Greens select NSW election candidate for Clarence
AS A drought-ravaged NSW burns, the newly pre-selected Greens candidate for the seat of Clarence says the time is right for voters to look at a party with a real focus on the environment.
The Clarence Greens have endorsed prominent local ecologist and Clarence Valley councillor Dr Greg Clancy to stand in the State election in March.
Dr Clancy, from Coutts Crossing, beat Woombah resident Will Elrick in the pre-selection vote on Friday.
He said with winter bushfires in NSW overlapping with the wildfires burning in the Northern Hemisphere, it was only Greens policies that promised to tackle the causes.
"Just this morning we had the Prime Minister drop any reference to environmental issues to the National Energy Guarantee," Dr Clancy said. "It's a disgrace.
"It's why we say people should not be voting for the major parties, because the good people in them are hamstrung from supporting good policy, say on human induced climate change, by strong right wing views."
Dr Clancy said the NSW Government had an important role in combating climate change.
"The states issue licences for coal mining which we oppose," he said.
"There should be no more coal-fired power stations and coal mining has to be phased out.
"The only reason coal-fired power continues is that there has not been policies in place to encourage alternative energy."
Dr Clancy said the state also needed to come up with a way of responding to drought.
"To an extent drought is normal for Australia, but climate change is changing the length and frequency of them," he said.
"There needs to be an investigation of sustainable farming methods to find ways of farming in Australia where it's not suitable to use English-style methods.
"Greens policies will assist farmers to farm in an environmentally friendly way."
Dr Clancy said there were already farmers using sustainable farming methods who were able to successfully farm during drought periods.
"We know there are farmers out there still able to farm even with this drought because of the farming practices they have in place."
Dr Clancy said he was realistic about his chances of winning the seat, after the Greens polled just 9.1 per cent of the Clarence vote in the 2015 election.
"We're in it to win it, but we know that's a big ask," he said. "I think with my profile in the community and having served two years on the council, people know what I stand for."
Dr Clancy said there was no issue for him continuing his role as a councillor while standing as a State candidate.
"If I won the seat I would still be able to sit as a councillor until the next council election," he said.
The Clarence Greens have endorsed Dr Greg Clancy - a Greens councillor on Clarence Valley Council - as the Greens candidate for Clarence in next year's State election.
His announcement as candidate follows a preselection ballot of Greens members from across the electorate contested by Greg and Will Elrick of Woombah.
Dr Clancy stated that he was very humbled to be selected and thanked the membership for placing their trust in him.
"I look forward to working on the campaign with Will and the other members of the Greens to raise the important issues,' he said.
"There are many issues that should be the focus of the campaign.
"These include supporting public services such as TAFE, hospitals and national park management and retaining staff in the valley to deliver regional services. I am also keen to promote the need for a new high school in the lower Clarence.
"Of course, protecting the environment is a key concern, as so much of our local economy relies on a healthy environment.
"There needs to be better oversight of native forest management, improved funding for national parks, improved incentives for sustainable agriculture and a reversal of the weakened land clearing laws. I will be continuing to oppose gas mining and the proposed cobalt, antimony and gold mines in our catchments. A key statewide issue is action to ban single-use plastics.
"I am looking forward to promoting the four pillars of the Greens at the local level. They are ecological sustainability, peace and non-violence, grassroots democracy and social justice."