The Greens have accused Prime Minister Tony Abbott of smashing trust in his first year in power by attacking everything from the environment to university students, the sick and the poor.
But Greens leader Christine Milne says it’s Mr Abbott’s “arrogance” toward the Senate that will become his biggest problem.
“He came into parliament as prime minister saying that he wanted to establish trust, well, he has smashed trust,” Senator Milne said.
“Far from looking after the vulnerable he has hurt them, and far from making Australia a safer place, by smashing action on climate change he is going to make life far more dangerous for our children.”
Senator Milne said Mr Abbott had mounted attacks on the poor, the sick, the vulnerable and universities – and the biggest assault on the environment in decades.
“He has made life harder for people and he has stolen from future generations,” she said.
She also took issue with Mr Abbott’s attitude toward the Senate, particularly in relation to the budget and key measures including the GP co-payment.
“Tony Abbott’s biggest problem going forward is the arrogance he demonstrates, and his ministers demonstrate, toward the Senate,” she said.
“The Greens are not going to stand and watch him impose co-payments as people go to the doctor, we’re not going to watch him tear down the university system, we are not going to see him make unemployed people live on nothing for one month or six months.”
She said the government’s response to overseas disasters such as MH17 had deflected attention from the budget, but that Mr Abbott and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had done everything they could to bring home the remains of those killed when their Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down over Ukraine.
“There is no doubt that circumstances beyond Tony Abbott’s control have given him an opportunity to deflect from the disaster that has been his budget, that has been his broken promises and his lies to the Australian people,” she said.
“I think overseas events have rescued him from what otherwise would have been a complete failure of his first year as prime minister.”