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Greens say China trade barriers a grim warning to Abbott: don’t lock us into a doomed coal future

Greens Leader Christine Milne says the reaction to trade barriers imposed by China on coal imports highlights the risks attached to the Abbott government's determination to protect old industry and big business profits.

"It's clear the main reason the Abbott government wants a Chinese free trade deal is to underpin coal mining expansion in the Bowen and Galilee Basins and expanded export volumes into the long term. Protecting the profits of the vested interests of the big end of town is his specialty," Senator Milne said.

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Palmer wants to cut the Renewable Energy Target

Palmer wants to cut the Renewable Energy Target (RET) by 5% and let big business off the hook.

The Palmer United Party are asking the Government to give the aluminium industry a 100% exemption from the RET.

The aluminium industry is currently required to source just 10% of their electricity from clean energy sources. Palmer is asking that this be reduced to zero. 

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Compromise no victory for RET

At Parliament House this morning Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne stood with students studying for clean energy jobs, urging the other parties not to help Tony Abbott degrade the Renewable Energy Target.

"The Renewable Energy Target must not be tampered with. The only compromise should be getting the Abbott government to move with the times and start shutting down fossil fuels," said Senator Milne.

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PM Abbott's protection racket can't save dirty coal

China's new coal import rules make it clear Australia is becoming a rust-bucket economy under the Abbott government, said Greens Leader Christine Milne.

"There's China moving to cut pollution while in Australia we have a policy vacuum and a Prime Minister who wants our economy to be reliant on exporting coal pollution to the world," said Senator Milne.

"Tony Abbott is putting his hands over his ears and refusing to hear the loud message that investing in coal, and building coal ports and railways, will lead to stranded assets and is jeopardising our future prosperity.

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Abbott government admits RET review designed to protect big polluters

Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne says the Abbott government has today admitted it is undermining renewable energy to protect the old coal-fired generators, after comments by Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane on morning radio.

"The Industry Minister has belled the cat on the RET review. He's made it clear this attack on renewable energy is nothing more than a cynical move to prop up old coal-fired power stations," Senator Milne said.

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