Responding to ‘hairy chested’ comments today from Labor’s climate Minister that the government would not alter its weak climate position, Greens Leader Adam Bandt has warned that Labor should ditch its ‘my way or the highway’ approach to its climate laws, saying Labor’s vote went backwards and Labor did not secure a majority in the Senate, where the Greens’ presence grew.
Mr Bandt said the Greens wanted to work constructively with the government, but Labor could not take the Greens’ votes in the Senate for granted.
Mr Bandt also said the Greens have been given a strong mandate by the Australian people to take action on climate and inequality, and in particular no new coal and gas.
Labor’s climate and energy Minister Chris Bowen has said they would not consider amendments to their legislation and would adopt a ‘take it or leave it’ approach. Mr Bandt said voters had just roundly rejected this kind of approach, and that with Labor’s vote going backwards Labor needed to reconsider this kind of ‘chest beating’.
Quotes attributable to Greens Leader Adam Bandt:
“Labor needs to drop their ‘take it or leave it’ approach. Labor should not let their idea of the perfect be the enemy of the good. Labor’s vote has just gone backwards and the public clearly wants the Greens and others to have a say.”
“The public has just rejected this kind of hairy-chested ‘my way or the highway’ approach to climate that Labor is now taking. People want us to work together and the Greens are up for discussions about getting good climate laws passed, but it seems Labor isn’t.
“The big issue is Labor’s plan to open new coal and gas mines.
“On climate and energy there is a lot we agree on, and I could even see us reaching agreement on emissions reduction targets, but opening new coal and gas mines will completely wipe out any gains from their climate legislation.”
“We will use the balance of power positively and responsibly, but our job is to get action on climate and inequality. We have a strong mandate too. If Labor stops opening new coal and gas mines, I can see this being a very productive Parliament.”