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Labor's secret talks with the Greens.

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MARK VAILE ________________________________________________________________________________________________

Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Phone: +61 2 6277 7680

Deputy Prime Minister Leader of The Nationals

Friday, 26 October 2007

Labor's Secret Talks with the Greens

The Labor Leader, Kevin Rudd, must immediately come clean on the details of his secret preference talks with the Greens, the Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of The Nationals, Mark Vaile, said today.

Labor and the Greens are reportedly close to reaching a preference deal, with Labor receiving the Greens' preferences in marginal House of Representatives seats. The Greens would receive Labor Party preferences in the Senate.

"Kevin Rudd must come clean on the policy changes he is offering the Greens to secure their support, because the Greens are not going to give Labor their preferences for nothing," Mr Vaile said.

"People in Gladstone, Mackay and Rockhampton have every right to fear that Kevin Rudd and Labor will secretly sell them out by agreeing to the Greens' policy on coal mining.

"The Greens say they will 'develop a plan within three years to assist affected communities in the transition from dependence on coal mining and coal-fired power stations.' In other words, they want to close down the coal industry and throw its 28,000 employees on the slag pile."

"Meanwhile, parents everywhere have the right to fear that Kevin Rudd and Labor will secretly agree to support the Greens' policy on X-rated videos.

"The Greens say they want to 'introduce a nationally-consistent approach to the regulated sale of X-rated materials', which means they want to make them legal across the country, not just in Canberra and parts of the Northern Territory.

"Kevin Rudd has a history of carrying out secret talks with unsavoury characters. But his discussions with Brian Burke were just about his bid for the Labor leadership.

"His discussions with the Greens are about the future of Australia - and he must come clean about what's on the table," Mr Vaile said.

Media contact: Tanya Cleary 0418 615 280