Taking her first but definitely not her last steps into federal politics, the election campaign for Greens candidate for Page, Kashmir Miller, was exciting and tricky.
At less than half the age of the incumbent MP, many wondered if Miller was old enough to take on parliament in a meaningful way, but those who have met and spoken to Miller see her in a different light.
Miller is politically astute
Sue Higginson MLC says that Miller is a brilliant advocate for the region. ‘She’s also a brilliant advocate for young people, something we don’t have in the parliament, and she’s very politically astute. She’s been engaged in local politics, and fully engaged at frontlines since she was a really young person. So she’s got a massive presence and I would say she’s more qualified than other people in the race right now.
‘She has absolutely blown my socks off and absolutely instilled in me serious hope for where we’re going to be in the future of politics.’
Higginson says that as soon as you meet Kashmir and talk to her, and you hear her. ‘People are really convinced that she could do the job – should do the job.’
Miller spent the day as all candidates did, visiting booth after booth in her electorate. ‘We’ve been traveling around Lismore which is where I’ve been focusing on today because it’s my hometown, and I made sure to vote at my high school Lismore High. It was really cool. I could see my name up on the Honour Board, because I was school captain.’
Important to meet people
Miller said she felt it was important to meet people on election day. ‘Voters really appreciate being able to take the how to vote from the candidate and have that interaction with the person that they are potentially voting for. So it’s super important for any serious candidate to be out here and meeting the people and engaging with them.’
Miller understood that some voter might see her age as a negative, but Miller says youth is a super power. ’It is just an awful stereotype that young people aren’t capable and I’ve been really fighting to change that – and I’ve been successful.
‘I found some people commenting on Facebook saying that I’m too young, and I don’t have any life experience – whatever that is. I sent them private messages andI told them a bit about myself and I have conversations with them. I actually got a response from somebody saying that originally they were going to put me below Hogan right at the bottom, but after our conversation, they put me right up the top. That’s really cool.’
A disappointing result
On Sunday Miller said the result in Page was disappointing. ‘I have concerns for the future of Page with our MP now being in the opposition at such a pivotal time in our post-flood recovery.
‘I truly hope Kevin Hogan will represent the diverse voters of Page, many of whom fear for what life in a post-climate change future will look like, and not just those who voted him in.
‘Our flood affected community deserve an MP who will act on climate and deliver a strong, multi- pronged approach moving forward, which Hogan has a responsibility to now deliver.’
Miller said regardless, the mood on election night for Greens and progressives across Australia was electric as they saw strong Liberal seats turn Green and red and Teal. ‘Real climate action and social justice is now on the horizon, but we cannot trust Labor to do this alone. We must keep them accountable, remind them of their election promises and remind them of the devastation faced in the Northern Rivers so we can get a net zero goal of 2035.
Serious about change for the planet and people
‘The Greens support stayed strong in Page, and I am incredibly grateful to our volunteers and supporters who stayed true to the fact that only the Greens are serious about getting real change for the planet and people.’
Miller says she won’t stop fighting for the environment, the electorate and the country, and she plans to run again in 2025.
With counting still dribbling on in parts of the country, at the time of writing there were at least three Greens Lower House seats secured across the country and the likely addition of David Shoebridge to the NSW senate. ‘We are in the balance of power. Australia has stated loud and clear that the Coalition have failed us and we need change.
‘Now we must stay alert, keep Labor accountable and prepare for the next election where the Green wave will expand even further.’