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Labor and Libs reject microbrewery excise change, but Greens won’t give up

The Australian Greens will continue to work to reform the definition of a microbrewery for tax purposes, helping more innovative small businesses become medium-sized businesses and increasing tax revenues, despite Labor, the Liberals and the Nationals all voting against a motion on the issue today.

Microbreweries can only access the excise refund that other small local producers get if they brew less than 30,000 litres a year. This limit, and the $10,000 cap on the total refund, is stifling the growth of the industry, allowing further market domination by imported beers.

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Greens call for excise change to help microbreweries help the economy

The Australian Greens will move in the Senate tomorrow calling on the government to reform the definition of a microbrewery for tax purposes, helping more innovative small businesses become medium-sized businesses and increasing tax revenues.

Microbreweries can only access the excise refund that other small local producers get if they brew less than 30,000 litres a year. This limit, and the $10,000 cap on the total refund, is stifling the growth of the industry, allowing further market domination by imported beers.

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Government Cherry-picks ABS data to try to confuse Agricultural Land Issue

Independent Senator for South Australia Nick Xenophon and Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne say the Australian Government should be clearer in its portrayal of the ABS findings today.

"The Government's media release titled ‘99 percent of Agricultural businesses entirely Australian owned' is misleading and focuses on what the Government wants the public to hear," Nick said.

"In actual fact, it's not about agricultural businesses. It's about agricultural land."

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AQIS apple find demands increased inspections

Yesterday's find of an apple midge and leaf litter in one of the first apple consignments from New Zealand is evidence that the risk of disease and insect incursion is high and requires an increase in the reach of the inspection service, Greens Deputy Leader, Christine Milne said today.

"Although swooping on a small amount of leaf matter and a single apple leaf curling midge among the first consignments may be touted as a victory for AQIS, I am deeply concerned about what may have passed undiscovered in other consignments.

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Free trade and biosecurity collide on apple decision

Today is a sad day for Australian apple and pear growers as the first shipment of New Zealand apples destined for Australia left today following the Federal Government's agreement to provide a permit for their importation, Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Christine Milne said today.

"There is no doubt that fire blight will come to Australia; the question of whether or not it will spread remains hotly contested and history shows that a disease free country like Australia is likely to lose that status over time.

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Milne on apple imports from New Zealand

Senator MILNE» (Tasmania-Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens) (18:02): I rise to take note of the ministerial statement tabled in relation to the import of New Zealand apples, in particular the risk of fire blight. This parliament has considered this issue for many years. It has been before rural and regional committees many times and we have spoken to people in the department very often on this subject. The fact of the matter is that several years ago officials before our committee accepted that fire blight would come to Australia. That was accepted-it will come here.

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Coalition carbon farming filibuster sells out regional Australia

Farmers and communities in rural and regional Australia will be appalled that the Coalition is filibustering the Carbon Farming Initiative, the Australian Greens said today.

"The Coalition is once again selling out regional Australians who will benefit hugely from the Carbon Farming Initiative when it eventually passes," Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.

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Global food supply is no longer only about trade, Mr Emerson

In a world where some countries facing shortages are already banning food exports and others are beginning to outsource food production, Trade Minister Craig Emerson needs to re-think his attitude to foreign ownership of agricultural land, the Australian Greens said today.

"Minister Emerson's slavish adherence to the view that free trade will ensure stable food supplies and his lack of concern about foreign ownership of agricultural land demonstrate that he has not caught up with the changed global dynamics of food," Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.

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Greens secure win for Indigenous Australians on carbon farming

The Australian Greens say their amendments to the Carbon Farming Initiative provides an opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to earn carbon credits for activities including improved savannah fire, livestock care, feral animal control, fertiliser, soil or forest management, reforestation and vegetation growth.

The original bill restricted the benefits to holders of exclusive native title, severely constraining the number of people and communities who could benefit.

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Carbon Farming assurances received

After intensive discussions with the government and bureaucracy over many months, the Greens have been given sufficient assurances to agree to pass the bill in the House of Representatives pending further consideration in the Senate.

"The Carbon Farming Initiative is a positive step that could both protect our biodiversity and encourage better farming practices in the bush but, if mismanaged, could go horribly wrong," Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.

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