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Byron Shire
February 27, 2024

Adam Bandt on the floods, housing, the third party and Mandy Nolan

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Greens leader Adam Bandt. Photo Tree Faerie.

This week Greens head honcho Adam Bandt spent time in Mullumbimby to see for himself the crushing result of the floods. Bandt had visited Ballina on Monday with Greens candidate for Richmond Mandy Nolan to announce that with the balance of power after the next election, they will push for an urgently accelerated build of 15,000 new flood-resilient and safely situated homes, available to everyone affected by the housing crisis and the floods in Northern NSW.

‘The Greens have prioritised the seat of Richmond this election,’ said Mr Bandt. ‘The polls and history predict a power-sharing Parliament is likely.’

This would put Mandy Nolan in a very powerful position – or would it?

Bombshell, author and comic

Mandy Nolan.‘She’s a fighter and a warrior and she’s authentic.’ Photo Tree Faerie.

Can Mandy Nolan, who until recently, was known more for being an Amazonian bombshell, author and comic rather than a parliamentarian, be seen as more than her latest joke?

Bandt says yes. ‘She’s a fighter and a warrior and she’s authentic. She will take the fight to Canberra in a way that the people in Richmond just haven’t had for a very long time. And, she has the ability to make people listen to what she’s saying – she understands the local issues like housing and climate as well as anyone else does, and she’s got this area in her blood and the ability to go and fight for it.’

Bandt says Nolan will be a strong voice in Canberra. ‘The most important thing you’ve got as a member of Parliament is your vote in Canberra. That’s the one thing you’ve got that no one else has. And people in Richmond, deserve someone who doesn’t just share their values, but will also vote for them when they go to Canberra. Richmond deserves better than Scott Morrison or a Labor backbencher who votes for more coal and gas.

‘It’s one thing to say in the community that you want to tackle the climate crisis – I’ve seen every time, Labor MPs go to Canberra and vote for more coal and gas. They say they want to tackle housing affordability, and then they go to Canberra and side with the Liberals to vote to make housing more expensive, with unfair and unaffordable tax breaks for people who’ve already got 10 houses to go and buy their eleventh.

‘Now it’s time that these regions had someone who is going to go and fight and vote in Canberra to keep coal and gas in the ground and make housing more affordable.’

Mandy Nolan is the Greens candidate for the Federal seat of Richmond.

One of the most powerful MPs

Bandt says Mandy Nolan is set to be one of the most powerful MPs in Parliament. ‘Not only is she a strong fighter, but she’s not under the thumb of the factions or the coal and gas corporations, so she’ll be able to vote independently. I think we are heading towards an election where we’re going to kick Scott Morrison out – and we absolutely need to do that – but with Mandy, you get two for the price of one.

‘You get not just kicking the Liberals out, but someone who will then keep the next lot on track. I think we are heading for a minority Parliament again like in 2010. Scott Morrison is hanging on to majority government by its fingernails and is dependent on Bob Katter –  you know anything could happen. He is set to be kicked out and that can’t come soon enough.

‘But, the other lot are unlikely to form the majority in their own right, and that’s certainly going to be the case in the Senate. So Mandy will be sitting there as part of a party, sharing the balance of power, and so when the next government says, “We want to pass this law”, she can say, “Yeah, well I’ve got a housing crisis I want to talk to you about” or “I want to keep coal and gas in the ground”, so she’s the most powerful choice for the area.’

When two parties become three

On the subject of pushing the ‘two-party-system’ to include a third voice, Bandt says there’s a reason that people across the country are deserting the old parties in droves.

‘Labor keeps voting with the Liberals for more coal and gas and my biggest problem with the Labor party is they keep siding with the Liberals to open up more. They say one thing in the community and then go to Canberra and vote for more coal and gas and that means voting for more floods. Coal and gas and the climate crisis fuel these floods.

‘At the moment, there are 114 proposed new coal and gas mines around the country and Liberal and Labor both want to open them up. We can’t tackle the climate crisis and put the fire out while pouring petrol on it.

‘How Labor and Liberal can look the community in the eye that has just suffered through floods and say “we’re about to go and open up more coal and gas is beyond me”.

‘People understand that the climate crisis is caused by coal and gas and people look at Labor and Liberal taking donations from the coal and gas corporations and opening up more mines and say “how could you possibly do it?”

