The wild, wild west


Greetings from the wild west: the WA by-election campaign is well and truly on, and what a massive effort it is. The tortuous path from appeals to recounts, weeks of scrutineering and months of waiting – and a trip to the High Court - are now well and truly in the past. It's on: on April 5, Western Australians will vote in a Senate-only by election. We have grabbed this unique opportunity to throw a spotlight on the performance of the Abbott Government and win back a crucial balance of power Senate seat.

We've assembled a superb team of campaigners and volunteers who have already done us proud – more than 10,000 phonecalls have been made and more than 15,000 doors have been knocked. We have adapted the organising model used so effectively to lock in Adam's second term in Melbourne and scaled it up to the targets needed to win a Senate seat. It is daunting, but I absolutely believe we can do it. I've never seen the party growing so rapidly or taking on a task with such determination.

We've had six months to assess the alarming direction the Abbott Government is taking the country. The attack on Medicare and indifference to homelessness funding tell us a great deal about this Government's warped priorities. The intimidation of the ABC and hostility to the renewable energy industry are dangerous and extreme; and it is clear that this is the most anti-environmental government in modern history.

Combined with the strangely moribund state of the Labor Party and the increasingly erratic behaviour of the Palmer Party, the Australian Greens are seen by increasing numbers of people as the real opposition, and the only ones capable of taking the fight up to Tony Abbott.

The Western Australian by election has thus become something of a litmus test for all parties and a forerunner of the crucial 2016 election when we will be required to win back Melbourne and a Senator in all states.

It can feel overwhelming when a Government as terrible as this one is given free reign to do so much harm on so many fronts, but the counteraction is well and truly under way. The Greens are at the leading edge of the movement to confront and ultimately defeat the brittle, short term and manifestly harmful agenda of this Government.

We are on a roll here in WA. If you're reading this there's a chance you're already helping out in some way: if you want to get really involved, spend 30 seconds at and join the crowd. This campaign is something special, and you'd be mad to miss it.

Scott Ludlam