The Australian Greens have had their most successful election campaign ever – four seats in the House of Representatives, 12 Senators and 12.25% of the primary vote all across Australia. These are excellent figures and a promising result for progressive politics.
But how well will they be able to work with the new Labor Government? To pass their legislation, Labor will need the support of these 12 Greens Senators – and one other, likely to be independent Senator David Pocock – but what will Labor need to give up to get the support of the Greens, and how will the Greens compromise their agendas to get the approval of Labor?
Around 80 per cent of Greens preferences flow to the Labor Party, and these preferences are critical for Labor in the House of Representatives. And what do the Greens receive in support? Public animosity, if the comments from National Secretary Paul Erickson are any guide, when he suggested the Greens spend most of their time criticising Labor achievements and downplaying their progressive credentials.
It would be better if the negotiations between Labor and the Greens are fruitful and result in outcomes in the public interest. Each party needs to maximise their own interests, and push their own agendas, but after nine years of policy paralysis provided by the Liberal–National Coalition government between 2013 and 2022, it’s essential Labor and the Greens resolve their differences and provide the community with government that acts in their interest.
The 2022 federal election is well and truly over, but the new Leader of the Opposition, Peter Dutton, wants to fight this election all over again: climate wars, culture wars, blame games and asserting that he didn’t see a need to change very much of what the Coalition offered at this recent election. The former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, did once say “the lady’s not for turning”, but that was Thatcher, and Peter Dutton ain’t no Margaret Thatcher.
It’s an odd position for a new leader to adopt, especially after a thumping election loss, where the issues the Coalition presented to the electorate were comprehensively rejected. But perhaps the man’s not for turning, and is prepared to suffer the political consequences for his lack of action.
And the state of NSW always has difficulty shedding its reputation as the ‘state of corruption’, this time, it’s the former Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, who’s taken up a trade commissioner position to the United States, a position he created while he was in the NSW Government. The position had been offered to another more highly credentialed person, but then Barilaro resigned from politics in October 2021, the offer to the other more highly credentialed person was rescinded and – can you believe it – eight months later, Barilaro is offered the $500,000 job.
Yes, it is unbelievable, but this is New South Wales, where anything goes. We have a feeling the NSW ICAC might be busy with a new investigation, and it could take some time to unravel what actually took place. And, it has the potential to bring down yet another NSW Premier, Dominic Perrottet.
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