ACT News


Leaders shape up to woo Greens

Canberra Liberals leader Zed Seselja says talks with the ACT Greens about forming government will be subject to ''parameters''.

Mr Seselja has again ruled out a ministry for the Greens in any alliance or coalition. He said yesterday that he would move to open negotiations today.

But ACT Labor leader Katy Gallagher, who made her first call to Greens leader Meredith Hunter on election night, has said nothing is on or off the table in discussions on government with the Greens.

The Liberals look likely to secure eight seats in the Assembly after taking two seats from the Greens, leaving a likely Assembly make-up of eight Liberals, seven Labor and two Greens.

Mr Seselja said he was prepared to negotiate with the Greens.

''I'm prepared to work with anyone but there needs to be parameters and I've made those parameters very, very clear,'' Mr Seselja said.


''I've said that I won't be offering a ministry. I'll repeat that.''

Ms Gallagher said yesterday that it was too early to start talks but that she would not be taking a pre-conceived position into negotiations.

''Whoever forms government needs to negotiate with the Greens; that's the reality,'' the Labor Leader said yesterday.

''I did call Meredith last night. I spoke to her briefly just to see how she was going.

''It was more of a friendly politician to politician chat, like a colleague in a sense than anything else.

''It's way too early to start any formal negotiations but we did last time and we will do that again.''

Counting continues in the close-run poll, which has delivered the Liberals the highest number of votes the party has yet recorded.

The Greens appear to have suffered a dramatic defeat with Caroline Le Couteur and Amanda Bresnan set to lose their seats but ACT Electoral Commissioner Phil Green said yesterday that counting was likely to continue until late this week.

ACT Labor looks to have increased its vote slightly while retaining its seven seats but senior frontbencher Simon Corbell is still trailing fellow ALP candidate Meegan Fitzharris in the Molonglo electorate and may lose his seat.

Ms Hunter said yesterday that the ''progressive'' side of politics had won the election.

''The last time I looked the progressive parties had between nine and 10 seats out of 17 in the assembly,'' she said.

Despite her party looking likely to lose half its representation, Ms Hunter said she had no regrets about the conduct of the election campaign but reflected that the party might need a ''harder edge''.

''You always have those discussions afterwards about the successes, the things you could do better and, yes, maybe that is part of the discussion about whether the Greens do need to have that harder edge in the campaigns we're running,'' Ms Hunter said.


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