Monday 22 August 2011

Its called 'wedge politics' | The Green's template

Nationals have demanded the Greens stop trying to wedge the major parties over coal-seam gas
THE Nationals have demanded the Greens stop trying to wedge the major parties over coal-seam gas ahead of the tabling of a private member's bill.

Queensland Green Larissa Waters' proposed legislation would let farmers block mining exploration on their land amid complaints from farmers in the eastern states about exploration on their properties.

But her Queensland counterpart Barnaby Joyce says the Greens are seeking to wedge the Coalition and pre-empt the findings of a parliamentary inquiry. "When you make a statement to every media outlet but don't actually try to collect the votes, it's called a wedge," Senator Joyce told the Ten Network's Meet the Press yesterday.

The Nationals' Senate leader tackled the Greens' Sarah Hanson-Young over her comments on ABC TV that the only way to progress good policy was "to ensure we get everybody on the same page".

Asked whether the Greens and independent MPs were pushing Labor to electorally unpopular reforms, she told the ABC's Insiders program the hung parliament forced governments to justify their decisions, saying that understanding the new balance of power in Canberra required a different mindset.

But Senator Joyce said the Greens refused to compromise.

"I might actually put that back to Sarah Hanson-Young and say 'what efforts have you made to get everybody on the same page? Who have you talked to?"'

Senator Joyce attacked the Greens over the CSG proposal. "They've put this bill up," he said. "But they've never actually lobbied us, they've never actually turned up . . . We have an inquiry going at the moment; it will report at the end of the year.

"It is looking at coal-seam gas. It's had meetings in Roma, in Dalby, in Narrabri, its chair is Bill Heffernan, he is doing a good job as the only way Bill does it.

"This will give us the chance to get people on the same page."

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