Richard Di Natale warns Bill Shorten he ignores the Greens at his peril

richard di natale at the st kilda botanical gardens in melbourne
Richard Di Natale at the St Kilda Botanical Gardens in Melbourne. He says the Greens will hold Labor to account on climate change action. Photograph: James Ross/AAP

Greens leader reached out to opposition after it committed to the Neg as a way to end the climate wars

— Richard Di Natale has warned Bill Shorten should ignore the Greens at his peril when it comes to climate change action.

The Greens leader committed to hold Labor to account in the Senate on its pledge to legislate the coalition’s national energy guarantee.

Di Natale said he had reached out to the Labor leader, after the opposition committed to the Neg as a way to end the climate wars.

Asked if he was genuine about cooperation or would stick to pure positions, Di Natale said the ball was in Shorten’s court.

“I have reached out to Bill Shorten. It is up to him to decide whether he wants to continue to ignore the Greens. He does that at his peril,” Di Natale told ABC TV on Sunday.

“At the moment, what he’s doing is adopting a weaker policy on climate than the policy he took in 2016, which is weaker again than the 2013 policy.”

Earlier this week, the Greens MP Adam Bandt wouldn’t say whether the minor party will torpedo Labor’s policy if it is viewed as insufficiently ambitious, as the party did in 2009 when it rejected Kevin Rudd’s carbon pollution reduction scheme.

“The Greens in the Senate will work hard, cooperatively, pushing Labor, holding them to account and making sure we do what needs to be done,” Di Natale said.

The Victorian senator seized on a report in the Age newspaper revealing the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority believes limiting the average global temperature increase to 1.5°C or below “is critical to maintain the ecological function of the Great Barrier Reef”.

“We’re on track to exceed that,” Di Natale said. “The scientists are saying that the Great Barrier Reef is gone if we continue to burn coal and ship it off overseas.”

While the major parties have flagged they may pause electioneering over Easter, Di Natale said he’ll be part of an anti-Adani coal mine convoy across the country.

“We won’t be doing anything on Anzac Day. We will be campaigning hard through the Easter period,” Di Natale said.

Di Natale believes the Melbourne blue ribbon Liberal seats of Higgins and Kooyong are “winnable for the Greens”.

“What stronger message can the people of Higgins and Kooyong send to the Liberal party than to elect Greens in those seats and say: ‘We are sick of the climate denialism of the Liberal party’,” he said.

He said bullying problems within the Victorian Greens ranks have been sorted. “We’ve reformed some of our conflict resolution processes, our candidate management processes, and we’re in good shape,” Di Natale said.

by Lisa Martin | The Guardian



Toyota distances itself from Liberal ads falsely claiming Labor wants to tax cars
Greens blast key part of Labor’s climate policy as ‘fake action’
Coalition modelling not far off Labor’s electric vehicle target – despite criticising it