Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury Shines as Power Broker in ACT

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By Vittorio Hernandez | October 29, 2012 10:11 AM EST

The Saturday election in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) yielded a deadlock after the Liberal and Labor Parties won 8 seats each in the 17-member Assembly. With the situation, the power broker in the state politics is Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury.

Mr Rattenbury said he will make a decision by Tuesday which party to support, but hinted how the two parties would decide on the light rail would be crucial in his decision.

He said he is holding serious discussions with the party leaders of the Liberals and Labors as he admitted picking the right party is a big responsibility is on his shoulders.

However, Mr Rattenbury said he is not alone in making the decision, but involves the entire Greens membership in ACT.

The Greens supported the Labor Party in the last Assembly since the latter was a minority government. The Liberals insisted it deserves the Greens support this time because it has a 7 per cent swing across the ACT. Liberal leader Zed Seselja said the party is ready to govern for the next four years the territory which hosts the federal government.

Labor committed to construct a light rail route between Gungahlin and Civic during the campaign. The route is part of a bigger plan to build a city-wide light rail network at a total cost of $614 million.

The Liberals are wary of the cost of a light rail system.

Among the losers in the Saturday election is Greens ACT leader Meredith Hunter, who lost in Ginninderra and joined fellow Green legislators Amanda Bresnan and Caroline Le Couteur in leaving the Assembly.

ACT political observers opined the Greens lost due to its weak campaign and a national decline in the Greens popularity.

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