Why Intending Green Voters Should Preference Labor
The polls are unanimous and if they carry through the Coalition will have a majority, with its Shooters’ Party and Christian Democrat allies, in the upper house or Legislative Council. That has implications for what happens over the next four years – four long years in which the Rightwing elements in the Libs plus the Nats and the Shooters will become increasingly bold.
Remember the Greiner government elected in 1988. The Nats grabbed control of the planning portfolio and land management and within a year a minister had to be sacked for lobbying for rezoning of a property he owned and later an ICAC inquiry determined that other ministers had created “a climate conducive to corruption”.
If this time around the ALP is absolutely wiped out and the Coalition has an upper house majority, you watch the same abuses recur.
Land use will be the battle ground. And the environmental legacy of Labor will be at serious risk.
In 16 years Labor created 522 new national parks, lifting protected areas from three to seven million hectares. The area of declared wilderness has been tripled, the brigalow scrub saved and the river red gums and the first marine national parks declared.
All these can be reversed by a government with the numbers in the upper house. Or whittled away, with a succession of small decisions. Handing the Legislative Council over to the far Right simply invites this. But it will happen unless Green Party preferences come to the ALP.
All the polls agree on who is going to win, the upper house as well. So if you think the environmental gains of the last decade or so are worth saving then you have to create a firewall of protection in the upper house.
If you don’t then I have got to say – sounding like the character in the old Bugs Bunny cartoon – “You’ll be soooorrrry!”