Greens make history


Capital Hill is now greener than ever.

Senator Bob Brown in Melbourne

Bob Brown in Melbourne.

Credit: Peter Campbell

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The Greens have achieved their most encouraging results in a Federal election in the history of the party, winning 12.95 per cent of the votes in the Senate and 11.4 per cent (over one million votes) in the House of Representatives.

The party looks to be holding nine seats in the Senate - with a seat in every state - meaning all legislation from July 2011 will either be passed or blocked by the decisions of the Greens’ senators.

While the overall election results remain hung, it is clear that whichever party holds the balance of power in the House of Representatives will need to negotiate with a primarily ‘Green’ Senate. The Green’s website states: “At this stage it is expected that the Greens will have ten members in the Federal Parliament”. Most of these seats were formerly held by Labor.

Adam Bandt has become the first Greens candidate elected to the House of Representatives at a general election for the seat of Melbourne. A former industrial lawyer, Bandt once held the same job as Julia Gillard at law firm Slater & Gordon. Bandt’s key issues include the development of a high-speed rail between Sydney and Canberra, discounts on energy efficiency in low-income homes and the introduction of a price on carbon.

Speaking alongside Bandt and Victoria's first Greens Senator Richard di Natale yesterday, Greens leader Senator Bob Brown said the weekend's result was a ''historic part of the change of politics [in Australia]''.

''The reality is the Greens have established ourselves as the third political entity in this country, the one where the excitement is and the innovation is,'' said Brown.