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Leaders shape up to woo Greens


Noel Towell, Lisa Cox, Ross Peake

Liberal leader Zed Seselja held a bbq at his house yesterday afternoon.

Liberal leader Zed Seselja held a bbq at his house yesterday afternoon. Photo: Colleen Petch

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.

Katy Gallagher at a post election get together at O'Connor. With her family, husband, David Skinner, daughters, Abby, ...

Katy Gallagher at a post election get together at O'Connor. With her family, husband, David Skinner, daughters, Abby, 15, Evie, 5 and son, Charlie, 6. Photo: Graham Tidy

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.


  • I hope the Greens have more sense than to team up with the Liberals.

    Getting Serious
    Date and time
    October 22, 2012, 8:41AM
    • Me too! I'll be seriously considering my federal position and membership if they do!

      Serious too
      Date and time
      October 22, 2012, 4:19PM
    • The Greens have three choices:

      1. Support a Liberal Government;

      2. Support a Labor Government;

      3. Tell the major parties that, since their policies are far closer to each other than either are to the Greens, they should form a coalition together and the Greens will be the Opposition.

      If the Greens had the courage of their convictions, they'd choose Option 3. I suspect they'll go for Option 2, after desultory look at Option 1.

      Greg Platt
      Date and time
      October 22, 2012, 7:46PM
  • Whoever will be in government the facts are that they are all irrsponsible having made election promises neither one of them can keep because their total pre-election promises amount to about12.9 billion dollars which is more than the ACT's annual average budget. Unless the government of the day will keep borrowing more and more money and get the ACT even more into the RED they CANNOT keep their promises. In other words as usual they have lied to the voters.

    No wonder politicians have the second lowest profesional rating.

    Date and time
    October 22, 2012, 9:05AM
    • All goes to prove deliberately misleading scare campaigns work. In spite of Zed's posturing Labor retained all their seats and the swing to the Liberals was against the Greens. Labor polled 39 percent of the primary vote to the Libs 38. Having read transcripts from the assembly I find it impossible to believe that the Liberals could ever make a deal with the Greens. They have criticised, run down, made fun of and character assassinated the Greens for the last four years, painting them as nutty extremists and now they suggest they can work with them. Zed claims he won't offer them a ministry and won't compromise. Welcome to opposition Zed. Even the Mad Monk was prepared to compromise and do a deal with the Greens. I hope Katie manages to form a minority government with the Greens. I would hate to see someone gain government through deception and lies. The Tea Party tactics of Zed's team were a disgrace.

      Eric Olthwaite
      Date and time
      October 22, 2012, 9:09AM
      • yeh right here we go again,
        Onya Canberra ya did it again.

        Date and time
        October 22, 2012, 9:10AM
        • Spot on - Canberra gets the government (of lack there of) that they deserve. They just don't get it, Labor will do its own thing because they know Canberra will continue to support them, the Libs can't get a run because the Canberra still wastes their votes on the extreme left, ensuring an unstable and compromised Government. The Green's don't care because loss of seats or not they still control the agenda. Wake up Canberra - the same will happen regardless of who gets government at a federal level - neither part gives a damn about Canberra. You can only hold them to task if you stop this blind support for Labor.

          Date and time
          October 22, 2012, 2:09PM
      • The results of this weekend are not surprising given the vox pops (ie not C/T "surveys") over the past few months. But the key take away I get is the abosulte failure of Hare-Clark to adequetely provide the Territory will a good governance model. No thinking person wants to see another four years of coalition.

        The review of the system was flawed and I think we are now worse off than before when it comes to voting in a majority government (regardless of hue).

        Perhaps four electorates - 4, 4, 4, 5 members - is worth looking at?

        Outraged of Palmerston
        Date and time
        October 22, 2012, 9:44AM
        • The system works fine. just because you didn't get what you want doesn't mean it's broken.

          A 4, 4, 4, 5 electoral split would just favour the two main parties. It would be fairer to have smaller quotas, and an additional 1 (or 2) MLAs in each of the three electorates, which would offer broader representation and more successful candidates from smaller parties.

          Date and time
          October 22, 2012, 4:59PM
      • So now both Parties will be held to ransom by the loonies. I want a ministry, no I want it, you cant have it, he can have it. Blah blah blah. This is a joke.

        Date and time
        October 22, 2012, 9:46AM

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