Third party vote is growing

‘That’s why the third party vote is growing. You’re going see across the country, more new voices in parliament this election. There are going to be more and more people saying “I want someone who is independent and strong and going to fight for me locally”.

Bandt says that Labor and Liberals think they’ve got a monopoly on power. ‘They don’t. It’s up to people, the public, who they vote for, and increasingly, people are saying they want to be represented by a third voice. And yes, there’s a challenge for us because we don’t take donations from the big corporations and that can make it harder for the community voice to break through, but we’ve got people power.

‘It’s pretty good campaigning with Mandy here – you do a press conference and it doesn’t go for five minutes before someone walks past and says, “Good on you Mandy. Love what you’re doing.” She’s known around here and people know her because she’s genuine and you know what she stands for.

‘I think people want that in parliament and that’s how we break this two-party coal and gas system – by putting more third voices like Mandy into parliament, and especially if she’s sitting there in the balance of power, she’ll be one of the most powerful MPs in the country.’

A growing majority

Greens leader Adam Bandt’s share of the primary vote in his electorate has grown to almost 50 per cent. Photo Tree Faerie.

Mr Bandt seems to know what the people want – in the seat of Melbourne he has increased his majority election after election. His Melbourne career began with a loss in 2007 with 22.8 per cent of the primary vote. He won the seat in 2010 with 36.2 per cent of the primary vote. He then won again in 2010 and again his majority increased to 42.6 per cent. In 2016 he increased his vote to 43.75 and in 2019 his primary vote was 49.3 per cent.

Bandt says that once people get a Greens MP they like it because they realize they’ve got someone who’s going put them and the community first. ‘Not the factions, not the corporate donors – they’re going to put the community first. And history suggests once people get a Greens MP the vote keeps going up.

‘You know, we’re about 50 days away from talking about former Prime Minister Scott Morrison. I think there’s a movement across the country in which the Greens are a part of, to change the government because we desperately need to do it. I think Scott Morrison’s only got himself to blame for that, he’s the one who has made terrible decisions, he’s fast-tracked the climate crisis, he has refused to come and talk to locals about the floods that he helped cause.

‘I’m sure he’s doing everything he can to hang on to power by his fingernails, but I think people are seeing through him.’

Floods on the national stage

Mr Bandt said as far as the current floods are concerned, it’s good to bring attention to the national stage about what’s happening. ‘We’ve got to make sure that even though the waters are receding, the work is only beginning for people and the mental trauma will be ongoing for some time to come – there’s a real risk that Scott Morrison is trying to get past the election and then hope that everyone forgets about it.

‘We’ve got to make sure people don’t forget about it, and that Scott Morrison doesn’t forget about it.’

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  1. Mr Bandt, listen up, I think you may have missed the mark. Whilst housing and environment are top priority issues – and should be – you blew it by not supporting peoples freedom of choice when the mandate crunch came. Unfortunately for the Greens, unless you now openly state opposition to vaccine mandates (which you wont – because you wholeheartedly support a segregated community based on health choice) you will lose many, many votes. People have long memories and the mandates that you still support have very negatively impacted many people across the region. And sorry to say, but their votes – even for traditional Greens voters like myself, will go elsewhere this election.

    • John, please know that the Covid pandemic has not ended, infections are rising again and the deaths keep following.
      Covid is not to be taken lightly and taking a few precautionary health measures such as mask wearing, physical distancing, vaccination is for our personal and collective well being.
      Protecting yourself and those around is just commonsense. Just ask anyone who is a survivor of a loved one that is Covid deceased.

    • John I don’t think Adam is going for the votes of people like you who are closer to the Clive Palmer/Pauline Hanson camp.

    • Hi John
      When voting for anti vaccine mandate candidates, check where their preferences will go. For example, not sure if you’d want to vote for the “United Australia” Party, and end up getting Scomo and co. in again, as happened last time.

  2. John – Bob Dylan wrote ‘It’s just one too many morning & a thousand miles behind.’
    I can’t agree that it’s okay to just sit back & pontificate. I can’t & won’t do that. Have
    a good day.

