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Major parties don't need Senate referendum: Greens ready to write case for protecting Constitution.



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Bob Brown, Senator for Tasmania

09 June 2003

Major Parties Don’t Need Senate Referendum - Brown Greens ready to write case for protecting constitution

Labor can save Australia from a referendum to remove Senate powers simply by agreeing to pass all Howard bills in the Senate, Greens Senator Bob Brown said today.

“If Labor and Liberal want all Government bills to pass the Senate all they have to do is agree that, after a 6 month delay, they will do just that.

“The problem is that Labor leaders don’t have the gumption to take this obvious option.

“For example, Labor supporters would be in open revolt if their Senate members had backed John Howard’s polices on the GST, privatising health and education, raising the cost of prescription drugs and giving ASIO the power to arrest people known to be innocent.

“This is a Crean-Beazley-Howard pact of mutual convenience against the people and the constitution.

Noting Mr Howard has said he will issue a consultation paper on the issue, Senator Brown said that he will request funding for the Greens to issue a paper outlining the reasons for protecting the constitution.

“A community Save Our Senate (SOS) campaign will soon be launched by the Greens,” Senator Brown said.

Senate Brown will comment further at:

2.15 pm Monday, 9 June 2003 Mawson Square (Next to Marine Board Building) Hobart

Further information: Ben Oquist 0419704095

Category: Senate Office

Author: Ben Oquist