Responding to the Prime Minister’s attempts to rewrite history and issue ‘take it or leave it’ ultimatums to the Parliament, Greens Leader Adam Bandt has warned that the Prime Minister risks misreading the national mood for co-operation on climate.
Mr Bandt added that Labor needs to understand its vote went backwards at the election and that while the government has a slim majority in the Lower House, the Greens also have an increased mandate in the Senate, and that the government risks creating 3 years of conflict by starting with belligerence.
“The Greens are willing to work constructively with Labor, but it seems Labor’s approach is ‘take it or leave it’,” said Mr Bandt.
“Labor risks letting their idea of the perfect be the enemy of the good.
“This ‘my way or the highway’ approach from Labor is setting Australia up for a very long three years.
“The government should choose co-operation over confrontation.
“Let me be clear. The Greens are willing to negotiate on climate. But it seems Labor isn’t.
“The Greens want to see a stop to new coal and gas projects, as do the Pacific Islanders, the UN, the International Energy Agency and the world’s scientists. Even Labor’s weak climate targets will be blown if they proceed with new gas projects like the Beetaloo Basin, which will lift greenhouse pollution by up to 13%.
“Labor would do well to understand the recent history of the election, where their vote went backwards, less than a third of the country voted for the government and voters put the Greens in balance of power in the Senate.
“The government needs to work constructively with the Senate this term if it wants to get things done. This could be one of the great reforming Parliaments of all time, and I’m sure there are Ministers that want to get a lot done during their term, but that will involve working with the Greens in the Senate.
“Three years is a long time.”