Julia Gillard has begun an aggressive repositioning of Labor, using Christine Milne's scrapping of the Greens power-sharing agreement with the Government to assert the ALP was the party of jobs.
The Prime Minister, who signed an agreement with the Greens in 2010 to help secure government, said she was unsurprised by the Greens leader's decision.
"At the end of the day the Greens party is fundamentally a party of protest rather than a party of government," Ms Gillard said.
"The Greens party is fundamentally a party that would prefer to complain about things than get solutions.
"We will always stand up for the jobs of Australian workers here and right around the nation."
Senator Milne has cited the Government's refusal to review the mining tax and its decision not to heritage-list the Tarkine rainforest in Tasmania as evidence that Labor had effectively ended the agreement.
But the Greens are also intent on distancing themselves from Labor with a view to protecting their sole Lower House MP, Adam Bandt, and South Australian Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.
Mr Bandt faces a steep challenge to retain the seat of Melbourne which he wrested from Labor in the 2010 election. He won the seat on the back of Liberal preferences and this is unlikely to be repeated.
While some Labor MPs say it had always been unwise for Ms Gillard to sign the deal with the Greens, the PM is intent on using the "break-up" to reassert Labor's connections with its working base.The Australian Workers Union, from the Right, has already pledged to protect her leadership from a Kevin Rudd comeback and Labor Left powerbroker and Cabinet minister Mark Butler yesterday reaffirmed he was behind her.
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