News

Crean questions Milne's commitment

MINISTER for Regional Development Simon Crean has questioned new Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne's commitment to regional Australia.

Mr Crean said while he welcomed anyone calling for more focus on regional issues, Senator Milne had not shown she was willing to negotiate on balancing the interests of industry and environmental values.

"She could start by showing her support for the Intergovernmental Agreement on Tasmanian Forests," Mr Crean said.

He said finding a balance between the forestry industry and the environment was not helped by a lack of support from the Tasmanian Senator, who was elected Greens Leader on Friday after the resignation of Bob Brown.

But Ms Milne, who was in Orange on Wednesday as part of her regional listening tour, was quick to return fire.

"Minister Crean should come and talk to the farmers I've been speaking with today in central western New South Wales, or those I've worked with over 25 years across Tasmania and the mainland, before he questions my commitment," she said.

"I've been delighted by the open, honest conversations I've had today and the genuine interest in the Greens.

"We can't keep pretending to people that this industry can survive, with woodchip prices through the floor.

"We need a genuine process to help people out of native forest logging, not cash handouts to prop up a dying industry."

Ms Milne said reaching out to regional Australia would be a feature of her leadership.

She said she was committed to talking to regional Australia about the global issues affecting them, such as food security, climate change, sustainability and the environment.

Mr Crean cited the government's record of establishing the Department of Regional Australia, as part of a deal with key independents Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor, after the 2010 election.

"We have spent more on regional Australia and regional development than any other government," he said.

"The nature of the hung parliament that we are in, we are focusing on the strengths of regional Australia, on the power of localism."

Mr Crean was in Narrabri, in western New South Wales, on Wednesday to speak at a conference of the Australian National University's National Institute of Rural and Regional Affairs.

Topics:  christine milne simon crean


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Hemp fan reaps what he sows

Stall assistant Bubaloo Fahy at the Hemp Foods Australia stall at Mullumbimby Farmers' Market. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Businessman and campaigner celebrates legalisation of hemp as food

Chance to clean up for dragons

Ballina-on-Richmond Rotarian Col Lee with the washing machines and dryers for sale.

Whitegoods the key to fundraising drive

Matthias transported at age 13

Matthias Isaac Lewis in his later years. He drowned, aged 69, in 1885. PHOTO: ANCESTRY.COM

Convict made the most of his new life in Australia

Local Partners

Refugee 'unfairly' sacked from Byron Bay Superfoods

Fair Work Commission labels company "vindictive" after Sudanese Civil war victim sacked for complaining about being underpaid.

Chicago comes to Bangalow

CELL BLOCK TANGO: Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in a scene from the 2002 film Chicago.

The next production by Bangalow Theatre Company

A ballet event of lovers and fairies in Byron Bay

ON STAGE: Byron Ballet's 10th anniversary production will be Shakespeare's A Midnight Summer's Dream.

Byron Ballet celebrates 10 years

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

BEN Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day in a joint announcement.

Why The Voice hasn't produced a star

Boy George responds to Brittania Clifford-Pugh's heart-warming message.

It's the industry, not the show, says Boy George

These actors hated their movies and didn’t mind admitting it

Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans in a scene from GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Every year, Hollywood blesses us with plenty of God awful movies.

Miranda Kerr and fiance hang up backyard tent for wedding

The decorators and caterers are arriving for the final preparations for the wedding of Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel. Pictures: Splash

Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr are set to marry today

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

I appreciated Freedman's blunt honesty in the book

Chicago comes to Bangalow

CELL BLOCK TANGO: Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in a scene from the 2002 film Chicago.

The next production by Bangalow Theatre Company

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Here's your chance to carp about feral pests

Carp might by great fun to catch but they're destroying Australia's watercourses.

Science in the Pub looks at carp and coral trees

SNEAK PEEK: What new shopping centre is going to look like

Artist impression of the proposed redevelopment of the cinema and shopping complex on Jonson St, Byron Bay.

Mercato billed as regional NSW's most sustainable shopping complex

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Slaves in Byron: The dark side of housing crisis

Housing generic.

A darker side to Byron's economy

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!