calls for self determination in Timor, Tibet and West Papua. We have spearheaded political action for the Murray-Darling Basin and other rural lands threatened by dams and mining, the nation’s wild forests and marine ecosystems, the Northern Territory’s right not to have a nuclear waste dump, the Kimberley, the Great Barrier reef, the Traditional Owners’ plea to protect the wild rivers flowing to Lake Eyre, and every city’s need for bikeways and pedestrian amenities and fast, clean, cheap public transport. The Greens show how Australia can well fund a disability insurance scheme, Denticare, and the Gonski educational package without a budget black hole. And, of course, we invigorated Australia’s new package to curb carbon pollution while boosting the real incomes of poorer households. We are the advocates for marriage equality and euthanasia.

Reference

Bob Brown, “The time has come”, Canberra, 13.4.12.

Pictures

Brown, Franklin River, Tasmania – wikipedia, members iinet

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