Green Institute head leads push for voter upset in new seat of Canberra

Ian Bushnell 20 August 2018

The Greens team for the next election – from left, Johnathan Davis, Emma Davidson, Penny Kyburz, Tim Hollo, and Andrew Braddock – with MLAs Caroline Le Couteur and Shane Rattenbury. Photos: George Tsotsos.

Community activist, environmentalist and musician Tim Hollo believes that winning the new central seat of Canberra for the Greens is a difficult task but is achievable.

But with Greens preference to almost overwhelmingly favour Labor, one thing he will guarantee is that the Liberal Party ‘can not and will not win the seat of Canberra’.

Mr Hollo, who also heads the Green Institute think tank, was one of five ACT Greens candidates announced on Friday (17 August) for the coming Federal election, with academic, innovator, and policy adviser Dr Penny Kyburz to head the Senate ticket.

Johnathan Davis will run in the ACT’s new southern seat of Bean, Andrew Braddock in the northern seat of Fenner, and Emma Davidson has been selected to fill the second spot on the ACT Senate ticket. All three contested the ACT Legislative Assembly election in 2016.

Mr Hollo said both the major parties took Canberra for granted and were virtually one on the party’s signature issues of climate change and refugees.

“The major parties take Canberra for granted, reducing our vibrant community to little more than a shorthand for a Federal Government which doesn’t speak for us,” he said.

The best way to make Canberra matter was to vote for the Greens, he said.

Mr Hollo believed the people of the new seat of Canberra were in step with Greens values, and was winnable.

“It’s a brand new seat and right in the heart of our capital city where the great majority of Canberrans working in the universities and the Public Service, share the values of the Greens,” he said “Canberra really is one of the most progressive seats in the country, but it’s never been actually a contest until now. It will be a task but it’s absolutely achievable.”

Mr Hollo said that similar seats elsewhere, like Melbourne, had been won with swings of 12 to 14 per cent.

Greens Senate candidate Dr Penny Kyburz, with Tim Hollo and Andrew Braddock.

Ms Kyburz zeroed in on Liberal Senator Zed Seselja’s stance in the Senate helping to vote down a bill that would have restored the right of the Territory to debate and legislate on voluntary assisted dying.

“Zed has proved even just this week how his priorities work, and his allegiance is not to the people of Canberra, it’s to his own ultra-conservative views and he will put those first every time it matters,” she said.

She said the party had gone close in previous Senate contests and she believed voters who were uncertain in the past would now see the Greens as a viable alternative.

“We’ve come very, very close in the past and we have a really good opportunity, particularly when the people of Canberra see how winnable the seat of Canberra is for us they’ll be willing to pledge their vote when they’ve had uncertainty in the past,” she said.

“I think we’ll take votes of Liberal and Labor, because I think people are disaffected with the major parties and they’re keen to find someone who will represent their values and work in their best interest.”

ACT Greens Leader and Cabinet minister Shane Rattenbury said the ACT had an opportunity this election to make a significant difference.

“We’ve seen this week a great example of the Federal Parliament not taking the ACT into account and in fact our own Senator not standing up for the ACT. This has been a very timely reminder of the importance of having voices in the Senate and the House to stand up for Canberra.”

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