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Edith River toxic spill raises questions for Burke on Olympic Dam

The spill of toxic copper concentrate from a train derailment off a privately-run rail line in central Australia raises substantial questions for Environment Minister Tony Burke about the environmental assessment for the Olympic Dam expansion, the Australian Greens said today.

"Since the use of this rail line is critical to BHP's massive Olympic Dam expansion, Tony Burke needs to urgently reconsider his approval of the project in the light of new concerns," Australian Greens Acting Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.

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Obama ushers in a climate of hope

Here is one of my favourite parts of President Obama's inauguration speech this morning:

"Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

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Estimates hearings - Ranger uranium mine

STANDING COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT, COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTSSupervising Scientist Division Discussion Senator MILNE—I would just be interested to know if there have been any spills at Ranger in the last 12 months. Mr Hughes—I guess the question about spills is dependent on the definition thereof. There is always going to be dripping taps and leaking pipes in any sort of processing plant to some degree or other, but there have been no spills to the environment that have had any impact on the environment outside the immediate mine area.

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Greens ‘New Century’ Australia Senate Agenda

The Australian Greens today outlined their vision for Australia in the new century ahead of the opening of the Balance-of-Power Senate.

Australian Greens Leader, Senator Bob Brown, said a record 1.17 million people voted Greens at the last election, and the five Greens Senators were ready to work constructively with all parties to respond to the challenges of the new century.

"Pollution, poverty, discrimination and the destruction of Australia's forests and precious environments are the legacy of the last century and decades of greed and inaction."

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