Richard Di Natale pleads with Labor to end ‘fractious relationship’ with the Greens


Senator Di Natale said he was disappointed following of a post-election meeting with Mr Albanese, at which Senator Di Natale says the two men agreed to work together on declaring a climate emergency.

“It was something that clearly was raised in the meeting and before we knew it, Labor had announced unilaterally what they were doing without any communication with us,” he said.

But Senator Di Natale said he wanted to see “the current fractious relationship” between the two parties end. “I actually believe that we’ve got a very narrow window in which to act [on climate change].”

He is also keen for the parties to be “co-operative” during election campaigns. He uses the example of the inner-Melbourne seat of Higgins, which both Labor and the Greens had hopes of winning at the last federal election but which was won by the Liberal Party.

“If we had a co-operative working relationship … we might actually reach an understanding about how we best work together to defeat the [Coalition].”

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Senator Di Natale said a formal arrangement to avoid three-cornered contests was not necessary. Asked about Labor’s view that it does not need the Greens to form government, the Greens leader replied: “That’s clearly the assessment they’ve made. I think it’s the wrong assessment.”

In response to Senator Di Natale’s request to work together, Labor’s climate change spokesman Mark Butler said his party “will co-operate on climate change policy with any party of goodwill – it is critical to the future of our planet”.

But he added: “We will get there by having proper debate, not by shouting at people.”

Mr Shorten, who is now the party’s NDIS spokesman said: “No good deed goes unpunished with the Greens. They need to own that their convoy into Queensland was a disaster.

“The Greens always seem to choose the ploy for political power over actual progress on environmental issues.”

Labor is yet to decide the emission target it will take to the next election, with differing views within the caucus about the strength of action that it needs to take.

The ALP went to the 2019 election with a goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent by 2030, based on 2005 levels. The Coalition’s target is 26 to 28 per cent, while the Greens are calling for 63 to 82 per cent.

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