WA Greens Senator Scott Ludlum joined north coast Greens candidates on Friday and Saturday to officially kick off their state election campaigns.
At Mullumbimby Civic Hall, Senator Ludlum launched Tamara Smith’s campaign for the seat of Ballina joined by Byron shire mayor, Simon Richardson, former NSW MP, Ian Cohen and Greens Upper House candidate, Dawn Walker.
The Greens came second in the seat of Ballina last time around and are aiming to unseat the Nationals in several north coast seats on March 28.
Senator Ludlum this week laso revealed that leaks from the committee investigating the metadata surveillance bill indicate that the Labor Party is preparing to vote with prime minister Tony Abbott and attorney general George Brandis.
‘The Australian Greens will wait to see the tabled report before drawing final conclusions, but Labor should expect a sharp backlash if it is seriously intending to support Tony Abbott’s mass surveillance proposal,’ he said.
‘Labor spokespeople created an expectation that they would at the bare minimum seek to exempt journalists and their sources from the mass surveillance scheme. If they have failed to do so, then the Greens will introduce these amendments in the Senate.
‘Prime minister Abbott is terminally damaged and clutching at this flawed proposal in order to look strong and decisive. Why the Labor Party would support him when the rest of his colleagues have lost confidence is absolutely beyond belief.
‘Its disappointing that despite hearing months of evidence that the mandatory data retention proposal is dangerous, expensive and open-ended, the Labor Party appears to have caved on this issue.
‘Australians need an opposition to stand up against this reckless and divisive prime minister; but it looks like the ALP have just vacated the field,’ Senator Ludlum said.