The Greens announce candidate for Drummoyne

Greens candidate for Drummoyne, Alice Mantel

Greens candidate for Drummoyne, Alice Mantel

With the NSW State election 7 months away, the Greens have announced Alice Mantel as their candidate for the seat of Drummoyne.

I think it’s going to be a very volatile election this time,” said Ms Mantel. “There are so many issues to engage electors. Whether it’s the political integrity of our politicians or the lack of transparency in the proposed Westconnex project, most residents will have an issue that will directly concern them.”

In the Drummoyne electorate, she sees residents as being very concerned about the effect of the proposed WestConnex tollway on the amenity of the area, on the properties adjacent to the roadway and the increased road traffic which is likely to follow the widening of the road.

For a project which has not given any evidence of its supposed benefits, voters have real concerns about the lack of planning information and detailed costing for the proposal. Residents also face great uncertainty with the apparent changes in the actual route,” said Ms Mantel. “Instead of providing a coordinated transport plan with public transport alternatives, the tollway just reinforces the reliance of workers on their own vehicle to get to work. In a year or two the roads will be as congested as they are now, but residents will also be charged an estimated $4.50 each way on top of the costs of fuel and car use.”

Link this up with the proposed North West Rail Link and we still do not have an integrated transport system which enables commuters to travel easily around Sydney to get to work. Public transport infrastructure is the first and essential element of any new transport plan rather than just tunnels and roads. Putting the same amount of money into public transport instead would have far more benefit for many more people.

Ms Mantel is a lawyer and has lived in the local and inner west areas for the past 8 years. She runs her own legal practice focusing on family law but has also had extensive experience in the public sector. She has long had an interest in social justice issues particularly in relation to the treatment of refugees by the current and the previous Federal governments which she believes have been contrary to international law conventions.

From my perspective, the Greens have policies which focus on jobs and social justice for all, not just to benefit cronies of the winning party. Members of both of the recent State governments have had connections with corrupt individuals and have acted to benefit themselves at the expense of taxpayers,” said Ms Mantel.

Contact: Alice Mantel, ph 9702 5761; email:

Morrison’s real failure is his refusal to treat refugees as human beings

The Abbott Government must commit to quickly and fairly processing the asylum claims of 157 Tamils who will reach the Australian mainland”, said Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

“The Immigration Minister is a spectacular failure by his own measure, as well as the measure of the international community and decent, caring Australians, said Senator Hanson-Young , Green’s  immigration spokesperson.

“The Abbott Government has spent weeks showing nothing but contempt for the Parliament, the courts and the Australian people’s right to know by acting illegally and failing to treat refugees as human beings with dignity.

“This shameful spectacle, that has seen the government making up cruel policy on the run, will continue until the people on this boat are offered genuine and permanent protection.  The Abbott Government must guarantee that the people on this boat will be given access to their lawyers.

“After the traumatic experience that the children on this boat have been put through, the Government must give assurances that they won’t be sent to Nauru or Christmas Island.

 (25/7/14 Sen Sarah Hanson-Young)


EIS Reveals More Congestion After WestConnex is Built

Greens MP and Transport Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has responded to the Environmental Impact Statement released for the M4 East Widening Stage of the WestConnex toll road.

Dr Faruqi said:

“The widening will just shift the bottleneck of the M4 a few kilometres further down the road. Even if motorists have a faster run on the widened and tolled M4, they will still be essentially sitting in a paid car park when they reach Parramatta road, which the Government’s own consultants admit will remain the most direct road for a large number of trips even if the whole of WestConnex is built.

“In the EIS, the Government’s own numbers predict increased congestion on surrounding roads such as Parramatta Road if WestConnex is built, which will also delay bus services and impede access to train stations”.

“It is concerning that some traffic modelling assumptions are inadequate, utilising anecdotal evidence and Brisbane-based data, which means WestConnex runs the same risks as the failed Lane Cove Tunnel.

“The case for the WestConnex toll road is unraveling and the Greens will continue to work with the community and transport experts to expose WestConnex for what it is: a wasteful, unnecessary and expensive $13 billion dollar toll road to nowhere.

“The Government needs to commit the billions of dollars earmarked for the wasteful WestConnex toll road to effective and efficient public transport that gives people options to leave their cars at home, and reduces congestion for people that have to use their car” she concluded.


