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Labor shouldn't manipulate electorate over FTA: Greens.



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Bob Brown, Senator for Tasmania

Labor shouldn't manipulate electorate over FTA - Greens

28th Jul 04

Speaking in Brisbane this morning, Greens Senator Bob Brown said federal Labor members

should not manipulate the electorate over the free trade agreement (FTA).

Singling our Tasmanian Dick Adams (MHR for Lyons), who yesterday expressed concern about

the FTA, Senator Brown said: "Dick had every chance to oppose the FTA in the House of

Representatives when Greens MP Michael Organ moved a division last month.

"He didn't. It's a bit rich to not use his vote but tell the electorate he's worried about the impact

the FTA will have on them.

"There's a real potential here for the Labor Party to vote for the FTA but half its members to say

back home in their electorates: 'We're opposed to it'.

"These MPs should have voted against it in the House of Representatives," Senator Brown said.

Senator Brown also queried Queensland Premier Peter Beattie's support for the FTA and

prediction that it will lead to a $63 million increase in state gross product in 20 years' time.

"That's $15 per Queenslander, but only if there's no cost hikes for pharmaceuticals, copyright

and intellectual information costs for colleges and universities, or quarantine or biosecurity

costs," Senator Brown said.

"That is if we leave aside the loss of cultural security. These matters quickly swing Peter

Beattie's gains into losses," Senator Brown said.

More information: Katrina Willis 02 6277 3170 or 0419 704 095