THE Australian Greens have done more to harm the environmental movement over the past decade than any other political party, says Labor’s Calare candidate Jess Jennings.
Dr Jennings was responding to Greens leader Christine Milne’s appearance at the National Press Club on Tuesday, where she spectacularly ended her party’s support of the Gillard government.
Ms Milne said Labor had sided with Australia’s big miners in relation to the controversial mining tax and was “no longer honouring our agreement to work together to promote transparent and accountable government.”
The move was branded a meaningless act of petulance by Transport Minister Anthony Albanese, and Dr Jennings went further by claiming The Greens had set Australia’s environmental movement back by 10 years.
He said former leader Bob Brown’s decision in 2010 to oppose Kevin Rudd’s emissions trading scheme had left Australia with an inferior model, the carbon tax, to tackle climate change.
“I’m very happy to see that the agreement between Labor and The Greens has broken,” Dr Jennings said.
“Over the last 10 years, I believe The Greens have held back environmental gains in this country more than any other party.
“Had The Greens supported Rudd's proposal the carbon price would have been put in place without any problems and we would have gone on to have an election between Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull, which is what everyone seems to want now.”
Dr Jennings called it the “Ralph Nader effect” - a reference to the US presidential candidate who ran for The Greens against George W Bush and Al Gore in 2000.
Mr Bush was elected president by the narrowest of margins, with Mr Gore’s supporters placing blame for the loss on Mr Nader taking thousands of left-leaning votes away from their Democrat candidate.