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Senator puts trees ahead of Greens' conference

Senator puts saving trees ahead of Greens' conference

Australian Green Party Senator Bob Brown has had to pull out of this weekend's New Zealand Green Party Annual Conference in Christchurch to go to court to save a Tasmanian forest, Co-Leader Rod Donald says.

Dynamic, young Australian Green Senator Kerry Nettle will take the place of Senator Brown, who is in court trying to gain an injunction against Forestry Tasmania's logging operations at Wielangta in Australia's Federal Court in Melbourne.

"We applaud Bob for his dedication and wish him all the best in his case and are grateful Kerry can step in a at such short notice," Mr Donald says.

Saturday's programme kicks off with a video address from Walter Reid one of the main authors of the recently released UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. He is followed by Senator Nettle and a keynote address by Co-Leader Rod Donald. The party's top 15 candidates will then be introduced.

Other speakers for Saturday's programme have been confirmed. They are Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson and head of the New Zealand Nurses' Organisation Laile Harre.

On Saturday afternoon the Party will release its Student Support Policy, which will contain the party's strategy for tackling New Zealand's growing student debt mountain. New Zealand University Students' Association Co-President Andrew Kirton will speak at the launch.

Greens Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons will give her keynote address on Sunday morning. The other speakers for Sunday have already been announced.

Almost 200 people have registered to attend the conference.

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