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Source: The Conversation (Au and NZ) – By Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Greens leader Adam Bandt is hopeful his party could have 12 senators in the next parliament.

Only three of the party’s nine senators are up for re-election (in Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania). So, assuming they hold their seats, with possible wins in South Australia, Queensland and NSW there is the opportunity to bring the total to a dozen, he says.

Bandt says that in 2019, 10% of Australians voted for the Greens and “that is a very strong show of support and one that I hope will grow and that will help put us in a strong position after the next election.”

Given there’s currently a lot of speculation about the possibility of a hung parliament, Bandt says the Greens have “got a real chance of being in balance of power in both houses of parliament.”

With the government talking up a scare about a Labor-Green alliance in government – which Labor says it would not enter – Bandt says if there was a “power sharing” parliament the Greens would seek to work with Labor. But “we would approach that situation with strong principles, but an open mind as to how best to ensure that we have a stable, effective and progressive government to replace the current terrible Morrison government”.

“There will be principles that we have and policies that we want to see enacted. We want to tax the billionaires, get dental and mental health care into Medicare and act on coal and gas. They will be the priorities for us.”

“I think people want to see politicians and parties work together, especially on something so important as the climate. We in the Greens are willing to do that.”

On this core issue for their party, the Greens are firm that “we need to do what the science requires, and it is clear now that after Glasgow, where the world reaffirmed the commitment to limit global heating to 1.5 degrees, there’s no room for coal, oil and gas in that future.

The Greens want Australia’s coal-fired power stations and coal exports phased out by 2030.

The Conversation

Michelle Grattan does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

ref. Politics with Michelle Grattan: Adam Bandt on hopes for a dozen Greens senators and a ‘power-sharing’ parliament. –