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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) would kick-start the Afghan

community. We're about to be joined by Greens Leader Bob

Brown who will talk about the

controversial preference deal

the Greens have struck with the

Labor Party which will essentially preference the

Greens' chances in the Senate

with the Greens' preferences helping Labor in the Lower

House. We'll also get his views

on the Greens Leader more than

likely being left out of the much publicised campaign debate

that's now more than likely to take place between Julia

Gillard and tact. Lots of

controversy there surrounding

the timing of that debate given

its up against a certain very

popular TV show on a commercial

TV channel. For more Bob Brown

joins us. Good morning. Do you

understand why some voters may

get cynical about what seems a

very tidy preference deal being

struck between the Greens and

the Labor Party and if some

voters wanted to park a protest

vote against Labor they may be

encouraged to pursue ind independent candidates? I

think that's media speculation

but I understand why people

don't like back-room deals, but

that's been insisted on by the

big parties. I tried to get rid

of it in the last Senate

session but they voted it down.

I had a Bill for non-deals so

that people put their own

preferences into the Senate.

But we're dealing with it. I

have asked the party to make

the full slate available

because I see it's leaking all

over the place anyway and

indeed in the Adelaide

'Advertiser' this morning it

says the Greens have snubbed

Labor. Let's have it all out if

we can and move on. The

how-to-votes are always just a

guide. We need to ensure that

people know that they should put their preferences where

they want to. That's important

thing. But the Greens

hierarchy, the head office of

the party and the Labor Party

for that matter don't share

your distaste. They've gone

ahead and struck this deal

anyway? You'd have to. And I'm

very grateful to that

hierarchy, who are volunteers

by the way, doing the best they

can to get the best outcome. And preferences are required

because the big parties

legislated for it and insist

upon it. But that said, we go

into this election telling

people to put their preferences

where they want to, and that

includes in both Houses. I

think that's the - it's just an

important message so that

people don't get to think that

they have to vote the way their

party thinks. What I'm saying

to people is vote 1 Green hand

then put the other parties in

the order of your preference. I

met a person who's worked for

the Liberal Party for a long

time yesterday. She is voting

Green. And it may be that in

her seat there's preferences

indications back to Labor but

if she wants to put her

preferences across to the

Liberals that's her business

and her right. Among those

criticising the deal I suppose

understandably this morning is

the Family First senator Steve

Fielding who is a very real

risk of losing his Senate seat

to a Greens candidate in

Victoria. He says if this deal goes ahead then the Labor

Government will be held hostage

by "Bob Brown and his gang of

hippie friends". Do you see that sentiment taking hold

amongst voters? That's one of

the reasons why we won't see

Stephen fielding in the next

Senate. He was elected on the

grubbiest preference deal in

history. Where thousands of

voters in Victoria were duped

by their own party into

thinking the preferences were

going to the Greens and in

fact, they were shunted across

in a back-room deal to Steven

Fielding so he's hardly got

anything to crow about. I think

another good example why we

should legislate to - in the

future - and I put this

challenge to both Labor and

Liberal in this campaign to join me

join me in legislation to have

above the line voting for

voters in the Senate so we get

rid of future preference

deals. It appears increasingly

likely the first and only campaign debate will take place

this Sunday and there will be

only two podiums in the

relevant TV studio. Are you disappointed about being left

out? Yeah, but I'm not surprised. Julia Gillard and

Tony Abbott would like me to be

as far away as possible,

because they don't want to be

tested on a carbon price for

climate change. They don't want

to be questioned about bringing

our troops safely home from

Afghanistan. They don't want to

be questioned on getting rid of

discrimination in the marriage

laws. They don't want to be

questioned on getting rid of

back-room deals for preference

a whole range of issues that the Greens would bring that are

fresh, that are this century.

Both the other parties are last

century. I have as much chance

of getting into that debate as

I have of getting on to the

finals of 'Masterchef'. It does

the real challengers to both indicate that the Greens are

the big parties. We're going to

run a strong campaign on issues

they won't like. How can you

guarantee to people who may be inclined to vote Labor that

preference deal that you just harking back to the

haven't done a deal on climate

change that could disadvantage

some of the business groups,

some of the energy companies in

Australia? Any deal if we're

to do t but there has been I'm

told no issues. I've certainly

not been involved in any issue

discussion. I note Julia

Gillard said that. And that's

how it is. But I can tell you

this: if we get involved in any

arrangement in the next

Parliament, and it will be for

a carbon price on climate

change, it will advantage

businesses right across this

country. Labour intensive

renewable energy businesses,

not least in rural and regional

Australia. It will be a winner

for them. Thanks for your time