Vale Jack Mundey - A statement from Greens NSW


Sylvia Hale and Rochelle Flood, Co-Convenors of Greens NSW:

“Greens NSW are today mourning the loss of Jack Mundey.

“The sympathies of our MPs, members and staff go out to Jack’s wife Judy, his family and friends. Collectively, we send our sincere condolences.

“Under his leadership of the Builders Labourers Federation (BLF) for the first time we saw unity between the struggles of unions and environmentalists. 

“The Green Bans born out of this unity reshaped Australian politics and delivered significant wins for heritage, urban bushland and public housing. The union stood shoulder to shoulder with the community in fighting developments whose sole purpose was to enrich the few at the expense of the many.

“When visiting Sydney, Petra Kelly, was intrigued by the term 'Green Bans' and, after returning to Germany,  founded the German Greens, the world's first Greens party - its name inspired by the Green Bans and her admiration for what Jack and the BLF were achieving. In turn the Australian Greens took their name from the German Greens.

“Jack’s courage was phenomenal - taking on the corrupt Askin government and many ruthless developers he and his union colleagues built a broad based social movement with students and residents that won protection for the Rocks, Centennial Park, Kellys Bush and Woolloomooloo.

“At the heart of Jack’s politics was a deep understanding that it is broad based social movements that are the drivers of progressive change. Jack was a great unifier,” they concluded.

Former Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon:

“Jack was a great visionary.

“The fundamental principles that unite Greens parties across the globe are the four pillars of social justice, environmental sustainability, grassroots democracy and peace and non-violence. They truly sum up Jack's world-view.

“Jack made history in 1965 when he was arrested at Australia’s first sit-in protest. On this occasion the action was against the Menzies government which had decided to send conscripts to fight in the Vietnam War.

“As a member of the Communist Party of Australia he spoke up for socialism with a human face. As a member of the Greens Party he stood as a candidate on a number of occasions and helped strengthen the party’s work with unions on a range of issues.

“In the 1980s Jack was elected to Sydney City Council. It was to the regret of many that he was never elected to parliament.

“In many ways it is with rugby league that the great story of Jack Mundey began. In the 1950s Jack left his home on Queensland’s Atherton Tableland to play for Parramatta Rugby League Club. He played three seasons while working as a builders labourer. 

“Fortunately for so many progressive movements and the Greens he joined the union, became a union official and started a life of struggle for justice, a fair go and environmental protection,” Ms Rhiannon said. 

He will be missed. Vale Jack Mundey.

Media Contact: Andrew Bradley 0412 500 009