Elections; not state, not federal — but territory — are in the air.
The NT votes late next month, followed by the ACT in October.
Already in Canberra election posters promising “We’ll plant One Million Trees” under the picture of the local Liberal Sikh candidate are springing up like the early blossom.
And, even more telling, the hapless ACT Transport Minister Chris Steele has revised – for about the third time in as many years- transport timetables (unlike Mussolini, it can’t be said for Steele that he made anything run on time).
Canberra is a Labor town but voters have their doubts Chief Minister Andrew Barr’s administration.
Labor blame their not-so-junior partners in government, the Greens, for the discontent, but now even rusted-on ALP voters are beginning to feel it’s time to change,
Yet it’s not the Liberals who are likely to benefit. Instead, this mood of discontent is creating an intriguing possibility: could the Greens have the largest single number of seats?
The Greens in the ACT know Labor has its troubles and that their platform now attracts polite, middle-class Canberrans who may have previously backed the ALP.
While it might horrify the rest of the nation, Adam Bandt’s “Green New Deal” is not without appeal in a government town where the private sector only really consists of retail, hospitality and service industries, the tradies needed to assist them and a construction sector firmly under the thumb of the CFMMEU.
Bandt has declared: ‘The two elements of a Green New Deal, government taking the lead to create new jobs and industries, and universal services to ensure no one is left behind … can create new jobs by inspiring a manufacturing renaissance and turning Australia into a renewable superpower.’
Party literature explains:
We need a Green New Deal to tackle social and economic inequality, while taking the action scientists say is necessary to beat the climate crisis.
A Green New Deal is a government-led plan of investment and action to build a clean economy and a caring society. Under a Green New Deal, government takes the lead in creating new jobs and industries, and delivering universal services to ensure nobody is left behind.
The ‘New Green Deal’ terminology, borrowed from Franklin Roosevelt’s vast Depression-era ‘New Deal’ array of public works, is very much pitched at modern Labor’s well education, well paid professional constituency — a more than considerable demographic in the ACT.
It’s now becoming clearer that the Greens want to be more than junior partners to Labor in Canberra. They want to take precedence over Labor because they’ve energetically co-opted so much of modern Labor’s ideology in a way that will appeal to Canberra’s vast array of public servants, academics and technocrats whose jobs are more or less guaranteed — and paid enough to compensate for the price of Green experimentation.
That’s local Greens love it when Joel Fitzgibbon comes out in favour of coal mining jobs in his Hunter Valley seat or Queensland.
They know how that plays in the Bubble.
Stand by for interesting times.
Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.