Renewables on Greens agenda
GREENS Leader Senator Richard Di Natale and Richmond Greens candidate Dawn Walker visited Byron Bay last week to promote investment in clean and sustainable industry for regional Australia.
Along with Byron Shire Council Mayor Simon Richardson the pair met with CEO of Enova Energy, Steve Harris, Australia's first community owned renewable energy retailing and installation business, based in Mullumbimby.
"It's absolutely critical that we invest in new and sustainable energy sources, as the old coal industry dies out," said Senator Di Natale. "The biggest winners from a renewable s revolution is regional Australian communities."
The visit came ahead of Friday night's official Richmond campaign launch at Mullumbimby Civic Hall that saw a crowd of around 300 give Senator Di Natale a hero's welcome to the stage.
With a federal election tipped for July 2 the relative success of the Greens campaign will be critical to the fate of incumbent Richmond member Labor's Justine Elliot.
She currently sits on a margin of 1.6 % according to election blog site the Tally Room and Green preferences would be critical to her survival.
However Ms Walker would not be drawn on where Green preferences may flow in this year's election. She was also unfazed by the recent redistribution that saw Richmond electorate lose what was seen as a Greens friendly area around Nimbin and gain an area around Ballina, often seen as a conservative stronghold.
Instead she took heart from the recent victory of Greens Tamara Smith in the state seat of Ballina.
"That just proved that the people of Ballina can see the value of having a Green's representative in parliament," she said.
"People are concerned their regional such as hospitals and schools aren't getting the level of resourcing they require. They are also concerned about the bigger picture on things like climate change. They are frustrated the policies from the other parties aren't clear, so we will be giving a very strong message about a renewable energy powered future."
"I am excited, its seems that as it draws closer it becomes more apparent that it is going to become a very tight election, and there is the sense that particularly in this seat the Greens are going to do extremely well."