Greens Say They Will Test New Senate On Day One

The four Greens senators say they will put the Howard Government’s one-seat majority to the test this week.

The Greeens will nominate Kerry Nettle for Senate President and Christine Milne for Deputy President, as well as moving for David Hicks to be returned from Guantanamo Bay.

The Federal Parliament resumes this week. For the first time since 1981, the incumbent government will have a majority in the upper house. The Liberal-National coalition will command 39 votes to 38 for all other parties and groups. There are 4 Democrats, 4 Greens, 1 Family First and 28 Labor senators.

This is the full text of a media release from the Australian Greens.

Greens will test new Senate on day one

The four Greens Senators will put the Howard Government’s one seat majority to the test on the first sitting day of the new Senate by:

  • Nominating Senator Kerry Nettle for the President against Liberal Paul Calvert
  • Nominating Christine Milne, who has extensive parliamentary experience in Tasmania, for the Deputy President against incumbent Labor deputy John Hogg
  • Moving Senator Brown’s motion, introduced last June, for Australian David Hicks to be returned from Guantanamo Bay to Australia for trial
  • Reintroducing the Greens 2003 ‘Truth in Food Labelling Bill’ as farmers protest outside the parliament

“The Greens’ action agenda will test both the old parties on the cosy arrangement that the government selects the President and the opposition the Deputy President,” Greens Senator Bob Brown said.

“In terms of real capacity, the Greens’ nominees should win.

“The Senate will need highly competent presiding officers this term and that is what we’re offering.

“On truth in labelling, both the Coalition and Labor voted down my move to have ‘Made in Australia’ mean 100% made in Australia in 1998.

“Our 2003 truth in labelling bill to label all foreign food content as well as GE-free foods and pesticides residue levels will be reintroduced.

“It is time that the National Party, at least, joined the Greens in insisting farmers and shoppers be able to easily see and rely upon ‘Made in Australia’ labelling,” Senator Brown said.

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