Bob Brown: tough negotiator

Saturday February 7, 2009

Filed under: Australian Politics — jackman @ 3:16 pm

The Sydney Morning Herald reports on how the Rudd government’s $42 billion package will have to get past the minor parties in the Senate:

But with virtually no chance of gaining the Opposition’s vote, the Government will have to consider a wish-list of changes being pushed by parties that hold the balance of power in the Senate.

The Greens leader, Bob Brown, said some of the infrastructure spending should be used for environmentally friendly projects that would stimulate the economy and reduce pollution, such as cycle paths. [My emphasis]

Thats right, with $42 billion on the table, Brown is reported as putting cycle paths on the negotiating table. Amazing. Either (a) the package is very “green” already, and Bob is literally looking for icing on the cake; (b) Bob is confused about the difference between $42 million and $42 billion; (c) he’s been misquoted.

With $42 billion on the table and your vote pivotal, wouldn’t you’d think the leader of the Greens would go for, oh, say, the biggest investment in green tech and infrastructure in the history of Federation…and then some…?!?

Next para:

Senator Brown also called for the bonus payments to be re-engineered so that more cash flowed to low-income earners and people on unemployment benefits would not miss out.

Ok, but how much?

The Family First Senator, Steve Fielding, said he was considering diverting $4 billion to a “get communities working” scheme that would fund charities and local government to provide jobs for the unemployed.

Now there you go. 10% of the package. Thats more like it. Serious bikkies.

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