News

Greens and Labor go separate ways in lead up to election

THE Greens' decision to tear up its agreement with Labor will give Queenslanders a "stark" choice on election day, Senator Larissa Waters said.

Greens Leader Christine Milne used her address to the National Press Club on Tuesday to reveal the formal agreement struck between the parties in the wake of the 2010 election was "dead".

Senator Waters, just as her leader did on Tuesday, accused the ALP of pandering to the interests of mining companies.

This was of particular concern to Queensland, she said, because it was at the "epicentre" of the mining boom.

"I think Queenslanders know the mining boom is not all it's cracked up to be and lot of those folk in those regional and coastal towns are actually suffering the serious consequences of increased housing prices, scarcity of workers for local small business, increased living prices. It's actually placing a lot of pressure on those regional centres," the first-term Queensland senator told APN Newsdesk.

"So I think this a really important announcement for us in Queensland because people will now clearly know there is a choice between the Greens, who want to care for people .. and the environment, and the old parties who simply want to do whatever the big miners ask them to do."

Senator Waters has been one of the most outspoken critics of the Federal Government's attempts to hand over environmental powers to the state governments.

While she vowed to continue fighting any such move, she conceded the government was not listening to the Greens on matters concerning the environment.

"Big business ... was writing Labor's environmental policy well before the agreement was reached with the Greens and they unfortunately are still writing Labor's environment policy," she said.

"I think the influence of business over that plan to hand off federal powers to the states was always much stronger."

But despite the acrimonious split Senator Waters said the agreement had been a "huge success", citing carbon pricing and the dental health reform.

These "Greens' ideas" that would never had happened without the agreement, she said.

Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne.
Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne. Contributed

Despite Senator Milne's statement on Tuesday that the Greens would be focusing on inner city seats at the election, Senator Waters said the party was still focused on engaging with the regions.

"We're finding a lot of the issues that people are facing are those issues in the regions," she said, using FIFO work practices and the impacts of flooding as examples.

"The issues that we're campaigning on really speak to and affect and respond to the issues that regional Australians and Queenslanders ... are concerned about."

She said while there was no polling to show the Greens' vote would improve on September 14, the party's stand on issues like coal seam gas would hold it in good stead come election day.

"I think coal seam gas is one of the issues that really highlights the difference in approach to people and the environment and it will be one that I think Queenslanders will flock to the Greens about," she said.

Senator Waters also responded to Prime Minister Julia Gillard's description of the Greens as a "party of protest".

Ms Gillard told reporters in Adelaide on Wednesday she was not surprised by Senator Milne's announcement.
"The Greens party is fundamentally a party that would prefer to complain about things than get solutions," Ms Gillard said ahead of a community cabinet meeting.

Senator Waters not surprisingly took issue with Ms Gillard's assessment.

"I think she meant that in a disparaging way but I'm afraid we've got an awful lot to protest about," Senator Waters said.

"We've been in the balance of power for several years now and we've got MPs at every level of government all around the country so clearly we are far more than just a protest party.

"But we will continue to protest against the outdated and short-term thinking of the old parties."

Topics:  christine milne environment federal election 2013 greens julia gillard labor



BOUNDARY CHANGES: Will your MP change?

Final candidates have been announced for Nanango and Callide.

Ipswich, Ipswich West, Bundamba, Lockyer and Jordan

Is seat of Bundamba the ALP's safest in Queensland?

ON TRACK: Member for Bundamba Jo-Ann Miller MP at her Goodna office.

Miller looks on track for another big win after draft redistribution

Lockyer change strengthens One Nation

DON'T WRITE HIM OFF: LNP candidate Jim McDonald will keep One Nation's Jim Savage honest in the battle for Lockyer.

But Jim McDonald is well regarded and will take up LNP fight

Local Partners

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Live performance of Sci-fi classic to open Science Festival

Qld Symphony Orchestra perform live to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Festival will host A Live Presentation of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

Bindi Irwin's birthday tribute to her dad

Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin has paid tribute to her dad on his 55th birthday

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

WARNING: 'Sardine city' is on Ipswich's horizon

CONCERNED: The implications of the State's move to denser housing developments has Cr David Pahlke up in arms.

But Antoniolli says council can manage State's denser housing edict

Grand re-launch for new Nolan's Corner

GRAND PARTY: Wayne Kemp and Angela Love from Poison Arrow, Eliza Woodruffe from Limestone Emporium, Tess Claris from Voice Hair and Beauty and Kim Schubel from Schudio will all be at the grand launch party.

A feat worth celebrating

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!