Greens urge double dissolution on renewables

Issue 

Greens leader Christine Milne is challenging Prime Minister Tony Abbott to call a double dissolution election this year over the passage of a renewable energy bill.

Milne said: “The Greens are ready for an election over the prime minister's global warming denial and his brutal budget.”

The Senate rejected the Clean Energy Finance Corporation repeal bill for a second time on June 18 with Labor, the Greens and Independent MP Nick Xenophon voting against it. This legislation was set up by the former Labor and Green government to fund investment into renewable energy and hybrid technologies such as gas.

The bill has already been rejected by the Senate once and was passed by the lower house in March.

This gives Abbott a trigger for a double dissolution election but it seems unlikely he will use it. Foreign minister Julie Bishop told the National Press Club: "Just because you're given a trigger, doesn't mean you have to pull it.”

The Coalition will wait until the new Senate sits after July to reintroduce the bill.

Milne said: "If the prime minister refuses to follow through on his threats for a new election the unpopularity of his brutal budget and global warming policy sham will be fully exposed once and for all. He will be a lame duck.

"We expect either a new election if the PM has the ticker for it, or a completely lame government, shackled by a prime minister incapable of dealing with the hand he has been dealt with in the Senate."

Several large “Bust the Budget” rallies held since May have called for the Greens, Independents and Labor to block the federal budget in parliament and allow the opportunity for a double dissolution election to be called this year.

Although she has promised the Greens will vote against key parts of the budget, Milne has ruled out blocking the federal budget in its entirety and called the promise by Independent MP Andrew Wilkie to block supply “a stunt”.