The Greens would likely seek to push Labor towards more ambitious climate targets, bolster the state’s integrity framework and increase public housing funding in exchange for their support.
The Greens are promising to increase funding for IBAC, ban donations from property developers and gambling firms and publish ministerial diaries.
“This government has a problem with accountability and integrity,” Ratnam told TheAge.
“That culture results in these groundbreaking reports that tell you what happens when the rot sets in.”
She said the record 14 per cent primary vote the party attracted at the federal election illustrated a new Green wave.
The Andrews government had an election-winning lead in the last major opinion poll, The Age‘s Resolve Monitor published in April. But both major parties believe there has been a tightening in recent months and some strategists, as well as Redbridge pollster Kosmos Samaras, believe a minority government is possible.
Labor needs to lose 11 of its 55 seats to fall into a minority position in the 88-seat parliament. For the Coalition to win, it would need to gain 18 seats. The Greens hold three seats.
As politicians return from winter break for pre-election parliamentary sittings, Ratnam said the growing popularity of the Greens in Melbourne’s inner-city and suburbs illustrated the weakness of the major parties’ grip on the electorate.
“The [federal] election showed voters are ready for change. They want much stronger action on the issues they care about and those that have impact on the lives of their children,” she said.
She said new targets include wealthy seats in Melbourne’s south and east, such as Hawthorn (held by Labor on a notional 0.4 per cent margin), Caulfield (Liberal, 0.1 per cent) and Brighton (Liberal, 0.6 per cent).
In more traditional Greens-Labor contests, Ratnam says the party has a strong chance of winning Richmond, Albert Park and Northcote. Labor holds Richmond by 5.9 per cent but long-time member Richard Wynne is retiring. Labor holds Northcote by 1.7 per cent and Albert Park by 12.9 per cent (when measured against the Liberal Party).
ABC election analyst Antony Green said the most likely election outcome was a returned Labor government with a reduced majority. However, Green explained that a Labor minority was the second most likely outcome, ahead of a Coalition majority.
For Labor to slip into a minority, the analyst said Labor would probably need to lose western suburbs seats like Werribee to independents and inner-city seats to the Greens. The Coalition would have to pick up some of their old eastern suburbs seats and regional seats like Mildura off independents.
“It’s definitely possible,” he said.
In terms of climate policy, the Greens want a 100 per cent renewable energy target by 2030. Labor and the opposition support a 50 per cent target. Ratnam argued Labor “will not talk about its addiction to fossil fuels in the face of the climate crisis.”
On social housing, a hot-button issue in Melbourne’s inner-city, Ratnam claims Labor is not building enough government-owned dwellings and is “privatizing so much of our public housing assets for a very marginal increase in social housing dwellings”.
Responding to Ratnam’s claim, Housing Minister Danny Pearson emphasized that a government agency was expected to own the majority of the 12,000 homes built under the government’s Big Housing Build.
“We are delivering the biggest investment Victoria has seen in social housing in its history,” he said in a written statement.
The Greens are also likely to campaign on a policy that would increase cap rental, Ratnam said.
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