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Greens leader Bob Brown hugs partner Paul Thomas after addressing the National Press Club in Canberra yesterday
this year. He has already led an extraordinary life. In a previous incarnation he was one of the doctors on duty in a London hospital the night they brought in Jimi Hendrix, dead from a drug overdose. His campaign against the Franklin Dam in Tasmania led to him being arrested and jailed for 19 days in Hobart's Risdon prison. And now, he stands ready for ROBERT James Brown was fired his Cheryl Kernot moment. Saturday's election holds the up at the National Press Club. prospect of the Greens controlling And why wouldn't he be? At an age when many among his the balance of power in the next Senate. That wouldn't change over, generation are looking forward to claiming the age pension, Bob of course, until next year. Brown is on the verge of becoming But, if the Greens win a seat in the one of the most powerful political ACT at this election — not an impossible dream — the candidate, players in Australia. He will celebrate his 66th birthday Lin Hatfield Dodds, will be parachuted straight into the Senate, ensuring Family First's Steve Fielding is stripped of his veto powers. How would Brown and a dominant Greens party use this new power? Far from attempting to reassure nervous voters that he would toe the line, he yesterday predicted that a carbon tax was coming and confirmed he wanted to increase the mining tax by a further $2 billion — to fund increased investment in public schools. "I do have a vision for Australia. And I won't be consulting the telephone book to refine it," he declared, in a swipe at Julia Gillard's ridiculed citizens' assembly climate change idea. "I won't be asking you to suspend belief unless it is written down," he added, having a go at Tony Abbott's gospel truth.
Brown conceded he would not
scuttle Labor's proposed mining tax by voting it down if it failed to agree with his amendments. "We'll take the government's $9.5bn over the forward estimates, rather than Tony Abbott's zero," he said. Senator Brown wants to increase the tax rate for the 7000 Australians earning more than $1 million a year, too — to 50 per cent. And he would push for a rethink on gay marriage. Young people, he said, were "in revolt" over the position of the major parties. email@example.com
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