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A bright green future?

April 14, 2012

What hope can there be for Australian politics without the bold, honest, measured and thoughtful voice of Bob Brown? We need his integrity, his intelligence, and his grit. We need his party, the Australian Greens, to grow in strength not only so that Australia can finally fully embrace environmentally sustainable policies, but also to fight for other issues, such as matters of equality and worker’s rights. I was very worried yesterday when I first heard that Senator Bob Brown had suddenly resigned. Where would we be without Bob Brown?

Then I heard the newly appointed Greens’ Leader, Senator Christine Milne, say this:

“This is our opportunity to talk to Australia, to join the dots, to have a conversation about quality of life, equality of opportunity and actually address the fact that we are a society and not just an economy.”

Yes, a society, not just an economy! I think she has nailed our problems right on the head there. This is exactly the conversation I think our nation needs to be having! What policies will directly promote a better quality of life for the majority of Australians and promote a vibrant, healthy and cohesive Australian society? What policies will stimulate the economy while helping to create the kind of society we want to live in? Christine Milne gave me hope again.

Bob Brown’s contribution to Australian politics and environmentalism has been enormous, but at 67 of course he deserves the opportunity to enjoy his retirement. And perhaps without Bob Brown in the spotlight more attention will be given to the other highly intelligent and thought-provoking voices in the Greens, and to the fact that the Greens have more to offer than just environmentalism.

Bob Brown himself has great faith in the “depth of talent” amongst his former Green colleagues. Now is the time for the rest of us to start giving them more of our attention. And also time to join in that all important conversation about what kind of society we want Australia to be.

PS. Click here for a short message from the new Greens Leader, Christine Milne.

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