Greens leader Christine Milne concedes carbon tax renegotiations may be needed with a new Labor PM

Greens leader Christine Milne has conceded she may have to renegotiate an agreement on the carbon tax with a new Labor Prime Minister.

But a Greens spokesperson in Milne’s Canberra office said today the party will block any attempt to water down the carbon price in the Senate, if pressed by a new Labor Prime Minister.

On Channel Ten’s Meet the Press yesterday Steve Price asked Milne about the seemingly bleak political future of Prime Minister Julia Gillard and how the Greens would react to any change in leadership.

“It’s… not if she’ll [Gillard] be cut down, but perhaps when. Is your agreement with Labor, with Julia Gillard or is it with the Labor Party and if she is removed, do you have to renegotiate?” Price asked.

“We would renegotiate with another Labor leader,” Milne said.

“What happens if Julia Gillard is removed and then the new Labor leader is installed and says, ‘I will now change the carbon tax’? Does that then mean this agreement is torn up?” Price asked.

“In terms of carbon pricing, we now have a totally integrated package. That includes things like the tax-free threshold; we’re going up to $18,000. Also the compensation, the whole budget is designed around that. So you can’t actually just fiddle with one part of the carbon price without fiddling with the whole package and the whole predicted finance for the next 12 months,” Milne said.

There are reports many Labor MPs believe the carbon tax is killing the Government, with support for the ALP at record lows.

There is media speculation Labor MPs, even including those who backed Julia Gillard in February’s leadership stoush, are looking at dumping Gillard and scaling back the $23-a-tonne carbon tax.

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