TASMANIAN Labor should seriously consider splitting with the Greens before next year's March election if it wants to hold onto government, says veteran federal Labor politician Dick Adams.
If it doesn't separate from its minority government partners, Labor should at least appoint its own spokesmen to work alongside the two Greens ministers so that Labor values have the influence not Greens, Mr Adams said yesterday.
The former Lyons MHR was defeated at the September 7 federal election by Liberal candidate Eric Hutchinson after 20 years, making him one of the federal government's longest serving parliamentarians.
He was also a state Franklin MHA for three years from 1979 serving as National Parks Minister for a year.
As he tidied up his political affairs, Mr Adams was adamant that state Labor needed to "differentiate" itself from the Greens and their policies in the few months left before the Tasmanian election.
He said that severing ties with the Greens at this stage could work in Labor's favour rather than being seen as a failure of the Labor-Green accord.
Mr Adams praised Braddon Labor MHA Brenton Best's campaign across the past two sessions of state parliament against Greens ministers Nick McKim and Cassy O'Connor." He has given an account of where he thinks the Greens ministers have fallen down.
"The role of any backbencher - and a role that I played - was to take on my own party to highlight the challenges or the policy vacuums that were occurring.
"There's an education minister who is Green so there needs to be a Labor spokesman to differentiate our education policy position which I believe is different from the Greens."
Mr Adams said that state Labor's challenge was to sell it's different position which was pro- mining, pro-forestry, pro-fishing and pro-farming and irrigation.
He said that people were "caught up in their minds," with the state Greens-Labor government during the federal election campaign.
Many in the community regarded it as a "pretty devastating process for jobs," he said.
"I think a majority Labor government is where Labor should be aiming," he said.