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‘Mood for change’: Greens members push for direct election of party leadership

But progress on the issue has been slow, with former Greens senator Andrew Bartlett urging the party to “get on” with plans earlier this week. Other Greens explain progress has been hampered by the wide range of views on how the new system could work.

Some in the party think the current model – where MPs elect the leader – is working, but others want a mixed model like Labor where members and MPs have a vote, while others again want to hand the decision entirely over to members.

Party members have been consulted about the change in recent months, and had a private meeting about the issue on Saturday at their national conference. The party’s national council will discuss how to structure the decision-making process at a meeting on Monday, with plans to have the matter settled by May next year.

Senator Di Natale was due to give a major speech asking Greens members to embrace a Green New Deal on Saturday. But due to complications from recent knee surgery, he was unable to attend his party’s conference.

Senator Di Natale wants the Greens to spend the next year consulting with party members and the community to develop a plan to tackle the “overlapping crises of climate destruction and economic inequality”.

Mr Bandt, who delivered the speech on Senator Di Natale’s behalf, said the party needed to come up with a “believable job-centred” plan to deal with climate change or “the Coalition could be in power for a very long time”.

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said she was excited about the prospects of a Green New Deal, which would show people how the economy could adapt to deal with climate change.

“That’s the kind of hope that we need right now,” she said.

Earlier this week, Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John sparked controversy by comparing the Labor and Liberal party to “arsonists” because of their climate change policies. Senator Steele-John said he stood by his comments.

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