If Labor’s performance in the WA election was bad, the Greens was worse - and the party’s Federal leader Christine Milne says it is a clear warning that Tony Abbott and last century conservatism looms large.
As Colin Barnett’s minority Liberal Government was returned with a huge majority, the four per cent swing away from the Greens was even more violent than those that turned away from Labor.
The Greens only hope of representation in WA’s lower house is in the Kimberley, where local candidate Chris Maher and his opposition to the James Price Point gas project mobilised support.
But across the rest of the State, the Greens vote plummeted, with the party predicted to hold just two seats in the Upper House as counting concludes.
Ms Milne said rather than take her party’s savaging in WA as a sign of decline, she said voters should see it as a warning as what could happen at the Federal polling booths in September.
“I think the message out of WA is that is essential that we keep the Greens holding the balance of power in the Federal parliament,” Ms Milne said.
“Because what is very clear is that (Opposition Leader) Tony Abbott and the conservatives are coming and you are going to need people that have policies and will stand up and defend them.
“It is absolutely critical people see the march of the conservatives across the country and see it for what it is - a retreat to the past, to the last century.
“We need to stand up against everything that Tony Abbott would tear down.”
With counting in WA suspended until Monday, the Greens held just eight per cent of the vote in the Upper House.
Former Greens turned independent MP Adele Carles only attracted five per cent of the popular vote in Fremantle after her issues with former lover and State Treasurer Troy Buswell.
Ms Milne claimed the campaign run by the Liberals and Colin Barnett had been influenced by the State’s major mining and resources interests.
“Colin Barnett has run an aggressive campaign on behalf of the big mining industry,” Ms Milne said.
“In WA you have got strong voices like Gina Rinehart and Twiggy Forrest and so on all arguing that they should not have to pay the mining tax.“That has been resonating through WA and that is a tragedy for the rest of the country.”
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