Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Greens achieve best election result ever - without massive donations

24 March 2007 - Greens achieve best result ever in NSW - Greens MP and lead Upper House candidate Lee Rhiannon said the recent NSW state has election achieved the best ever result for the Greens in NSW, with increases in both houses.

Half of the 42 seats in the upper house were up for election at Saturday's election and the Greens were the biggest winners - increasing their numbers from three to four. But whilst the Greens are confident of gained an extra seat, the Australian Democrats concede their future hangs in the balance...
"With two Upper House Greens MPs elected we have brought our numbers to four
and are set to play a pivotal role in the balance of power," Ms Rhiannon said.

The Greens vote is expected to be around 9 percent in both houses, taking into account our traditionally strong absentee and upper house below the line vote.
Lee Rhiannon said she had been returned to the legislative council and the party's number two candidate, Dr John Kaye, had also gained a seat - giving the Greens four members in the upper house.

Ms Rhiannon said voters had become aware the Greens had policies across the board and were not a single issue party, as Labor and Liberal had tried to represent them.

"In Marrickville we recorded the highest primary Greens vote in any general
election in Australia ever, at 33 percent and in Balmain we gained 30% of the vote." In the inner city heartland seats the Greens are continuing to erode Labor's traditionally strong hold. "Our preferences were crucial in determining the outcome in Lake Macquarie, helping an independent beat Labor. With Labor outspending the Greens by twenty to one, we have achieved an outstanding result. We polled over 30% in two seats (Marrickville and Balmain), in three we polled over 20% (Coogee, Ballina and Peter Debnam's seat of Vaucluse) and in 10 or so we recorded over 15 percent," she says in a media release.

"The Greens identified this as Australia's first climate change election. In the next parliament our four MPs will place the coal industry centre stage in the climate change debate and put pressure on Labor to end its culture of secrecy."

"The Greens vote has been boosted by the hard work of thousands of members
and supporters working across all 93 seats in NSW. Our vote is particularly outstanding considering it was achieved without the massive donations flowing into the campaign chests of the major parties," Ms Rhiannon said.

Voters in New South Wales returned Labor for its fourth successive term but there has been a swing against Labor of around 3 per cent. The Coalition needed 12 per cent to win. Morris Iemma has been elected as a Premier in his own right for the first time, after Bob Carr led the Government for 10 years. But the Greens are the biggest winners, after increasing their numbers from three to four.

Lee Rhiannon said the extra representative would give the party greater clout to demand reform on climate change. "The big difference now is that Labor will have clear-cut numbers with the Greens," she said. "They cannot say they will not support legislation, because they need support from others on the crossbenches. We are very pleased with the result. Climate change and water were big issues at the election."

Christian Democrats Fred Nile, who has been in parliament for 25 years, was also re-elected. The Shooters Party has also retained its seat. But other minor parties such as Unity and Outdoor Recreation have lost their seats.

The Australian Democrats only MP, Arthur Chesterfield-Evans, conceded he was likely to lose his seat. "The brand name was a bit damaged after the fall of Natasha [Stott Despoja] and the GST and Andrew [Bartlett] and the drinking," he said. Mr Chesterfield-Evans said he will have an anxious wait for at least a week to see if he retains his spot.

The New South Wales Government says Prime Minister John Howard is in denial about public disapproval of WorkChoices. Re-elected NSW Premier Morris Iemma says his election victory was driven by a protest vote against the Commonwealth's industrial relations laws.

Mr Howard has dismissed the claim. But NSW Industrial Relations Minister, John Della Bosca, says the legislation is a state issue. "Even after the WorkChoices decision in the High Court, one million families in New South Wales rely on the New South Wales Industrial Relations system for protection from his WorkChoices laws," Mr Della Bosca said.

Mr Howard says he will not change the laws. Mr Della Bosca says Mr Howard is in denial about the impact of WorkChoices. "He introduced it without a mandate," Mr Della Bosca said. "He is suffering from the disease of extreme arrogance - as are his Ministers Mr Hockey, his predecessor Mr Andrews, and his other ministers that refuse to recognise that for 18 months they have been a lead weight around [NSW Opposition Leader] Mr Debnam's neck."


Labor reclaims power across NSW - ABC

The West

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