THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP
Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency
1 April 2011
TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW WITH JON FAINE – 774 ABC MELBOURNE
SUBJECT: ALP/GREENS RELATIONS, GREENS’ ISRAELI BOYCOTT
FAINE. We’ll now speak to Mark Dreyfus who is Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change,
assisting Greg Combet and he works closely with the Greens. He’s also one of a handful of Jewish
members of Federal Parliament. Mark Dreyfus, good morning.
DREYFUS. Good morning Jon.
FAINE. Attacking the Greens on two fronts while working with them at the same time?
DREYFUS. We’ve got the support of the cross benchers in the House of Representatives Jon, which is
Tony Windsor, Rob Oakeshott, Andrew Wilkie and Adam Bandt - who happens to be a Greens party
member in the House of Representatives.
We don’t have a Coalition with them, we’ve got support from them, which has enabled us to form
the stable minority Government that we’re providing now in Australia. In these unique political
circumstances we have their support. With the Greens party, we’re engaged in negotiations with
them on a whole range of matters, as we are negotiating with those on the cross benches.
One of the key matters at the moment is getting a carbon price for Australia. But we are not in a
Coalition and as you know we are not an alliance with the Greens, we have a number of very major
differences with them. One of these differences is on the issue of relations with Israel.
Anthony Albanese, who is the federal member for the area where that Greens party candidate and
Greens party mayor called for a boycott of Israel, spoke on behalf of the Federal Government loud
and clear when he said that the Liberals should stop playing games on this Jon. He spoke loud and
FAINE. ...But the Government is playing games too because on the one hand you want their support
but on the other hand, quite distinctly in the last 48 hours even there’s been a calling, or an attempt
to distance the ALP from the Greens by Julia Gillard, by NSW politicians on a whole lot of levels?
DREYFUS. Not at all, we’ve got differences of policy from the Greens party and that’s been clear
since the election. One of the main curiosities is why Matthew Guy forgot to mention that the
Liberal Party - playing games as they usually do - preferenced the Greens in Melbourne at the
We have differences of opinion with the Greens party. We have a fundamentally different approach
to the economy, to industry, to issues of employment and we have differences of opinion with the
Greens party on matters like relations with Israel. I think the extreme views that have been
expressed by these Greens party representatives are at odds with what mainstream Australia would
FAINE. So Senator elect Lee Rhiannon, the Greens senator elect from NSW, her elevation to the
Senate helps the Labor Party in a way by distinguishing your platform from hers. Is that how it
DREYFUS. Well I’m not looking at whether it helps the Labor Party or not, I’m concerned that we’ve
got a Senator coming in on the 1st of July who seems to have absolutely extreme views on Israel,
that I’m confident that the vast majority of Australians don’t share.
She’s actually calling, as are her state Greens party colleagues in NSW, for a boycott of the state of
Israel, when we have a warm, long standing friendship with the state of Israel. We have trade
relations with Israel and we have very fruitful academic exchanges with the state of Israel. Australia
would be the poorer if we were, for no reason at all, to cut off relations with the state of Israel -
which is ridiculously what Lee Rhiannon is calling for.
FAINE. Thank you for your time. Mark Dreyfus, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and