Greens leader Adam Bandt says the party has a mandate to stop new coal and gas mines and warned the Labor government that it will use its balance of power in the Senate to introduce legislation to block new mines.
The Greens look set to quadruple their lower house representation by robbing the LNP of their Queensland seats of Brisbane and Ryan and booting Labor frontbencher Terri Butler from the seat of Griffith.
Labor remains one seat shy of securing a 76th seat that it needs to rule in majority and the Greens are expected to hold 12 seats in the Senate, most likely giving the party the balance of power.
This means that wherever Labor failed to secure the support of the opposition – set to be led by Peter Dutton – the government would need the votes of the crossbench to pass laws, making them kingmakers capable of blocking or passing key legislation in the Senate.
bandt awning The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age that the Greens wanted to be constructive at the outset, but the parties that stood for more coal and gas had to recognize that their votes went backwards.
“Labor may squeak through a majority in the lower house, we’ll see,” he said.
“Less than one in three people voted for them, they’ve got to accept the reality of that, they’re in government but the Greens and the independents, whose presence in parliament went up, were demanding more ambitious climate action and at some point Labor has to recognize that that’s what people want.
“Our preference is for a cooperative government, but we’re not there to rubber stamp, so they can’t take our votes in the Senate for granted… our clear, strong preference is to have a productive relationship.