Opposition Leader Rebecca White rules out possibility of forming minority government with Greens

Opposition Leader Rebecca White
Opposition Leader Rebecca White

New Labor Leader Rebecca White has said her aim is to form a majority government at the next election, ruling out the possibility of striking a deal with the Greens.

On Monday, Ms White reiterated comments she made on radio regarding Labor’s intention to refrain from forming minority government with the Greens again.

“My ambition and the goal for the Labor party is to campaign for majority government,” Ms White said.

“And I believe that we have as much chance as the Liberal Party of winning majority government.

“That is exactly what we’re going to strive to do every single day.”

Ms White said Labor would win more seats at the next state election.

“The Liberals, on the other hand, will only lose seats and there will be a nasty fight between sitting MPs as they try to cling to power,” she said.

Labor and the Greens negotiated a deal to form a minority government in 2010. 

The agreement lasted until the Hodgman government was elected in 2014.

Greens leader Cassy O’Connor said Labor’s unwillingness to do another deal with her party was “disrespectful” to voters.

“If Tasmanians come back at the next state election and say they don’t want any particular party to be in majority, then we’re going to have to deal with that,” she said.

“We’re here to serve the people of Tasmania, to deliver good government.

“What we have to do is respect the will of the voters.”

Ms O’Connor said the Greens’ position on potentially forming minority government with another political party had not changed.

“We’ve always said that, if Tasmanians … deliver a balance of power parliament, we’ll work with whatever party to deliver good government and good outcomes for Tasmania and its people,” Ms O’Connor said.

Leader of Government Business Michael Ferguson said Ms White’s claim that Labor Party rules prevented it from forming minority government were indicative of her alleged inexperience.

“This is completely false and Ms White knows it,” Mr Ferguson said.

“Contrary to Ms White’s claims, it is very clear that Labor can – and we know from history will – do a deal with the Greens to form minority government, should the circumstances arise.

“The fact is, only the Liberals can form majority government, and only the Liberals can be trusted not to do a deal with the Greens.”