27 October 2020

Greens push for three cabinet ministers after record seat haul

| Dominic Giannini
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2020-10-26 ACT Greens Legislative Assembly Photo: Michelle Kroll

L-R: Andrew Braddock, Johnathan Davis, Rebecca Vassarotti, Shane Rattenbury, Emma Davidson and Jo Clay will represent the Greens during the next Legislative Assembly. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

The Greens will push to have three cabinet ministers in the new Government, leader Shane Rattenbury said ahead of formal negotiations with Labor which started yesterday (26 October).

The Greens won an extra four seats and Labor lost two at the 17 October poll, changing the balance of power within the coalition.

In the last government, the Greens had two seats and Mr Rattenbury was the only Greens member of cabinet.

“The numbers are very clear now, of the 16 members who will form government the Greens hold six – we hold three-eighths of the seats,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“I think those sort of ratios and numbers give an indication of how we expect to land in the final balance across the two parties. I think it would be reasonable for the Greens to get three ministries in that context.”

READ ALSO Greens will need to be pragmatic and get their hands dirty

Chief Minister Andrew Barr had previously played down the prospect of giving new Greens members portfolios at the start of their first term of office, saying he would not like to throw them in the deep end.

Mr Barr said he knows what it is like to be thrown in the deep end after former Chief Minister Jon Stanhope gave him the education portfolio in 2006 and left Mr Barr in charge of closing schools.

But Mr Rattenbury says the Greens have the experience and intelligence to handle portfolios.

“Other members have successfully come into the ministry at the start of their terms, particularly pointing to Rachel Stephen-Smith as Health Minister,” he said.

Emma Davidson, who retained Caroline Le Couteur’s seat for the Greens in Murrumbidgee, and Rebecca Vassarotti, who won a second seat for the Greens in Kurrajong, have been touted as potential ministers.

2020-10-26 ACT Greens Legislative Assembly Photo: Michelle Kroll

Rebecca Vassarotti (left) and Emma Davidson have been touted as potential ministers. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Mr Rattenbury would not comment on whether he was pushing for the Attorney-General’s portfolio after Gordon Ramsay failed to retain his seat in Ginninderra.

READ MORE Gordon Ramsay loses Ginninderra, Greens lock in a record six seats

“Building our community, not prisons, is a key area we wanted to work on. That work needs to continue and whether it is as the Attorney-General or a different role will be a part of the conversation,” he said.

Mr Rattenbury ruled himself out for the role of Deputy Chief Minister.

“We are not here for the titles, we are here to get the job done. It is certainly not an ask we have made and it is not high on our priority list,” he said.

The last time the Greens increased the number of MLAs so substantially was in 2008 when the party took four seats, up from a single member in 2004.

But the party was then reduced back to a single member at the next election, with Mr Rattenbury being the only Green to retain his seat in 2012.

The Greens did not receive a portfolio until 2012 when Mr Rattenbury became a minister in Katy Gallagher’s cabinet, despite holding the balance of power in the Assembly since 2008. He was appointed Speaker in 2008.

The ACT Electoral Commission will officially declare the election’s results on Wednesday (28 October) and the Government is set to be sworn in the following Tuesday (3 November).

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Capital Retro10:53 am 27 Oct 20

Are they planning the Soylent Green factory already?

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