Oakeshott supports alliance

ONE of those Independent MPs keeping the government in power has reaffirmed his support for the Greens-Labor alliance.

Rob Oakeshott said he needed to make his position clear following a spat on the weekend in which New South Wales Labor state secretary Sam Dastyari reportedly labelled the Greens "extremists" and called for the ALP to dump a plan to give it guaranteed preferences.

Treasurer Wayne Swan later said actions by the Greens sometimes appeared "loopy".

The Greens and the ALP - led by Prime Minister Julia Gillard - agreed to form government in 2010.

Rob Oakeshott helped deliver the government into power, because at the time, he said he believed the Greens and Labor has a functional relationship.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Mr Oakeshott said, "In 2010, I viewed the relationship for the following six years between the ALP and the Greens as a more functional one than the relationship between the LNP and the Greens.

"It was a relationship, therefore, that could deliver more legislation in a tight parliament for the immediate three years.

"I stand by this view, despite the current disagreement between the two political parties on preferences."

He called for each side to sort out the disagreement so members could focus on more important issues including people smuggling, asylum seekers and gambling reform.

The Greens have so far said that despite occasional disagreements, it was committed to working with the prime minister even if it did remain firm on many of its policy positions.


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