50th celebration of the Greens takes Adam Bandt to party's roots


Leader of the Australian Greens, Adam Bandt will tonight attend 50th anniversary celebrations for the Green movement in Tasmania, marking a full half century since local protests against the destruction of Lake Pedder, which cascaded into the largest third party political force in Australia today.

At the event, Mr Bandt will outline the party’s successes over the past 50 years of political and social movements, while providing an outline of the Greens election platform for Tasmania, and pathway to victory at the upcoming federal election.

Alongside candidates for the lower house and Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, Mr Bandt will list protection for forests, climate action, housing and the expansion of Medicare as a priority for the Greens at the upcoming election.

Additionally, with bold plans for jobs growth in renewable energy, construction of a million homes nationally, forest regeneration and an increase to public services, Greens modelling shows that Tasmania will benefit from 38,000 new jobs as a result of the party’s 2022 election platform.

Lines attributable to Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt MP:

“This election is going to be closer than you think - and it’s going to be a choice between candidates that continue the old way of tearing up our forests and killing our planet, and the Greens, who will protect our natural world and build a more equal, compassionate society for Tasmania,” Mr Bandt said.

“I’m here as leader standing on the shoulders of countless community members who have spent half a century fighting for a fairer, greener Tasmania. It began when a bunch of everyday, caring people went into politics to protect our wilderness and stop the flooding of Lake Pedder. 

“Now, we’re an international political force that is at the forefront of climate action and social reform. With 50 years of incredible wins behind us and a clear plan for our future, the Greens won’t compromise on our values. You know where you stand with us. 

“Lutruwita’s incredible forests are our closest link to a land and time that is now lost to us. Its ancient forests are something to behold, but unsustainable logging is putting it all at risk.

“It beggars belief that many of these battles still exist today, but the Greens will finish the job of protecting Tasmania’s forests by protecting the Tarkine with National Heritage legislation, ripping up the Regional Forestry Agreement, and ending native forest logging. 

“To tackle the climate crisis we’ll need to restore our forests, because global carbon drawdown will be essential to return the planet to a safe climate, which also means new job opportunities for Tasmania. 

“By making the country’s billionaires and massive corporations pay their fair share, we will be able to build a million new affordable homes across the country, helping first time buyers start the journey of independence from renting.

“We’ll put dental and mental health into Medicare for everyone, finishing the job that was started when the Greens were in shared power government. This accompanies the $580m expansion of Tasmania’s public health system the Greens announced yesterday.

“Through building a million new homes across the country, kickstarting the renewable revolution, and expanding services by putting dental and mental health into Medicare, the Greens plan for a more equal, compassionate country will create 38,000 direct and indirect jobs in Tasmania by 2024. This will help the 10,800 people in the state who are currently unemployed or don’t have enough hours, giving everyone certainty of income.”

Lines attributable to Greens Senator for Tasmania, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson:

“Tasmania is a lynchpin for the Greens’ climate plans. You can’t have climate action without protecting Tasmania’s forests, oceans and coastlines,” Senator Whish-Wilson said.

“Our plan for this election puts the survival of Tasmania’s ecosystem front and centre.

“Our state is a global hotspot for warming oceans and is showing signs of rapid, frightening change, quite unlike other parts of the world. It is a canary in the coalmine of climate change, but with sufficient protections, it can be part of the solution.

“Our giant kelp forests are vital carbon sinks that will draw down CO2 from the atmosphere, helping us restore the planet to a safe climate, while also providing a robust ecosystem for our marine life. We will embed climate change in the EPBC, while also taking steps towards the creation of an independent National Ocean Commissioner to ensure that our marine policy framework meets the challenges of this rapidly changing world.

“Through Tasmanian political bastardy, our national environment laws don’t apply to the country’s most incredible natural forests. Loopholes have allowed companies to come in, desecrate the takayna, and tear down trees that have stood for hundreds of years, while Tasmanian locals watch on in dismay.

“Our forests are worth more standing. The takayna/Tarkine is home to Australia’s largest temperate rainforest, full of First Nations sites of significance and enormous ecological value.

“We don’t have time to waste. Every moment we delay in protecting our natural heritage, we’re losing something we’ll never get back.”