New Australian Greens Leader, Christine Milne, today paid tribute to Bob Brown’s extraordinary leadership and promised to build on his legacy by reaching out to even more Australians who share our values of looking after our country and our people, now and into the future.
“Under Bob’s wise leadership, the Greens have grown into the undisputed third force in Australian politics, with our vision, policies and action towards a healthier, cleverer, cleaner future embraced by 1.7 million Australians,” Senator Milne said.
“Under my leadership, we will work tirelessly towards making Australia a great place to live and work, now and into the future; a country whose government values what our people value.
“I hear a lot of concern in the community that our so called leaders in business and in the old parties are focussed on short term profits at the expense of everything else. The Greens focus on what really matters to people: looking after our country and our people, building equality of opportunity, educating our kids, investing in innovation and improving quality of life.
“For 25 years, Bob has been an inspiration to millions of Australians and a great force for good in our country. But he’s also been a colleague, a mentor and friend to me. I thank him from the bottom of my heart for everything he has done and look forward to the next stage in his career.
“Having travelled this journey by Bob’s side, it is a great privilege that my colleagues have asked me to lead the party from today on and to build on his great legacy.
“The daunting task ahead is made so much easier by the fact that I have a brilliant team of MPs who are all incredibly bright, hard-working and deeply committed to building a better future for all of us. Now, all Australians will get the chance to see them shine.
“The mining boom will end and climate change is coming. And with the big end of town more aggressive than we’ve seen for decades in demanding weaker environmental protection and weaker industrial relations laws, our country faces a stark choice between two futures.
“Will we choose to put profits ahead of people and planet, digging ourselves deeper into a hole? Or will we prepare our country for the enormous challenges of the 21st century while building a better quality of life and a fair go for all of us?
“Do we see our only valuable resources as those we can dig up and sell, or do we look around and see the tremendous resources of sun, wind, creativity and imagination in this great country?
“My top priorities as leader are about showing Australians that preparing our nation for the huge challenges of the 21st century is about improving our quality of life and about big picture economic change; that unless we do both together we cannot do either successfully.
“If we’re going to join up our social, environmental and economic thinking, a vital innovation we need is to replace our focus on GDP with a well-being index which measures our quality of life and how well prepared we are for the future. This kind of model is under serious discussion around the world and I will seek to lead a community discussion about the appropriateness of our economic measurement tools in the years ahead.
“Secondly, flourishing regional communities are vital to a secure, healthy future, so I will be embarking on a listening tour of regional Australia starting to highlight that the Greens and farmers share many values and have much common interest.
“Thirdly, a better, smarter future is a future where it costs less to have a better quality of life. As an example of that, I’ll be hosting a public forum on how investing properly in a stable, efficient, smart 100% renewable energy grid will bring power bills down for all Australians.
“I’m hugely looking forward to getting out into the community, hearing your priorities and letting you know how the Greens can represent your interests.”
Media Adviser, Senator Christine Milne
04/13/2012 – 12:00