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Sunday, January 01, 2006

Putt feels Green vibe

The Mercury: Putt feels Green vibe [01jan06]

TASMANIAN Greens leader Peg Putt has cautiously welcomed a new poll which shows her party likely to pick up two seats.

Ms Putt said the poll, conducted by TasPoll for The Mercury, reflected a positive feeling toward the Greens.

She said it also indicated an electorate tired of the old Labor and Liberal parties, their bickering and point-scoring, and the Lennon Government ignoring key issues of health, housing and the environment.

The poll suggests in December Labor would have won 12 seats (it now holds 14), the Liberals seven (seven) and the Greens six (four).

The Labor Party made no comment on the poll but Liberal leader Rene Hidding said the only poll which mattered was the next state election, tipped for late March.

Mr Hidding said Tasmanians were becoming increasingly aware of the arrogant and secretive approach of Premier Paul Lennon and his Government, which had all its priorities wrong.

"The poll, however, does reinforce the genuine risk of another disastrous Labor-Green Accord, as only the state Liberal team have all signed a pledge not to govern with the Greens or anyone else."

Mr Hidding said Tasmanians should demand Mr Lennon and all Labor candidates also sign a pledge to rule out another disastrous Labor-Green government.

Ms Putt said she expected an ugly campaign of smear and fear against the Greens because opponents saw the potential for a hung parliament.

"If we have a balance of power situation it is a matter for the political parties to approach it with maturity, recognising that is what democracy has delivered, that is what the people have said they want," she said.

"It is up to us to find ways to work together rather than just going back to point-scoring and telling the electorate the result they delivered isn't convenient for particular parties."

Such situations had occurred frequently in the last century of Tasmanian politics.

Ms Putt said this ugly side of politics with its personal attacks and exaggerated claims that the sky would fall was turning people off the bigger parties and towards the politics of hope generated by the Greens.

The election of six Greens would give Cassy O'Connor their second seat in Denison and Paul O'Halloran Braddon.

The Greens now hold a seat in Franklin, Bass, Lyons and Denison.


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