Greens push to have a few MLAs in cabinet

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ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury… “It does need to be a fair outcome that reflects the support we have received over the election campaign.”

ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury expects to have more than one Green’s minister in cabinet and has not ruled out forming a cross bench.

In a press conference today (October 22) Mr Rattenbury says the party will be pressing to have a greater representation in cabinet.

But the Green’s leader remained tight lipped on how many cabinet positions, who, and what portfolio’s members may take up, indicating he will enter into negotiations with the ACT Labor party today.

“There are areas we are interested in and there are [areas] we have highlighted as key priorities, but clearly there are a lot of jobs that need to be done across the cabinet and we will look to balance our skills and the skill of the members in the Labor party,” he says.

Rattenbury refuted suggestions made by Chief Minister Andrew Barr earlier this week, that first time MLAs needed more experience before moving into ministry roles.

On Monday (October 19), Mr Barr said: “[I’m] not going to throw someone in the deep end.” 

In response to Mr Barr’s comments, Mr Rattenbury says: “History doesn’t dictate that.

“Both Gordon Ramsay and Rachel Stephen-Smith were made ministers at the start of last term immediately upon being elected, Chris Steel became a minister quickly too and if we delve back into the previous decade, the chief minister became a minister almost as soon as he entered the assembly.

“It does need to be a fair outcome that reflects the support we have received over the election campaign.”

Over the weekend the Greens picked up five members, with the possibility of a sixth, which is more than doubling their last assembly presence. 

“We built our policy upon discussions with the community and we need to see that community ambition reflected in any parliamentary agreement that can be constructed between the two parties,” Mr Rattenbury says. 

The Green’s leader also confirms the option of a cross bench, still remains on the table.

When asked about the possibility of Gordon Ramsay losing his seat, Mr Rattenbury says he wouldn’t be drawn in on speculation suggesting he was best placed to assume the role of attorney general, given the showdown for the final seat in Ginninderra between Mr Ramsay and the Liberals’ Peter Cain.

“With Gordon still in the race it’s probably a little bit early to divy up his current role out of respect to Gordon and the difficult process he’s going through this week we won’t be commenting on that,” Mr Rattenbury says.

If Barr gets his way, only one Greens MLA will make cabinet

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