LiberalNationals back fracking as Gloucester residents get shafted

LiberalNationals back fracking as Gloucester residents get shafted

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham condemned the government’s renewal of AGL’s Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL 285) over the Gloucester Valley, saying it was the start of fracking in NSW again and that local residents were being given less protection than those in Western Sydney.

Coal seam gas activity is banned within 2km of urban areas, however AGL has been given permission to frack within a few hundred metres of houses at the outskirts of the town of Gloucester.

“This is a clear signal that the Liberal and National parties are pro-fracking and pro-coal seam gas,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“This is a dark day for NSW with the Baird government giving the green light to fracking once again, including within a few hundred metres of people’s homes in Gloucester, while people in Western Suburbs enjoy a 2 kilometre buffer zone.

“The community is overwhelmingly opposed, the scientists have warned of contamination of groundwater and the Manning River, and there is no clear plan to dispose of waste products.

“The local community will blockade fracking in the Gloucester Valley, just as they resisted at Bentley in the Northern Rivers and elsewhere,” he said.

(6/8/14 Jeremy Buckingham, MP)

Secret report condemns “addiction to roads”

Greens MP and NSW Spokesperson for Roads, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has commented on a leaked Infrastructure Australia report that describes the proposed NSW Government’s NorthConnex and WestConnex  tollways as  a “hideously inefficient” spending on national roads.

Dr Faruqi said, “The Roads Minister would do well to listen to Infrastructure Australia, who have long had questions about the WestConnex business case and who are now saying that Australia has a ‘gambler’s addiction to roads’.

“This view confirms what the Greens have long been warning about, that this Government’s obsession with roads is ill-conceived.

“For many transport experts and communities, the description of road spending as an addiction rings true, especially as the government has been so secretive about the business case for the 13 billion dollar WestConnex tollway.

(23/7/14 Dr Mehreen Faruqi, MLC)

Expansion of work for the dole continues Government’s attack on job seekers

The Australian Greens have said a significant number of jobseekers will be punished and disadvantaged by any expansion of the work for the dole scheme.

“Work for the Dole is not an effective program for getting people into work and study.  Rather it is just another example of the Government’s ideological war against income support and social security,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on family and community services said.

“Work for the Dole will not address the fundamental barriers to employment that people are facing such as specific training and support that jobseekers need.  This approach ignores issues like age discrimination against older jobseekers which is a growing problem for people over 40.”

“Subjecting people to even tougher compliance requirements does not help deal with the lack of available jobs, discrimination, a lack of training or the fact they can’t afford rent, food and clothes.  This announcement is all about punishing people. If jobs aren’t available, it is a nonsense to say people have to apply for at least a job a day.”

“The Government should be investing in job services and lifting the inadequate rates of Newstart and Youth Allowance by $50 per week so that job seekers are actually supported and helped back into the workforce, rather than being left in poverty,” Senator Siewert concluded.

(27/7/14 Sen Rachel Siewert)

Greens call to keep developer donations out of NSW politics

The Greens have written to all political parties registered for next year’s State election, seeking their commitment to reject donations from donors that are currently banned by State law, regardless of the High Court’s findings in the McCloy challenge.

In late July Newcastle Mayor Jeff McCloy issued a writ to overturn the ban on donations from property developers as well as the tobacco, gambling and alcohol industries. He is also seeking to prevent ICAC investigating a $10,000 donation made by one of his companies to the campaign of Newcastle Liberal MP Tim Owens.

Unless the High Court is convinced that the imposition on freedom of political communication is justified by a reduction in corruption risk, it is likely that the bans will disappear before next year’s State election.

Greens NSW MP John Kaye said: “It is time for John Robertson and Mike Baird to put their money where their mouth is.  Unless the parties can agree to a self-imposed ban, the State faces an inevitable slide back into the bad old days of policies for sale to the highest bidders.

“There were good reasons why these bans were imposed in 2009 and 2010. Regardless of what the High Court says, they must stay in place at least until there is a chance for the parliament to legislate alternative anti-corruption measures.

“This is a once-off opportunity for every party contesting the next election to put the good of the State ahead of their own capacity to raise funds.

“By agreeing to these current laws, the parties would restore a little faith in the political process and help hold back the floodgates of another source of corruption and influence peddling,” Dr Kaye said.

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(6/8/2014 Dr John Kaye, MLC)