As 2012 draws to a close, we should reflect on the significant political achievements of a productive minority Parliament, Acting Greens Leader, Adam Bandt, said today.
Here is the Greens' 'best of' for 2012:
- Best promise broken: the dropping of the surplus fetish, following persistent campaigning by the Greens, economists, business leaders and the welfare sector.
- Best leadership transition since Clarke took over from Ponting: the Greens showed the old parties how it's done.
- Best health measure: securing $5 billion for dental health as first step towards Denticare, delivering on a key commitment secured by the Greens in supporting minority government.
- Best legislative defeat: the company tax cut for big business was defeated, returning $2.4b to everyday Australians.
- Best parliamentary reform: start of the Greens' inspired Parliamentary Budget Office, which will now be able to cost all parties' policies.
- Best win for the planet: world-leading climate change package started 1 July.
- Best win for people power: the community campaign to stop the supertrawler, which brought other MPs around to the Greens' position.
- Biggest legislative loophole: a watered down mining tax which gifts mining companies all royalty increases.
- Biggest miss: the failure of Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott to be on the right side of history and join the huge majority of Australians wanting gay marriage.
- Biggest blow to animals: the continuation of the live export trade in the face of public opposition.
- Biggest kowtow to big business: Labor's moves to hand over national environmental laws to the states, which the Greens have successfully helped campaign to put on hold.
- Biggest Australian asset unprotected: the Great Barrier Reef remaining at risk from coal exports.
- Biggest policy plagiarism: Labor's adoption of John Howard's refugee policy.
- Best legislation not passed: Greens bill for a national anti-corruption body to oversee politicians, federal agencies and public servants.
- Most sneaky: Labor's pre-Christmas cuts to overseas aid.
- Worst backroom play: Sam Dastyari's call for Labor to preference the Liberal party.
- Worst Labor/Liberal collaboration: Labor and Liberal voting together to kick single parents off their benefits and onto the dole starting 1 January 2013.
- Best piece of under reported legislation: securing the rollout of non-sniffable petrol in the final week of Parliament.