Last week’s election ad placed in The Echo by Greens candidate, Mandy Nolan, has been described as ‘untruthful and misleading to voters in the Richmond electorate’, by sitting Labor MP, Justine Elliot.
Two claims by Ms Nolan have been refuted by Ms Elliot, namely: ‘we’ve had the same backbencher for 17 years’, and ‘Labor just approved 114 new coal and gas mines’.
As for the ‘backbencher’ claim, Ms Elliot told The Echo, ‘I was privileged to serve as Minister for Ageing in the first term of the Labor government, becoming Parliamentary Secretary for Trade after the 2010 election’.
‘I resigned from the later appointment to devote all my time and energy to our community campaign to stop the Nationals’ plan for harmful coal-seam gas mining on the North Coast – a campaign we won’.
As for the claim of Labor approving ‘114 new coal and gas mines’, Ms Elliot said, ‘Ministers in governments approve mining projects, not the Parliament. Federal Labor has not been in government since 2013. This claim is a blatant lie’.
Ms Elliot added, ‘Our elections are robust, and we have diverse views and candidates in our region, but Mandy Nolan’s deliberate lies show that the Greens are as untrustworthy as Scott Morrison’.
‘It is disappointing that Mandy Nolan is deliberately misrepresenting and attempting to erase another woman’s achievements. Women have fought long and hard to achieve representation and a voice in Parliament’.
AAP FactCheck concluded that the Greens claim was ‘mostly true’ regarding 114 coal and gas projects in Australia’s investment pipeline ‘which, if completed, would produce emissions estimated to be more than double the current domestic carbon emissions of Australia’. AAP say, ‘However, there is uncertainty in the calculation of the potential emissions and emissions from exported fossil fuels’.
In reply to Ms Elliot, Ms Nolan pointed to state and territory Labor governments (and oppositions) who are supporting new coal and gas projects.
‘I don’t know what planet the member for Richmond is on’, says Ms Nolan.
‘It’s like being on the backbench magically excuses her from the decisions of her party. I don’t buy it, and the electorate doesn’t either’.
‘Our electorate is the second most at risk from climate change in the country. We’ve just experienced devastating flooding right across the electorate. You can’t fight the climate crisis while you’re pouring fuel on the fire. That’s why we need people like me on the crossbench, to push Labor further and faster on climate. I can do that because I’m not beholden to coal and gas donors’.