Anthony Albanese blasts ‘politics obsessed’ Greens as $10 billion social housing stoush escalates

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Dan Jervis-BardyThe West Australian
VideoLabor's climate change policy backed by The Greens.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has accused the Greens of being “more obsessed by the politics than outcomes” as the stoush over the Government’s $10 billion social and affordable housing fund escalates.

The Greens have fired back, declaring it won’t cave in to the Government’s wishes just because the Prime Minister is “being mean to us”.

The Greens are refusing to support the Government’s Bill to establish the fund as it demands more help for renters and $5 billion each year to tackle the national housing crisis.

It has likened Labor’s proposal to use the investment returns from the $10 billion fund to “gambling on the stock market”.

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The Bill won’t pass without the minor party’s support, meaning the fate of plans to use the fund to build 30,000 social and affordable homes in the next five years hangs in the balance.

The minor party made similar noises about derailing the Government’s signature climate action policy, before agreeing to back it after winning a raft of concessions.

The Greens are rolling out a major doorknocking campaign in Labor seats – including Josh Wilson’s electorate of Fremantle – to build grassroots pressure on the Government.

Labor is seething at the Greens’ tactics, accusing it of prioritising political gain over urgently building much-need homes for vulnerable Australians.

The Government has the backing of the major housing advocacy groups, which joined forces earlier this week to call for the Bill to pass.

Mr Albanese singled out the Greens housing spokesman Max Chandler-Mather as he ripped into the minor party on Wednesday morning.

“I find it rather bizarre, the argument that says what we want is more money, therefore we’ll vote for no money,” he said.

“From time to time in this place, there’s politics played.

“The Greens spokesperson on this issue seems to be more obsessed by the politics than outcomes.

“I want outcomes.”

Mr Chandler-Mather accused Mr Albanese of being the one who was playing politics.

“The Greens cannot stand here and say to them (people struggling to find a home) ‘just because the Prime Minister is being a bit mean to us we’re going to roll over’,” he told reporters in Canberra.

“That’s not why we were put in Parliament.”

The Government is being forced to negotiate with the Greens and crossbench because the Coalition is opposed to the Bill.

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