"The Greens has the clearest and strongest policy on climate action; I want Calare voters to know that".
Greens candidate for Calare Kay Nankervis is hoping a vote for change in the central west will result in decisive climate action for Australia.
The Greens candidate believes a lot of her party's policies are misunderstood and she says the position she takes on issues directly impacting voters in Calare are "smart and proven".
I'm a playwright, actor and journalist. For 20 years I've taught journalism, theatre and media at Charles Sturt University, Bathurst. Before that I was a broadcast journalist in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and London covering politics, rural affairs and general news and current affairs for the ABC (mostly) plus SBS and commercial networks.
The latest stint: about 21 years; but I fell in love with the Central West when I came to Bathurst in 1979 to study Communication at Mitchell College of Advanced Education. I met my partner there (in 1980), environmentalist and former Bathurst Regional Councillor, John Fry, a fourth generation Bathurst resident.
The Greens has the clearest and strongest policy on climate action; I want Calare voters to know that. By gaining the balance of power in parliament, we, the Greens, can push the next government to listen to the United Nations, the IPCC and millions of Australians urging decisive action on climate to match most other nations'.
The Greens are misunderstood by many Australians, especially those who read the Murdoch press. The Daily Telegraph, The Australian and Sky News After Dark paint our plans as radical or untested. Yet all our policies - on climate, refugees, First Nations Sovereignty, healthcare, housing, job security, anti-racism and sustainability - align with United Nations declarations on human rights and aspirations for a better world: all based on world-class expertise.
So many middle Australians have Greens positions but don't realise it. I want to show the people of Calare that Greens policies are smart and proven, so they can make informed choices when they vote.
I've watched the TV news every night since I was 10; when "A Current Affair" with Mike Willessee started in about 1971 I was riveted. Then I saw the Whitlam Labor government bring Australia out of the 1950s. My mother brought home a copy of "The Female Eunuch" during the fight for women to earn equal pay with men. I learned about poverty overseas and in Australia and realised that the world was not fair. That some people got an easier start than others. At Mitchell College studying arts subjects I learned how racism and undervaluing of First Nations people and culture had justified cruel colonial policies for hundreds of years. In 1980, terrified by the nuclear weapons arsenals the US and USSR had gathered, I helped found Mitchell's peace and disarmament group, Amity.
After college I covered politics for ABC and others. I never joined a party, to maintain my status as an objective reporter, in line with the ABC charter. (But I did hand out for Peter Garrett's Nuclear Disarmament Party at one election in the mid-1980s). Since leaving ABC I've been handing out for the Greens for 20 years, relieved that there is now a party committed to climate action, environment and social justice.
Windradyne, early 19th century Wiradyuri leader, Gough Whitlam and Lance Barnard for their first 100 days of Labor government, Jack Mundey for his Green bans, feminist writer Germaine Greer, Bob Brown for saving the Franklin River and establishing the Australian Greens, Paul Keating for compulsory super and the Redfern Speech (oh yes, and Don Watson for his part in composing it), Eddie Mabo for exposing Terra Nullius, Adam Goodes and every Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who has called out racist sledging, Adam Bandt for "google it, mate", Michael Mansell for wanting an Aboriginal crew to cover my interview with him in 1983 (so calling out lack of First Nations employment at ABC) and every women who has stood up for another woman or women when big decisions are being made that affect us (it's not always easy).
Environment and climate, of course - including a just transition for fossil fuel employees as the industry phases out. Humane refugee policy (NOT Labor and LNP's cruel boat turnbacks and mandatory detention). Building a million public homes over 20 years to ease the national housing crisis. Justice for First Nations Australians through a Truth then Treaty process. Free public education for all from early childhood to university. Pay parity for "women's" jobs. Protection for LGBTQIA+ people from trans and homo-phobia and institutional discrimination ... the list goes on.
Recognition the pandemic continues. Plus: programs to bring workers back to Calare businesses; maintenance of real wages; and expansion of Medicare to include mental health - for those affected by lockdowns and other COVID impacts.
People will vote for Labor to throw the ScoMo government out. They'll vote for me for a just and safe world ensured by environmental care and social justice. And to throw the ScoMo government out. They'll vote for Kate Hook, because they're disillusioned with their major party. Then next election, if there's no Kate Hook, they'll go back to the party they've always voted for. Rusted on Nationals will vote for Andrew Gee again. I have no idea why anyone would vote for the United Australia Party or Pauline Hanson's One Nation.
My campaign helps David Shoebridge become the Greens' next NSW Senator, increasing our power in the upper house and our influence on legislation. My votes in Calare will tell Labor and the Coalition that thousands upon thousands of people in the Central West reject their climate action go-slow and inhumane asylum seeker policies. I've been applauded at all candidates' forums in Bathurst, Mudgee and Orange. Strangers rush up to thank me for standing for the Greens. Friends send me stories of how many people they know are voting Greens for the first time (if not the 2nd, 3rd or 15th). I am proud to be part of this groundswell for climate action and social justice. When voters think, there's always hope.
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