Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
ABC News Breakfast -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) existing houses bigger or

building McMansion. Neil, thank

you so much. Now the Coalition is expected to reject another

bill in the Senate today. This

time it's the block legislation

aimed at breaking up Telstra.

The Federal Government is up in

arms about blockages in the

Senate, saying it's shot down 41 bills

41 bills over the past year.

For more Greens Senator and

Greens leader Bob Brown joins

us from Canberra. I suppose

you're relieved you didn't bear

the full brunt of the Federal Government's fury yesterday?

No, Michael, from where the

Greens sit the Senate's been

doing its job efficiently for

Australians, that is improving

legislation and making sure

that the governance of this

country works better. The country works better. The Senate's got a very important

job. It was put there by the

founding fathers to be a

watchdog on Government and

these days when executive

Government treats the House of

Representatives as a rubber

stamp, the Senate's doing a

good job. And in the process

though you're not frustrating

what the Government sees as a

clear mandate from voters on

some very critical bits of

legislation? Well, the

Opposition is, the Coalition Opposition is, the Coalition

has decided to block all the

way down the line but that not

the case with the Greens. For

example w that $41 billion

stimulus package that stopped

this nation going into

recession, the Greens got that

through with a 10,000-job bonus

and some money for the environmental enhancement of

the lower Murray River in SA,

for example. We helped get Fair

Work Australia the Work Australia the legislation

for a better go in the

workplaces through. We've been

able to improve a whole range

of legislation, including for example fringe benefits

arrangements so that people who

were using cars which were

environmentally good didn't get

hit in the same way. We're

continuing to work on such

things as a better outcome for health and for health and for dental care in

Australia and we enjoy it and

we do a good job in the

Senate. Do you believe the

Government is setting the

ground with this rather

extraordinary take on the

Senate, setting the ground for

a possible double dissolution

election? You'll notice it was

a big attack on the Coalition

really rather than the cross

bench and the Greens. We didn't

get mentioned. There's No Doubt the Government

the Government is setting the

frath a possible double

dissolution election. I think

they would be better if on the climate change legislation they

got into negotiations. Hay

refused - they refused to negotiate with the Greens last

year so they're partly

responsible for their problems

in the Senate. Christine Milne's legislation for a

carbon tax on the biggest

polluters is the right way to go, it's received

go, it's received a lot of

praise from industry as well as

academics and experts in the

field and we're not seeing too

much action from the government

on that. If they want to break

the deadlock on that important

piece of legislation they should be talking with the Greens and getting that

going. Has the Senate become

dysfunction snl No, not at all

and in fact, we've got our

sleeves rolled up and we're

working hard but I think the Government

Government - and this is a

Labor Government, and Labor

traditionally doesn't like the

Senate much - this a Government

which is not working the Senate well. I think the Prime

Minister's got to roll his

sleeves up and get to talking

more with Senators and

recognise it's an equal House

under the constitution. It has

a great deal of responsibility.

We take that seriously. We've been able to been able to repeat lade

improve legislation, we'll

continue to do that, for

example, on this issue of

parental leave there is No

Doubt that there are some good

aspects to Tony Abbott's

suggestions. He's taken up the

Greens' proposal for 26

weekings, that's six months

parental leave. That still

leaves us behind the UK,

Sweden, Canada and other

countries but the Government's 18 weeks is not enough 18 weeks is not enough and we

need to negotiate a better

outcome with the Government but

that's yet to get under way and

the Government needs to be a

bit faster off the mark there,

I think. Thank you, Bob Brown.

Interesting the observation

about the Prime Minister

needing to roll up his sleeves

and get involved more. You heard Julie Bishop mention

before that's what John Howard

did in order to get his legislation through. John

Howard was also Howard was also criticised at the time for making the time for making deals with

individual Senators, Brian

Harradine from Tasmania in

particular, and signing off on

concessions to him that drove

other people completely craze

ey but indeed got his

legislative agenda through.

Kevin Rudd dozen seem prepared

to do that. We could see him

making the short walk of the

Minister ial wing of parliament

to the Senate wing and to the Senate wing and knocking

on Senators' doors if the

Government is so frustrated in

the Senate. Is that what it

comes down in the Senate now,

some kind of quid pro quo. I'd

love to know our viewers'