Party's over for Greens

THE Greens have only themselves to blame for any loss of resources and speaking time in Parliament, Premier-elect Will Hodgman has said.

The former minority government partners no longer qualify for party status in the Tasmanian Parliament after an 8 per cent swing against them cost them two seats at the election. 

It is now up to the incoming Liberal government to determine whether the remaining three Green MHAs will be entitled to any extra resources on top of the basic entitlements for backbenchers.

Mr Hodgman said yesterday he would not disadvantage his opponents, but would not give them any special treatment. 

``I don't know if Nick McKim or anyone else is suggesting that I change the law, tweak the system to suit the Greens, well I won't do it, the law is the law,'' Mr Hodgman said.  

A Tasmanian Industrial Commission ruling set the minimum number of seats to achieve party status at four, but the ruling has little impact beyond granting a pay rise to the leader of any recognised party.

Mr McKim looks set to take a $41,000 pay cut as a result and will lose access to a car.

The amount of speaking time is governed by parliamentary standing orders, which are determined by the House of Assembly.

Political analyst Richard Herr said yesterday that the loss of status would not necessarily disadvantage the minor party. 

``They could still be a recognised party in terms of speaking times if [the House of Assembly] wished,'' Dr Herr said. 

Re-elected Greens MHA Kim Booth has questioned the need for the party to have a state leader. 

``Effectively you need a leader when you've got a larger team . . . I'm quite comfortable actually not having a leader,'' Mr Booth told the ABC. 

Mr McKim did not comment on the leadership issue yesterday but said: ``No matter what decisions Mr Hodgman makes around parliamentary rights and resourcing for Greens MPs, he won't stop us from holding him to account when he attacks public services, vulnerable people and Tasmania's wild places.''


New-look Parliament

Liberals: 15.

Labor: 7.

Greens: 3.

Premier-elect Will Hodgman at a Devonport Chamber of Commerce and Industry lunch yesterday.

Premier-elect Will Hodgman at a Devonport Chamber of Commerce and Industry lunch yesterday.


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