<1>Greens launch campaign to reelect Adam Bandt at Immigration Museum in Melbourne

Greens Deputy Leader and Federal Member for Melbourne Adam Bandt MP launched his campaign at the Immigration Museum today. Joined by community leaders, refugee advocates and former Greens Leader Bob Brown, Mr Bandt took aim at the old parties' race to the bottom on refugees and cuts to universities and clean energy and said that Melbourne needed to continue show leadership to the rest of the country.

Mr Bandt outlined the Greens’ plan for growing a strong clean economy, building a caring society and keeping Melbourne liveable.

Mr Bandt said he would not support Tony Abbott becoming Prime Minister and committed to opposing the conservative agenda facing the country on September 8.

The event was MC'ed by Poni Tongun, South Sudanese-Australian and former refugee and speakers included: former Greens Leader Bob Brown, Dr Berhan Ahmed, community leader and Chairperson, African Think Tank, refugee advocate Pamela Curr and India Prior, Community organiser with Adam Bandt’s election campaign

"In the 2010 election Melbourne voters made history and we can do it again. Australia needs Melbourne to continue to show leadership," Mr Bandt said.

"By shifting to the Greens, Melbourne has delivered on clean energy and getting kids dental into Medicare and has stood up for jobs, education and public transport in Melbourne."

"We have stood up for universities and research funding and opposed the old parties' cuts to single parents and hospitals. We want investment in innovation for a strong clean economy after the mining boom."

"We are here at the Immigration Museum today to emphasise that people in Melbourne support multiculturalism and want compassion not cruelty for refugees. We refuse to be a part of the old parties' race to the bottom."

"I will continue to be a stronger independent representative than a Labor backbencher in opposition and under the control of the factions. If the polls are right and we have a change of government, the Greens will be the real opposition to Tony Abbott in the next Parliament."

"Unlike the old parties who have deep pockets, we have a people powered campaign. We are in a position to win but it will be close, so we will be hitting the phones and the streets right up to Election Day."