Lucy Bladen

ACT Election 2020: Greens to hold the balance of power for a fourth term | The Canberra Times

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The ACT Greens looked to be one of the early winners on Saturday night, with their status as kingmaker looking increasingly likely. With about half the votes counted the party had recorded a swing of about 3 per cent and, surprisingly, the party’s strongest swing came from south, at about 5 per cent in Brindabella. The Greens have held the balance of power in the ACT Legislative Assembly for more than a decade and leader Shane Rattenbury has been a minister in the government for the past eight years. Greens had already gained one seat in Kurrajong on Saturday night and it appeared likely they would win more. On Saturday afternoon, Mr Rattenbury was hopeful the party could again hold the influential position, which would guarantee a return to power for Labor. The ACT Greens leader steered clear of explicitly stating what policies they would be unwilling to compromise on in a parliamentary agreement. But he said housing and climate change would be at the forefront. The Greens policies have included a $400 million housing package, $50 million towards electric car subsidies and the party wants to stop gas connections to new suburbs from next year. “Certainly we have prioritised the need to build more social and affordable housing in the city [and] to continue to address climate change,” he said. “They are the key issues that are absolutely essential to us and that our supporters particularly want action on but it is a process of negotiation and we’ll see where we can get to.” Mr Rattenbury has already said he won’t form a coalition with the Liberal party if the Greens hold the balance of power. If the Canberra Liberals beat the odds and win a majority of seats in the Legislative Assembly, Mr Rattenbury said the Greens would hold them to account. “They have made an absolute raft of promises that I think are frankly unrealistic and for us one of the most disappointing things is they have not made any policy commitments on climate change,” he said. “We will certainly be pursuing them on that in the event they do form government.” The ACT Greens won two seats at the 2016 election – in Kurrajong and Murrumbidgee. However, re-election hopes in Murrumbidgee were delivered a blow when popular MLA Caroline Le Couteur announced her retirement. But they were looking likely to retain that seat on Saturday night with candidate Emma Davidson.

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