Media Release – 16 March 2015
The Greens campaigns for Penrith, Mulgoa and Londonderry have made the decision in the 2015 election to recommend to Greens voters that they number every box in the Lower House.
These decisions were based on a local group assessment of the policies and actions of each party running in each seat. Key were their commitment to sustainable environmental protection, maintenance of public infrastructure and attitudes towards community diversity and equality.
“It is vital to remember that voters can vote in whichever order they like” stated campaign co-ordinator for all three campaigns, Michelle Tormey. “These decisions were not easy. We take such discussions very seriously, as we have in the past recommended no preference distribution in the Lower House.” Tormey added “It was considered important this time, however, that we made a statement about the ability of other parties to contribute positively to the goals and outcomes that the Greens desire in the community”.
It is for these reasons that the Greens will be recommending voters to give their second vote to the ALP in all three seats. “It has been encouraging to see the ALP change their position on CSG and on the development of the ADI site” said Greens candidate for Londonderry, Shane Gorman. “It shows to us that they have shied away from the mistakes made in past governments.”
“Their commitment to protection of the Cumberland woodland and to oppose the overdevelopment proposed for Fernhill is important to the Greens for Mulgoa campaign.” said Kingsley Liu, the Greens’ candidate for Mulgoa. “We are also happy about the ALP’s more recent commitment to community diversity, shown in supporting recent community centre development applications in Kemps Creek.”
“We also wanted, with our preferences recommendations, to make a statement about the Liberal Government and their terrible policies in relation to the environment, ripping money away from institutions like TAFE and selling of public assets.” stated Tormey. “That’s why we are recommending that voters place them as low as possible on the ticket.”
In the light of that recommendation, a decision has also been made in all three seats to consider how each minor party and independent candidate conducts themselves in important community issues. It is for this reason that the Christian Democratic Party has been placed last in Mulgoa and Londonderry. “We are concerned about the statements made by the CDP leader, Fred Nile, in terms of important social issues like respect for diversity of sexuality, culture and religion” said Gorman. “They represent a far right vision for NSW that is not in keeping with Greens’ philosophies, nor even in keeping with our tolerant and welcoming society of 2015.”
In Penrith, the decision about placing recommendations according to party attitudes and policies were broader, with the Australia First Party and Jackie Kelly present on the ticket. “We in the Greens are appalled and disgusted with the borderline neo-fascist policies of Australia First.” stated Mark O’Sullivan, Greens candidate for Penrith. “This is why we will recommend to our voters to place them last. We also find recent statements about Islamic members of the community by May Spencer of the CDP to be repugnant and out of line with a contemporary, welcoming Australia that does not discriminate along the lines of culture and religion.”
O’Sullivan also stated that Greens voters will be asked to place independent candidate Jackie Kelly after the Liberal Party on their voting tickets. “Our members are most concerned with statements made by Kelly in a community meeting convened by her as well as her close association with extremist Penrith councillor Marcus Cornish. It is disappointing that a former Federal parliamentarian like Jackie has decided to not make a stand against the kind of anti-Islamic bigotry that we have seen recently in our community.” Other issues, according to O’Sullivan, were also at play in the decision. “Jackie was an integral part of the Howard Liberal Government, who oversaw a swathe of negative changes in the fabric of Australian society as well as negative impacts on the environment. She can’t be trusted to reverse her positions from those years and has already shown that she thinks more roads are the answer to every local transport problem.”