  3. “going to put them and the community first”… almost half of our local community have chosen to take a stand for body autonomy by rejecting covid vaccines. Many of these good people have in turn lost their jobs standing up for their convictions. Where were the Greens when it came to supporting the community then..? You didn’t. Instead you sided with large corporations and govts to push their agenda. (proving now quite clearly the vaccines just don’t work) You have your head in the clouds Adam – the mandates and your very vocal support of them is still a main area of concern for much of the community. Why won’t you really support the community and stand up for freedom of choice.? Despite what you believe many of these people are your core (no more I should think) voters. They are not Right wing – they are (were) Greens voters. They care about their bodies, their freedoms, their health, and also their environment. But you have failed them. You could have swept yourselves into power by refusing mandates, whilst still protecting the environment. A win win for all… but… No. Don’t f*ck it up Adam. Its not too late to win voters back. You’ve lost a hell of a lot of them already. Mandy, stop being divisive on this issue. Support those in the community who think and act differently than you. Not just the queers and the freaks and the frogs – but those who choose their own health path. Support them..! You still have a chance to come out strongly condemning mandates – and win back voters – but the window is rapidly closing.

    • Half? Which half or more fanciful facts from antivaxxers who are overstating their support. Stop exaggerating your figures, as fanciful as the amount of money thrown around by Palmer whose right wing agenda is hopefully going nowhere.

    • I find your figures a little out Michael. How could it be “almost half” with an adult vaccination rate above 85%.

      I’m sure most political parties support freedom of choice and there is no compulsory vaccination. What freedoms are being curtailed though is the freedom to demand to work alongside others, or in the public realm, without taking the basic precautions against passing infection on to others.

      No political party has suggested that individuals lose their right to choose to mitigate the serious degree of disease that can lead to endangering medical staff and needlessly taking up IC beds. That’s still quite a bit of freedom.

      We’re in a pandemic – it necessitates a highly nuanced rethink of the concepts of rights and responsibilities. There is nothing antithetical about a community oriented party being pro health measures.

  4. Every Greens comment should begin with, “I wish” and end with “If only”! At present, the Greens have one seat in a 150 seat Parliament. Looking at present polling, the Greens may not even have that one seat after the election, they will not win anymore. The job at hand is to remove this failed corrupted Morrison Govt. Don’t mess this up again. Morrison just got over the line last time by running the most corrupted policy free election campaign ever with nothing but lies and this election is looking even worse judging by the blanket MSM contrived nonsenses. The media refuse to even mention the Morrison Govt record and zero policy platform, for obvious reasons.
    On word of advice, keep the Greens the hell away from QLD! And stop attacking Labor with every breath, Labor are the only party that can beat Morrison and remember the “LNP/Hanson/Palmer/Independents” are your opposition not Labor.

    • Well put. Spend more time attacking other progressive parties and not attacking Tories. What a great policy of the greens trying to take seats from Labor but not challenging Tories like hogan. I suppose green voters are affluent enough that when they don’t get elected candidates they feel good and righteous, just like them screwing over rudds emission scheme and voting with the coalition. Such principle but such lack of intuition.

    • Tweedie, the only ones that mess up are the punters that keep voting Lib/Nat.
      Lab not being Lib/Nat is not an automatic free pass.

      You didn’t quite hit the spot about who “your opposition” is.
      Bad Policy is the opposition, no matter who spruiks it and ALP is not exempt.

  5. So there went the Greens’ concerns about pork barelling and the need for integrity in politics.

    I doubt all the flood-affected people in other parts of NSW and Queensland will be happy that the Greens’ national leader is campaigning for 15,000 more social housing dwellings – but all in one marginal electorate where he fancies they could win the seat.

    Same immoral behaviour as the Greens previously railed against

    • Shane we get it, the Greens are your whipping post.

      Clearly you don’t bother to inform yourself about any Greens’ policy before you let lose with your scatter gun and doubly clearly you didn’t bone up on the Greens housing policy before you scribbled your latest misfire.

  6. Great interview. The main problem in Australian politics is the influence of corporate donors. Donors seeking to influence politicians outnumber our representatives every day in parliament.
    Watch The Big Deal (ABC iView). It should be required viewing for all Aussies.

  7. If we want to seriously respond to climate change and the unfolding crisis, the one big choice is to vote out the Nats first and the coalition / coal party. Thats the focus. Plenty of time to argue all the secondary issues and work them through at least till the next election. Yes, Labour has been selling out to vested coal interests probably because thats where the voters and money are, STILL. Its one step at a time, and that’s to rid ourselves of the Morrison gov / coalition and THEN put the heat on Labour with Independentsn minor parties and the public applying the pressure. Stay focused …


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