Country Alliance – the high cost of coalition agreements

The National’s backdown on a game council – the high cost of coalition agreements

The Country Alliance party has condemned the National Party’s backdown on the creation of a Victorian Game Council as another example of the high cost of the National’s coalition agreement with the Liberal Party.

“First we saw a retreat from their election promise to allow cattle back into the Gunbower and Barmah forests and now we are being told that there will be no Game Council despite their pre-election commitment to create a statutory authority similar those in NSW and New Zealand”, said party spokesperson, Steve Threlfall.

“What is now being offered is a simple shuffle of departmental deck chairs with no independence and little funding”.

“The Nationals may hold key ministries and also promote some good policies but none of these matters when you are a very junior partner in a coalition and are unable to implement anything that does not have the support of the Liberal Party”

Mr Threlfall said the problem is that the Liberal’s primary focus is on its largely urban based electorates and the Nationals were reluctant to accept any policy that may not play well in Melbourne’s inner suburbs no matter how good that policy is.

“Without the coalition agreement the Nationals would hold the balance of power in both the upper and lower houses of the Victorian parliament. Their capacity to implement their policies and provide a truly independent voice for their electorates would be significantly greater if that were the case.

Contact: Steve Threlfall 0418 868 867 for Northern Victoria Region
(ie Mildura to Wodonga to Healesville to Bendigo)
Website: Twitter: @countryalliance
Admin: / ph 0425 746 066

2 comments to Country Alliance – the high cost of coalition agreements

  • David

    BKoP followed up with the Country Alliance regarding this press release. The exchange is below.


    A supplementary question, if you would be so kind to answer it.

    Given your statements below regarding the Nationals inability to make policy based on their being a junior partner in the Coalition, what does this say about the effectiveness of the Greens and their ability to pass legislation with the (albeit grudging) support of the Labor Party?

    This question relates to the recent change to the self-determinance of the Territories (Territories Self-Government Legislation Amendment (Disallowance and Amendment of laws) Bill 2011).

    Kind regards,
    BKoP Team.

    [Your answer will be posted, along with the question, in our comments section on our website under your press release, here : ]

    —– Country Alliance response follows —–

    Hi BKoP Team

    Thanks for your question. The issue re raised referred to the coalition in Victoria rather than federally however we have seem similar arrangements at both levels.

    If a political party that has the balance of power is simply prepared to be an extension of another party, then it’s a wasted opportunity. In terms of the effectiveness of the Greens, entering into a coalition must surely enhance the Greens’ position and their opportunity to get what they want.


    Country Alliance Admin

  • David

    BKoP asked for a further clarification. Full exchange is below

    Hi again,

    Thank you for your reply.

    Just to clarify, as your answer does not appear to address the question, the Greens are not a part of a formal coalition with the Labor Party, such as the Liberals and Nationals Party are. They have engaged with the ALP and Independents in an effort to govern cooperatively as part of a minority government, something very common abroad in parliamentary democracies, though admittedly less so here.

    The question was in relation to their ability to pass legislation as a minor party, juxtaposed next to the Nationals Party, who hold many more seats in (arguably) their own right, as the main press release dealt specifically with this topic.

    The Country Alliance, should they gain seats in State or Federal parliament, may be in a position akin to the Greens’ position now, albeit with a different policy set. Would the Country Alliance use the Greens as an example on how to effectively pass legislation from a minority position?

    Kind regards,
    BKoP Team

    —– Country Alliance response follows —–

    No problem.

    I think it would be fair to say we would position ourselves in a manner very similar to the Greens. We have our own constituency that we wish to look after and would use our position to do that.

    As you will appreciate, this approach is not new, with parties like (if my recollection is correct) the Democrats and more recently the Shooters and Fishers Party in NSW. Similarly, we would not enter into any coalition with either side. We would support good policy and oppose bad policy regardless of who was in government.

    Our position is also reflected in the preference deals we entered into in the two state elections we contested, where we cut deals with both sides on a fairly even handed basis.



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