Milne marks milestone

Written By miftah nugraha on Jumat, 12 April 2013 | 19.55

CHRISTINE Milne intends to lead the Greens well beyond the September election after notching up her first year in the job.

Tomorrow marks 12 months since the Tasmanian senator took over from party icon Bob Brown amid suggestions she would only be warming the seat before a generational change.

Senator Brown steps down

But Senator Milne, whose seat will not be contested at the September 14 federal election, says she plans to stay in the job long term, regardless of how the party performs at its first poll without Dr Brown at the helm.

"We're a democratic party and all of our positions are thrown open after an election," she told reporters in Hobart today.

"I would like to stay in the leadership of the Greens into the future because we've got big things to deliver."

Senator Milne nominated solar energy plants, high-speed rail and the positioning of Hobart as China's gateway to Antarctica as items still on her agenda.

"There are so many big-ticket items, and the only way they're going to be secured for this country is with the Greens," she said.

"We will actually stand firm.

"We've got the courage to stand up and I've got a lot of things to deliver."

Flanked by her 41-year-old deputy Adam Bandt, Senator Milne said the leadership handover from Dr Brown, who she described as the party's first "wise elder", had been seamless.

"We have been almost textbook perfect in terms of a leadership transition," she said.

Her 12 months in the job had delivered the Federal Government's clean energy legislation, the banning of a controversial super-trawler, an increasingly successful fight against coal seam gas and a social justice focus, she said.

Woodside Petroleum's announcement today that it was reconsidering a proposed gas plant in the environmentally sensitive Kimberley coastal region of Western Australia was icing on the one-year birthday cake.

"Of course, it has been a challenge to drive the biggest social, environmental and economic reform in decades in terms of addressing global warming," Senator Milne said.

"There's nothing (we) could be more proud of in terms of setting the country up for where we need to be in a global economy which is recognising innovation, new technology, low carbon is the future."

Polling slipped for the Greens after Dr Brown's departure but has since stabilised.

Senator Milne blamed the Federal Opposition for the challenge facing progressive parties across Australia.

"A lot can be attributed to the hugely negative campaign Tony Abbott has run … it's way over the top," she said.

"He's been exposed as having told a pack of lies (on the carbon tax)."


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