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Labor moves to censure Ian Campbell.

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MEDIA RELEASE Senator Chris Evans Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services

9 August 2006


Today the Labor Party in the Senate moved to censure the Minister for the Environment for his abuse of power in relation to the Bald Hills wind farm.

The Minister for Environment has shown himself unfit for the office through his misuse of power under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

There is now clear evidence that the Minister rushed down to the Victorian electorate of McMillan just weeks before the 2004 Election to let everyone know that he would use his powers as Minister to block the wind farm.

At the time McMillan was a marginal seat and the Liberal candidate was campaigning against the wind farm.

When the Minister was giving these commitments he had no advice that the wind farm would have any impact on the environment.

It is hard to imagine a more blatant abuse of Ministerial power for party political purposes.

Taxpayers have had to foot the bill for this abuse, having to pay the legal costs of the company after it forced the Minister to reconsider his decision.

This week the Minister was given numerous of opportunities in the Senate to rebut the allegations against him and defend his decision to block the Bald Hills project.

Instead of offering a defence for his decision or having the courage to admit his failure the Minister spent the time blaming everyone else, including the Victorian Government, the Western Australian Government, his own Department, a former Labor MP and the

company building the wind farm.

The Howard Government is now so arrogant that a Minister alleged to have abused his powers does not even feel the need to defend his actions.

Senator Campbell should be sacked as the Minister for the Environment.

Contact: Tim Friedrich 02 6277 3233, 0417 753 219