Milne says her party's policies simply reflect mainstream issues
Christine Milne will today reject accusations the Greens are anti-growth, in a pitch that the party's agenda reflects mainstream concerns.
The Greens leader will praise Australia's economy but describe the budget surplus as ''carefully manipulated'' and assert the ''our much envied economy is on borrowed time''.
''It is time to change, to diversify our economy, clean it up, and invest in a future that doesn't rely on digging up, cutting down and shipping overseas,'' Senator Milne will say in a keynote address to the National Press Club.
She will repeat calls for a rise in the Newstart and the Youth Allowance by $50 a week.
''The Greens want Australia to set a goal of increasing R&D funding from 2.2 per cent to 3 per cent of GDP, with a greater focus on commercialisation,'' she says. ''The accusation our detractors often throw at us is that we are anti-growth and therefore want everybody to go back to living in caves, sipping nettle broth and whittling Huon pine condoms, as former Tasmanian premier Tony Rundle famously pontificated.
''Given we are some of the country's strongest proponents of new technologies, from broadband to smart grids to 3D printing, the caves jibe has always been nonsense.
''But to the first part - are the Greens actually anti-growth? That depends, surely, on what you are growing and how it is measured. I am for growing natural, human, social, manufactured and financial capital and I am against growing global warming, species extinction, poverty, poor health, inequality, conflict and corruption.
''If economic growth as it is currently measured isn't actually making us happier, healthier, cleverer or safer, then it isn't real growth.
''If we are growing our economy in defiance of physical limits. That isn't real growth, it's a confidence trick. We have to limit our use of GDP to those purposes it is suited to and measure our true progress as a nation with different tools.
''The Greens will redouble our efforts to support development of the best possible economic tools and work to see them adopted across government and society so we can build and measure the well-being of people and nature for the long term.
''In short, the Greens do want to see growth, but growth in quality of life, growth in equality of society, and growth that plans for the long term. Central to that is the need to 'decouple' growth from resource use and pollution - in short, to do more with less or, as economists would say, to increase productivity.''
Senator Milne will speak about treating refugees as valued members of the community ''instead of as criminals'' and the need for more public housing.
''The Greens' views are becoming mainstream globally, with Australian politics and commentariat playing catch-up,'' she says.