Greens leader Adam Bandt ‘backed down’ when offered miniature Australian flag

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Greens leader Adam Bandt ‘backed off’ when he was presented with a miniature flag during an Australia Day citizenship ceremony, a Labor MP has revealed.

Bandt came under fire on Monday after refusing to stand alongside the Australian national flag at a press conference, with a member of his team removing it before speaking. He later told Daily Mail Australia that the flag represented colonization and dispossession.

Now Peter Khalil, Labor MP for Wills, has revealed how Bandt refused to take a miniature flag when the two appeared together at a ceremony.

“I was at a citizenship ceremony and Adam Bandt was there. All the people there who were new Australian citizens were waving these little Australian flags and I was waving one,’ Khalil told Sky News.

“He was sitting next to me and I said ‘Hey man, why don’t you have one’, and he completely blocked me. I thought that was very strange.

Khalil’s comments come as Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe called the Australian flag an “obscenity”.

Adam Bandt and his wife Claudia Perkins. He was criticized after removing the Australian flag before a press conference on Monday

A reporter said she saw a member of Greens staff remove the Australian flag from behind the podium before Adam Bandt spoke on Monday - leaving the Torres Strait Island and Aboriginal flags in place.

A reporter said she saw a member of Greens staff remove the Australian flag from behind the podium before Adam Bandt spoke on Monday – leaving the Torres Strait Island and Aboriginal flags in place.

Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe, a close Bandt ally, called the Australian flag a

Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe, a close Bandt ally, called the Australian flag an ‘obscenity’

“The Australian flag represents a colonial invasion, which slaughtered and murdered thousands of Aboriginal women, men and children,” the Indigenous senator told 3AW.

“For First Nations people, this flag is nonsense. It’s an obscenity. The Australian flag does not represent me. It does not represent my family and it does not represent many clans and nations across this country.

Senator Thorpe’s comments appeared to support Bandt, who was criticized for removing the flag during Monday’s press conference.

“It gets a little childish for leaders to point out virtue about who loves Indigenous people the most,” said Northern Territory Senator Jacinta Price.

“Adam Bandt is a man desperate for attention,” added former Labor senator Stephen Conroy.

“Here is a guy who in his heart believed he would be a minister after the election, he really believed he would have his hands on the reins of power and he is deeply, deeply bitter about it.

“Honestly, we should just ignore him because he’s going to keep doing these pathetic cheap stunts to try to draw attention to himself.”

The flag, first flown after federation in 1901, has the Union Jack in the upper left corner to acknowledge the history of British colonization.

Peter Khalil, Labor MP for Wills, has revealed how Bandt refused to take a miniature flag when the two appeared together at a ceremony

Peter Khalil, Labor MP for Wills, has revealed how Bandt refused to take a miniature flag when the two appeared together at a ceremony

Mr Bandt does not have an Australian flag in his office in parliament (pictured during a live crossover with Sky News)

Mr Bandt does not have an Australian flag in his office in parliament (pictured during a live crossover with Sky News)

“For many Australians, this flag represents dispossession and the lingering pains of colonization,” Bandt said on Monday.

“Through a treaty with the First Nations peoples and transitioning to a Republic, we can have a flag that represents us all.”

A review of Bandt’s previous television interviews shows that he always has the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags in the background, but never the nation’s flag.

Bandt later added that the Union Jack symbol is hurtful to Indigenous Australians.

He also used Monday’s press conference to urge Labor to “have a talk” with his party on its 43% emissions reduction target.

The Greens – who have blocking power in the Senate with a record 12 seats – want more ambitious targets, but Anthony Albanese said the figure was non-negotiable.

Bandt has not pledged to support putting the targets into legislation, meaning he could block them, just as former leader Bob Brown blocked Labor’s carbon pollution-cutting agenda in 2009.

“Labour brings a weak target to Parliament which means the end of the Great Barrier Reef,” he said.

“Labour are now an obstacle to greater climate action and they refuse to listen to the will of the people who have just delivered a big mandate for climate mandates in the election.

The new government has already informed the UN of its updated target and says it doesn’t matter if the target is not backed by parliament.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has ruled out coalition support for legislating the 2030 target after setting a 26-28% reduction target in the last election. Bandt said the Greens would not follow the coalition’s lead and obstruct.

“We are ready to be constructive,” he said.

“But really the first question, the fork in the road, is whether the government is ready to talk and consider sensible amendments.”

Labor has ruled out any deal with the minor party after the coalition launched attacks on the PLA during the campaign, saying it would be pulled left by the Greens.

Bandt also said the Energy Security Board was wrong to recommend gas and coal-fired generators as part of the energy mix, while renewables and storage are gradually taking over the national power grid.

The chairman of the board said that underwriting coal and gas companies by including them in a proposed capacity mechanism will not affect the country’s transition to renewable energy.

Instead, Bandt wants to switch to renewable energy as soon as possible.

The national flag of Australia

The flag, first flown after federation in 1901, has three elements on a dark blue background: the Union Jack, the Commonwealth Star and the Southern Cross.

The Union Jack in the upper left corner acknowledges the history of British colonization.

Below the Union Jack is a white Commonwealth star. It has seven dots representing the unity of the six states and territories of the Commonwealth of Australia. The star also appears on the Commonwealth coat of arms.

The Southern Cross is depicted on the flag in white. It is a five-star constellation that can be easily seen from the southern hemisphere night sky and is reminiscent of the geography of Australia.

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