The NSW Greens are celebrating strong wins across NSW in the weekend’s local council elections, including Byron shire.
At Kyogle, 19-year-old Greens candidate Kleon Toffetti has the highest vote of any candidate in his ward and looks assured of being elected.
The Greens are leading the primary vote in Kiama, strong challengers for the mayoralty in Shoalhaven and Bellingen and have taken the mayoralty in Byron Shire Council.
Greens have also broken through on councils from Albury to Kyogle and have had strong results in Western Sydney in Campbelltown, Hawkesbury and the Blue Mountains.
Greens MP David Shoebridge said ‘In what is shaping to be a breakthrough the Greens Amanda Findley has thrown down a strong challenge to seize the popularly elected Shoalhaven mayoralty from incumbent Liberal Joanna Gash,’ Mr Shoebridge said.
Greens Shoalhaven mayoral candidate Amanda Findlay said: ‘As Greens we stood side by side with residents and environmentalists to protect our beautiful coast, our homes and the environment from the pressures of over-development’.
‘This vote reflects our longstanding commitment to the local community,’ Ms Findley said.
Mr Shoebridge said: ‘We have also grown the Greens’ vote in western Sydney by safely retaining a councillor on Hawkesbury Council and gaining councillors in Campbelltown and the Blue Mountains.
‘In Kiama the Greens have attained the highest primary vote in the election and are well placed to increase the number of Greens councillors from 2 to 3.
‘In a strong endorsement for the Greens, the current Byron Greens mayor Simon Richardson looks set to be re-elected and the Greens are in the box seat to gain a majority on council.
‘At Kyogle 19-year-old Greens candidate Kleon Toffetti has the highest vote of any candidate in his ward and looks assured of being elected.’
‘The Greens also look to have gained first time councillors on Albury, Campbelltown, Clarence Valley, Glenn Innes, Goulburn and Kyogle Councils.
‘In the regional city of Albury the Greens comfortably outpolled Country Labor to have secured a place on the city council at our first attempt,’ said Mr Shoebridge
Albury Greens candidate Amanda Cohen said: ‘It’s a huge privilege to have likely been elected as the first Green to represent our community in local government.
‘I’m really excited to stand up for the issues that matter in Albury, like careful planning to preserve our natural environment and our public health, better public transport, and inclusion of our increasingly diverse community,’ Ms Cohen said.
‘I’m also really pleased to see our community embrace greater diversity on council by electing a young woman’.
Mr Shoebridge, the NSW Greens’ local government spokesman, said: ‘While these numbers may change a bit overnight its clear the Greens NSW has had tremendous success in these elections.
‘In the City of Sydney the Greens have been squeezed between Clover Moore and the gerrymandered business vote,’ he said.
‘We congratulate Clover Moore on retaining the mayoralty and staring down the Baird government’s crooked electoral system.
‘Across the state we have been standing up for local government in the face of the Baird government’s attacks and local residents respect the Greens’ consistent voice for grassroots democracy.
‘I congratulate all of our candidates and our local groups that have worked so tirelessly so soon after the federal election. This result is a real testament to the Greens NSW local campaigning strength,’ Mr Shoebridge said.