PREMIER Lara Giddings has accused Labor Party heavyweights who are demanding a permanent split from the Greens of helping the Liberals to gain power next March.
Labor insiders told The Examiner that key unions and a majority of rank and file members were furious that Ms Giddings had not ruled out entering into a similar power-sharing arrangement with the Greens.
They fear Labor supporters will desert the party unless there is a clear message that no deals will be done with the Greens again.
Yesterday Ms Giddings hit back. ``This sort of distraction goes some way to helping a Liberal government be elected,'' she said.
``The union movement needs to also be part of the campaign, and for us to win majority government we need their support, we want their support.
``It's important we all we remain focused on the big picture here, because otherwise we will see the Liberal Party in power. They are the enemy.''
Ms Giddings acknowledged that there was internal debate about the issue.
It's expected that Labor will begin further distancing itself from the Greens once Parliament rises for the year at the end of November, with plans already flagged to appoint Labor spokesmen for portfolios held by the two Greens members of cabinet.
Senior Labor minister Michelle O'Byrne said there was no set date for a split.
``I think the fact that both of us will be campaigning on our different philosophical bases will naturally tear us apart,'' she said.
``Nobody is orchestrating a set date for a set split. I don't think that is a realistic thing and I don't think people would find that credible.''
While the Greens stayed out of it yesterday, the state opposition said Labor's infighting highlighted the dysfunction and self-interest of the party.
``It's clear that Labor can't get its own act together, let alone tackle the serious issues that Tasmania faces,'' Bass Liberal MHA Peter Gutwein said.