While Anthony Albanese is adamant he is campaigning to win office in his own right, and has no intention of negotiating with the Greens to form a minority government in the event of a hung parliament, Adam Bandt begs to differ.
During his National Press Club address the Greens leader said he was confident the Greens would likely hold the balance of power in the Senate after May 21 and that he expected his party to pick up seats in the lower house.
While the Greens are often criticised for blue sky promises and undeliverable policies the party's leader is very much a realist. He knows that in the event a hung parliament puts him in the position of being a kingmaker Mr Albanese will come knocking at his door.
While any admission a Greens/ALP coalition could be on the cards would play straight into the government's hands the reality is that the Opposition Leader would be forced to seriously consider any proposal that might put him into The Lodge.
The ACT, which Mr Bandt referenced as an example of an effective Greens/ALP partnership, has had a working left wing coalition for over a decade. Tasmania has also seen a partnership between the Greens and the ALP previously.
While the Greens did not perform as well as they would have liked in 2019, they have enjoyed a resurgence at state and territory level thanks to the increased voter emphasis on emissions reduction and climate change.
These are all reasons why voters, and the ALP, ignore what the Greens are saying and what they stand for beyond climate change at their peril.
When Shane Rattenbury threw his weight behind the ALP in the ACT Canberrans ended up with a controversial tram plan that answered a question nobody had been asking. The cost to local tax payers is now estimated at $2 billion and rising.
So what would Mr Bandt's price be for putting Labor into government and how much will it cost?
While his demands are many and wide ranging, the centrepiece appears to be bringing dental care under the Medicare umbrella. This proposal, which would cost about $8 billion a year, would build on the Greens' earlier success in securing free dental care for children.
As a result of a deal done between the Greens and the ALP during the 2010 power-sharing parliament parents can access up to $1000 in dental treatment per child every two years.
This was a significant win and one that has made a big difference to millions of families. And, most importantly, the sky hasn't fallen in. The reform was not rolled back when the Coalition returned to government.
Mr Bandt is right when he says millions of Australians don't go to the dentist because they can't afford it and that this has serious consequences not only for them but the entire country.
Low income earners, who are twice as likely to have tooth decay as the well-off, often end up in emergency departments with dental-related health conditions.
We are living in a country where it is possible to determine a person's socio-economic status simply by looking at their teeth. That is not good enough.
While the ALP, given its backflip on the promised review of the JobSeeker payment on Wednesday, would have to be dragged kicking and screaming to adopting a measure expected to cost $80 billion over the next decade, it could soon find itself under great pressure to do so.
The real question is would this be such a bad thing? After all the major parties have disappointingly failed to come up with many big and nation changing proposals during this campaign so far.
It is good to see the Greens planning to leverage their power to improve the lives of millions of people.
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