2019 is shaping up to be a huge year – and we’re going to need all the energy we can gather and more if we‘re going to make it the turning point it has to be.
By Richard Di Natale
Happy New Year and a big welcome to all of our wonderful Greens members and supporters out there in 2019. I hope that you all got to spend a healthy, happy and above all restful holiday season with your family and loved ones and that, like me, you’re feeling rejuvenated. Because, we are going to need all the energy we can gather and more if we’re going to make this year the turning point that it has to be.
2019 is shaping up to be a huge year. The Morrison Government’s incompetence, division and lack of decency on everything from combatting dangerous climate change to the torture of asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru has paved the way for a Labor landslide when we head to the polls in the next few months. The Australian people have had an absolute gutful and now we’ve got the chance to turf this mob out.
There’s little doubt that Bill Shorten will be the next Prime Minister of this country, and he’s likely to have a sizeable majority in the House of Representatives. And while we Greens will have more in common with a new Labor Government than we have with the current clowns, we know neither side can be trusted to deliver the change we so desperately need.
The fact is that if you want to see the kinds of progressive reforms we need to protect our environment, address inequality, and transition to a jobs-rich 21st century renewable economy, you need to help us re-elect a strong Greens team to the Senate.
The reasons couldn’t be clearer. When it comes to the defining moral, social and economic issues of our time – tackling dangerous changes to our climate, the growing gap between the rich and everyone else, and the ongoing inhuman treatment of refugees and immigrants – the Labor Party is too beholden to its big corporate donors to do what needs to be done.
You need the Greens in the Senate to keep Bill Shorten and the Labor Party honest, and to achieve the kind of progressive outcomes that we were able to secure the last time the Labor Party was in Government.
What’s the alternative? Well, just take a look at what we already know.
Bill Shorten wants 50 percent of our energy to come from renewables by 2030. The reality is that most experts agree with estimates like the one in Green Energy Markets’ November Renewable Energy Index which said that left alone, the market will already take us to almost 80 percent renewables by 2030. To achieve Labor’s goal, we’d actually have to slow down the development of renewables, not speed them up! But that’s what happens when you make decisions based not on what’s best for the country, but what’s best for the corporate donors and vested interests who fund your campaigns.
Labor’s record on refugees is shameful. They have stood in lock-step with the Government and against the Greens on an offshore detention policy that is cruel, illegal and a stain on our nation’s history. And don’t expect that to change after the election; in fact, we can already see the Government trying to goad Labor into an election campaign fought over boat turnbacks and border security. Instead of doing the right thing and showing some leadership, Shorten has disappointingly backed down and promised to keep the policy of turnbacks and offshore detention in place indefinitely.
But it’s not enough to just criticise the Labor Party – we need to provide our own answers to these tough questions. I’m proud of all of our Greens MPs and their staffers who have been working day and night in order to have that genuine progressive alternative ready to present to the Australian public. We are rip-roaring and ready to go out there and explain to the public why electing a strong Greens cohort in the Senate and re-electing Adam in Melbourne is so important in 2019.
Over the next few months our Greens team in the Parliament will be crisscrossing the country to unveil our election platform, which is packed with future-focused, progressive solutions to the challenges facing our nation. We’ll be talking with you about our visionary plan for tackling climate change and building the renewable economy of the future. We’ll be campaigning on exciting new proposals like a publicly owned electricity retailer to bring down power prices and drive up renewable generation, a People’s Bank that will put customers at the centre of banking again instead of corporate profits, and many more big ideas.
I’m so excited to be kicking off the new year talking about big ideas to solve the problems we face – and none are so big that we can’t fix them together with some hard work and ingenuity. I can’t wait to see you out there on the hustings!