Tasmanian Greens defend record after MPs sacked from cabinet

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16 Jan 2019

The Tasmanian Greens have defended their record after two of their MPs were sacked from cabinet by Labor Premier Lara Giddings.

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Ms Giddings has distanced herself from the Greens as she announced a state election will be held in Tasmania on 15 March.

Ms Giddings believes many Labor supporters have been disappointed over the direction the party has taken since it formed a minority government with the support of the Greens in 2010.

But Greens MP Cassy O’Connor believes the party has made a positive contribution through strong environmental and health policies.

“Together we’ve achieved some great things for Tasmania and its people and in some very difficult economic circumstances. We now have the lowest public hospital waiting list in over a decad,” Cassy O’Connor says.

“We have delivered nine and a half thousand energy efficiency upgrades to low income Tasmanians, community groups and small business bringing down power bills and lowering our emissions.”

Ms Giddings said Labor and the Greens had fundamental differences over the impending pulp mill legislation.

She sacked Greens ministers Nick McKim and Cassy O’Connor from Cabinet on Thursday before announcing the election date.

“I’ve been talking to Labor Party members … and they all say to me `we don’t mind you and the Labor Party but we don’t like the Greens’,” she said.

 

Ms Giddings said if another hung parliament was elected, Labor would not enter another power sharing arrangement with the Greens.

“We will only govern in our own right as Labor,” she said.

It will be Ms Giddings’ first election as party leader, having taking over as premier from David Bartlett who retired in 2011.

Opinion polls indicate Ms Giddings will lose the election to the Liberal Party. Ms Giddings admitted Labor will go into the election as the underdog.

Opposition calls for change of government

Tasmania’s Liberal Leader Will Hodgman says voters can’t trust Labor and it is time for a change of government in the state.

Premier Lara Giddings has announced a state election will be held in Tasmania on 15 March.

Ms Giddings has promised that a re-elected Labor government would not appoint Greens MPs to cabinet positions unlike in the current minority government where two Greens MPs have held ministerial positions.

Mr Hodgman says Labor has led a poor government and he believes Ms Giddings can’t be trusted to honour her promises.

“Lara Giddings and the Labor Party said that they would do no deals. They signed a pledge. They moved a motion similar to the one they released today, saying they would do no deals. Tasmanians know who they can trust and as I say, my word is my bond, but my record is my guarantee.”

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