LABOR Party powerbrokers are divided over how to handle the relationship with the Greens in the lead-up to the state election, with pressure from within the party mounting on Premier Lara Giddings to reverse her position and rule out future deals with the minor party.
While Ms Giddings has repeatedly stated she will campaign for majority government, she has also said she would enter into a similar power-sharing arrangement with the Greens in the event of another hung parliament.
The Examiner understands those comments have angered key unions and the rank and file membership.
Without announcing a permanent split from the Greens, Labor insiders fear the state party will be annihilated at the March election.
``The message needs to be very, very clear,'' a source said.
``We're in more trouble than the first settlers,'' another source said.
``People have switched off. We are going to drift along to the election and get smashed.''
Less than five months out from the election, it appears the party is yet to settle on a strategy to handle the divorce with the minor party for the election campaign period.
Labor sources have described it as a ``high stakes'' debate that could have implications for the party's leadership.
There is expected to be some sort of agreed separation from as early as November 22, the day after the last sitting of Parliament.
While no date for the pre-election split has been set, it is understood public servants are under pressure to progress crucial issues that will require cabinet approval before then.
Ms Giddings has already flagged plans to appoint Labor spokesmen for portfolios held by Greens ministers Nick McKim and Cassy O'Connor, such as education and human services, as part of an attempt to differentiate the two parties.
But Labor insiders say that falls well short of what is required to counter the prevailing perception that ``a vote for Labor is a vote for the Greens'' that hurt the party at the federal election.
``That won't placate anyone,'' one source said.
Yesterday, Ms Giddings repeated her previous statement that ``we will be campaigning for majority government''.
``What happens after the election is a matter for the party room,'' she said.