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greening Canberra? « Previous | |Next »
October 30, 2008

It is more than likely that the ACT will see Stanhope Labor forming some sort of Coalition with The Greens, after the latter won 4 seats in the last election. The final make-up of the Territory's 17-member Assembly is 7 Labor, 6 Liberals and 4 Greens. Nine seats are needed to form a majority.

Already we have the anti-development argument being run by business. The Greens are anti-development. An op-ed in the Canberra Times gives expression to this:

The Greens' impressive election results at this month's election were due to many factors. Some voters wished to register a protest against the Stanhope Government: others were won over by the Greens' commitment to push for a more open, transparent and consultative style of government. No one, however, voted Green because they wanted a third political force capable of undermining the territory's economic base. The still unfolding global financial crisis (which could yet trigger a recession in Australia) should be reason enough for the Greens to reconsider their opposition to a data centre at Macarthur. If not, then perhaps TRE's warning will give them pause for thought. The ACT is well endowed with the attributes (security and access to plentiful power) needed to become a data centre hub but, without unqualified support from its politicians, developers will quickly take their proposals elsewhere.

"Unqualified support" implies either/ development or anti-development mentality with the Greens being seen to undermine the ACT's economic base. It's the politics of fear where a harsh economic reality is being used as a weapon by business to resist reform.

The Greens, as the op-ed acknowledges, are in favour of developing an IT industry/hub in the ACT, and they had reservations about the Stanhope Government's failure to consult adequately about site selection for the data centre before the election. It is not going to be business-as-usual in the ACT.

Jack Waterford writes constantly about the Greens lack of economic responsibility, their lack of understanding of the rationality of economics, and their naivety in the business of making hard choices about competing policy options. Waterford does seem to be overly concerned about making Canberra more sustainable by reducing the ecological footprint, or growing green industries to deal with climate change.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:38 AM | | Comments (2)
Comments

Comments

Ah yes, it can never be "sustainable development".
Always this false dichotomy.
I think actually the Greens understand, far better than most, the "rationality of economics".
The rest will wake up when they are gasping for scarce oxygen and armpit deep in frozen antarctic melt water.

Paul,
the Greens have sided with Stanhope Labor. The four Greens MLAs remain on the cross bench, with the party deciding against taking a ministry. But the agreement with Labor guarantees the Greens will chair at least four Legislative Assembly committees and a greater emphasis on accountability.