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Milne tackles Garrett on climate change backdown.

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Christine Milne

Australian Senate Australian Greens Senator for Tasmania

media release

Milne tackles Garrett on climate change backdown

Thursday, 14 June 2007 Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne was shocked when Labor failed to support the continuation of mandatory renewable energy targets in the Senate today, as the ALP continues to roll-over to the Government on climate change.

Senator Milne said “It is now clear that there is a huge gap between what Labor says publicly and how it votes.

“Labor in the Senate takes its instructions on how to vote directly from the shadow minister’s office. Peter Garrett needs to start explaining why he says one thing and instructs the party to do another.

“Only last month, Labor voted against constraining global temperature rise to less than 2C. Then Mr Garrett refused to call Mr Howard on his lie that 2020 targets would destroy the economy. Now Labor has voted not to stand in the way as the Government prepares to abolish the mandatory renewable energy targets, directly contradicting their own policy.

“First it was 2C, then the 2020 target. Now it’s renewable energy. Is it a case of ‘Who can stand in the way when there’s a dollar to be made [by coal and aluminium interests]?’”

There is growing alarm that the abolition of all mandatory renewable energy targets, a condition of the Government’s emissions trading scheme, will further erode investment in and expansion of renewable energy in Australia. Labor’s backflip on MRET will not only further damage the industry but will also shock their State Government colleagues who have worked hard on their own mandatory targets.

“Everyone who understands renewable energy knows that an emissions trading scheme on its own will not be sufficient to support renewables. What is needed is a combination of emissions trading, feed in laws and mandatory targets.

”Peter Garrett and Labor’s next challenge is whether to support the Howard Government’s plans to sell uranium to Russia. Next Tuesday, a Greens motion will call on the Senate to reject these dangerous plans. How will Labor vote?”

Contact: Tim Hollo 0437 587 562