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ACT election: Greens to push for policy ‘reset’ after Labor victory | Australian Capital Territory

The ACT chief minister Andrew Barr and the Greens leader Shane Rattenbury are set for talks this week on minority government, following Saturday’s election.

Labor and the Greens are set to hold talks this week on forming another minority government in the ACT, with the minor party seeking a policy “reset”.

With the counting of votes from Saturday’s election due to continue well into next week, Labor appears to have won at least 11 seats and the Greens three, out of the 25-seat assembly in the national capital.

The Liberals could hold as few as eight seats, with the Greens securing as many as six if complex preference flows go the minor party’s way.

Labor will notch up 23 years in office by the end of the coming term.

Barr, the second-longest serving political leader in the country, told supporters the year 2020 had pressed the city to the limit, with bushfires, a hailstorm and coronavirus.

“We’ve had an extraordinary series of challenges thrown at us, as a city and as a community, and we’ve got through it because we’ve worked together,” he said.

“We’ve got through it because we’ve applied progressive values to our government decisions and because we’ve applied compassion and we haven’t left people behind.”

Andrew Barr (left) kisses his partner Anthony Toms as he delivers his ACT election victory speech on Saturday evening.
Andrew Barr (left) kisses his partner Anthony Toms as he delivers his ACT election victory speech on Saturday evening. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

Labor’s primary vote was hovering at just over 38%, while the Liberals polled 33% and the Greens just under 14%.

It is yet to be determined whether Liberal leader Alistair Coe will stand down.

The Greens received a swing of just over 3% while the Liberals copped a slightly larger swing against them.

Greens leader Shane Rattenbury, who has been a cabinet minister in the minority government, said Canberrans have voted for action on climate change, inequality and housing affordability.

“The ACT is the answer to the travesty we saw in last week’s federal budget, which was a trickle-down budget, a gas-led future and one that completely ignored the desperate need for new social housing in this country,” he said.

He said he would have an “interesting conversation” with the chief minister this week, as the Greens sought to “reset” the arrangements with Labor.

“We’ve had some really clear feedback during this election from members of the community who are not entirely happy with how things have been going,” he said.

“There are things we need to reset on and we need to reflect on … and we will take that feedback with us into the assembly.”

Greens leader Shane Rattenbury.
Greens leader Shane Rattenbury. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

No postal votes were counted on Saturday night and the final determination of seats won’t happen for at least a few days.

Retiring veteran Liberal Vicki Dunne said eight seats would be a “terrible” result for her party.

“There will have to be some real soul-searching as to whether the campaign was good enough,” she said

Since ACT self-government began in 1989, the Liberals have never won majority government.

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