Gillard-Abbott Feud Takes a Rest in Favour of Gillard-Green Cartoonland Battle

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By Vittorio Hernandez | February 21, 2013 10:34 AM EST

Australian voters who are tired of the months-long Julia Gillard-Tony Abbott word wars - which range from misogyny issues to the carbon and mining taxes - can temporarily heave a sigh of relief.

The epic battle of the two contenders for the prime ministership post in the country's national election in September has been sidelined by the Monday announcement of Green Party leader Christine Milne that it is quitting its political marriage with the Australian Labor Party.

Media focus is on the latest development in the troubled political marriage between the two parties as evidenced by the spate of editorial cartoons that featured the two powerful female politicians in a duel.

Ms Milne said she decided to walk away from the coalition with the Gillard administration because of Labor's failure to keep up with its promises on certain issues such as the environment.

Ms Gillard said the political divorce is not a big loss for the ALP.

All eyes are now on the next move of Ms Milne

if she would end up in an alliance with Mr Abbott, do a Nick Clegg in the event of a hung parliament, and may even end up deputy prime minister.

At the rate the two women are ranting

voters may just miss the old Tony Abbott versus the handbag brigade jokes

and the barbs between Ms Gillard and Mr Abbott in Parliament.

To indicate that the Greens affair is now history, Ms Gillard held her first community cabinet meeting of the year on Wednesday at southern suburbs in Adelaide.

Commenting on the Monday announcement of the Greens, Paul Howes, national secretary of the Australian Workers Union, told ABC that Labor should have separated from the Greens a long time ago. He said Ms Milne's takeover of the top leadership post from Bob Brown showed that the Greens "are more interested in tricky political games than actual policy outcomes."

"Bob Brown's had to be brought back out of retirement again today to try and salvage the mess that Christine Milne has made . . . the Greens' policies very clearly want to put the members of the AWU out of work, and there should be no surprise that as the leader of the AWU I find a lot of the Greens' economic policies pretty abhorrent," he added.

Mr Howes pointed out that given Ms Milne's track record of having alliances with the Liberals in Tasmania, "Christine Milne has demonstrated through her political career that she will jump into bed with whoever so that she can continue to pursue her particular ideologies," the union leader said.

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