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Why Intending Green Voters Should Preference Labor

February 27, 2011

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!”

4 Comments
  1. Andrew Ferguson permalink
    March 1, 2011 12:46 pm

    As number 6 on the ALP How to Vote, I am outraged by the decision of the NSW Greens not to preference Labor. It is a cheap and narrow minded decision to cheer chasing saying they don’t like Eric Roozandaal and that’s why they cannot preference Labor. Eric will be elected by Labor voters, and is not dependent on preferences from the Greens. The Greens will be effectively helping the Liberals control both houses of the Parliament. We all remember we got Workchoices when they controlled both houses of the federal Parliament. The reality is these preferences are vital to assist my election to the NSW Upper House. I have a proven track record fighting for workers rights and social justice and in return the Greens have kicked me in the head.
    Andrew Ferguson

    • Bob Carr permalink
      March 1, 2011 9:28 pm

      Some old fashioned campaigning – going to Green Party-inclined voters, over the head of their party – would seem to be the only way. A Green Party MLC, Ian Cohen, is supporting this approach because he is a deeply committed nature conservationist who worked with us on this agenda of saving the natural environment on an ambitious scale. He wants his party to preference Labor in the upper house. Your instancing of Work Choices is valid. Four years is a long time. Why give O’Farrell a blank cheque ? And why wouldn’t his Rightwing gallop off on an agenda of their own, in alliance with the Shooters’ Party ?

  2. Riccardo permalink
    March 1, 2011 10:16 pm

    Bob you’ve never explained how Mick Costa got to a position of power under you, cancelled the Parramatta Epping line which will now cost 3 times as much to build

    • Bob Carr permalink
      March 2, 2011 7:09 am

      Such easy questions remind of the old days facing Legislative Assembly question time.

      The secretary of Unions NSW was recruited with my support in the same way as Sydney’s leading industrial barrister, Jeff Shaw, and Sydney’s Lord Mayor, Frank Sartor. Like those two he was quickly promoted to the front bench.

      The Epping-Chatswood rail link was built as the largest urban rail project in Australia. The link from it to Parramatta was postponed because of it’s cost, its corridor protected. It was eminently a project for Federal funding and should have been picked-up in 2008 by Infrastructure Australia not left to the 2010 Federal election campaign.
      Barry O’Farrell is, of course, committed to rejecting the Federal money now on offer to complete the link.

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