ACT Labor and the Greens are fighting. But why?
4 min read
A little over two weeks out from polling day, Labor and the Greens are going through a separation.
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Just after midday on September 16, Andrew Barr and Shane Rattenbury walked side-by-side into the courtyard of the ACT Legislative Assembly to announce a policy only their Labor-Greens coalition could have possibly concocted. Standing a few kilometres north of Parliament House, the frontline of Australia's decade-long climate wars, the pair detailed an ambitious, yet coherent and seemingly navigable, roadmap to reach zero net emissions before the middle of the 21st Century. At the centre of the new climate change strategy was a clearly stated ambition to phase out the use of natural gas - a fossil fuel - by 2045. Barr and Rattenbury held up the plan as proof positive of the ACT's nation and world-leading climate fighting credentials. When Liberal leader Alistair Coe warned that switching off gas would hit the hip pockets of struggling families, Barr and Rattenbury accused their opponent of scare-mongering. One year and two weeks on, Barr and Rattenbury are again fighting about phasing out gas in the ACT. Only this time, their verbal attacks are directed not at Coe, but at each other. The Greens' announcement this week that it wanted to accelerate the transition from natural gas lit a fire underneath the usually friendly cabinet colleagues. Barr said Labor couldn't support a "crazy Greens proposal" which saw households forced to turn off gas appliances before they were ready to make the switch to electric. Labor wouldn't be "gas-shaming people", Barr said. A fired-up Rattenbury hit back, saying ACT Labor appeared to be "shying away"…
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