Giddings rolls dice and the Greens

Lara Giddings.
Lara Giddings.

LABOR has promised to never again do a deal with the Greens in a last ditch effort to win back its traditional supporters before the March 15 election.

Premier Lara Giddings yesterday announced the March 15 poll date after earlier sacking the two Greens ministers triggering the end of the four- year power-sharing deal.

Despite describing it as a "good government", she has promised to never again give Greens a seat at the cabinet table.

"We've come to a logical end to this arrangement," Ms Giddings said.

In March, Ms Giddings told a public forum she would "absolutely" have Greens in cabinet again, describing it as the most stable form of minority government, but has come under immense pressure from Labor powerbrokers urging a permanent divorce from the minor party.

"I can understand that people would be sceptical about what I say here today, but since [March] I have been out doorknocking across the state, I have been talking to Labor Party members, I have been talking importantly to Labor Party supporters in our heartland in every electorate in Tasmania and I can say to you that the vast majority of those people have said to me, `Lara you've got to get rid of the Greens,"' Ms Giddings said.

"Our support for a pulp mill and industries like mining and aquaculture also means Labor's vision for Tasmania's future is very different from that of the Greens."

If the election result is unclear, Ms Giddings said Labor would attempt to govern in minority on the floor of the house - a model she has previously described as unstable.

Polling suggests breaking from the Greens will help Labor hang on to a handful of extra seats.

Greens leader Nick McKim, who held the key education portfolio, said he was disappointed for Tasmanians, while his Greens colleague Cassy O'Connor was confident they would not be the last Greens ministers.

"Politics has won the day here," Mr McKim said.

State Opposition Leader Will Hodgman said the Liberal Party was the only party that could deliver majority government.

"Tasmanians won't be fooled by this, it's a farce, it's a charade," Mr Hodgman said.

Bass Labor MHA Brian Wightman will be sworn in as education minister today, parliamentary secretary Rebecca White will be promoted to human services minister and Labor MLC Craig Farrell will become responsible for corrections and sustainable transport for the remaining weeks of the government's term.

The government will go into caretaker mode on February 19 when the writs are issued.


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