ACT News


'Negotiate with haste,' Lundy tells Greens

The ACT Greens should fulfil their role as kingmakers as soon as possible, according to Labor senator Kate Lundy who is concerned a political vacuum could damage business confidence in the territory.

While she refused to suggest the Greens back Labor, she was critical of the time taken over negotiations after the last federal election to form a minority government.

"I would encourage the Greens to negotiate with haste," she said.

"The lesson from the drawn out process federally is it enabled the Liberals to mount a very destructive and negative campaign through that period, causing instability.

"That is not what the ACT economy needs.

"I think even the Liberal party and its supporters would not want to see a period of political instability in the ACT.


"It's bad for business, it's bad for the ACT's general reputation.

"I'm not going to speculate about what the Greens will do but I would just encourage the conversations to happen sooner rather than later in the interests of the ACT."

Senator Lundy rejected federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's view that ACT Opposition Leader Zed Seselja had the moral right to form government after Saturday's election.

"This assumed right was reminiscent of the tactic and attitudes Abbott took into the discussions with the cross benchers when the Gillard Labor government was formed," she said.

"It characterised Abbott's approach all the way through, he was claiming some moral right to leadership and it's incorrect.

"I think the same of Zed Seselja in the way he spoke on Saturday night.

"The whole speech was very much a claim of victory speech.

"101 in politics is if you're in a minority, you need to negotiate."

Senator Lundy said the swing to Labor was impressive given the trend around the nation of swings against the ALP.

"The ACT has once again bucked the trend," she said.

"That is really positive for Labor federally given the smashing that occurred in the most recent state election, in Queensland."

As the count continues after Saturday's poll, ACT Greens leader Meredith Hunter looks to be in danger of losing her Assembly seat in the Ginninderra electorate to Labor's Yvette Berry.

The result would leave Labor with eight seats, the Canberra Liberals with eight and the ACT Greens clinging onto the balance of power with just one MLA.

The final result is not likely to be known until Saturday night, seven days after the last votes were cast.

with Noel Towell, Lisa Cox


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