It looks like the Greens have realised that they have milked as much as they can from the Gillard government in the current parliament and are calling over.
Greens leader Christine Milne says her party’s agreement with Labor is effectively over, citing a string of Government policies including its refusal to redesign the mining tax.
In a speech to the National Press Club in Canberra, Senator Milne says it has become clear that Labor no longer has the “courage or the will” to work together on a shared national agenda.
So the break up is on – but Milne isn’t using the old, “it’s not you, it’s me’ line.
“Labor has effectively ended its agreement with the Greens,” Senator Milne told the audience.
“Well so be it, but we will not allow Labor’s failure to uphold the spirit of our agreement to advance the interests of Tony Abbott.
We will not walk away from the undertakings we gave not only to the Prime Minister, but to the people of Australia, and that was – to deliver confidence and supply until the Parliament rises for the election.
So it’s over but the Greens will hold up their end of the bargain.
Obviously the Greens reckon the ALP brand is so toxic that it doesn’t pay to maintain the relationship. So between now and the election we can expect to see the Greens chip away at the left of the ALP.
Update: Phil Coorey at the AFR has more:
Greens leader Christine Milne told the National Press Club on Tuesday that by refusing to toughen the mining tax and reduce fossil fuel subsidies for miners, continuing to embrace coal seam gas, and failing to protect the Tarkine forest in Tasmania, the government had in effect walked away from the agreement.
The government was unperturbed by the announcement, believing it rids it of the Greens bogey and emphasising that it puts jobs first.
“This is a matter for Christine Milne and the Greens. We will always be the party that puts jobs, growth and work first,’’ a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Julia Gillard said.