LET'S finish what we started in 2014, and turn Brunswick green

If the Greens win Brunswick in 2018 we could end up with five lower house seats and potentially the balance of power in State Parliament.

And Brunswick is winnable. If everyone votes as they did in the Federal election, we’d win. But Labor will pull out all stops to retain Brunswick. And now you have to choose a candidate.

WHY SHOULD YOU VOTE FOR me?

Having lived in Brunswick for over twenty years, with kids in nearby government schools, and working as a doctor in Carlton, I have come to know a lot of locals. Then when I was the Greens candidate for Wills in 2013 and for Brunswick in 2014, I had hundreds more conversations at front doors and tram stops.

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During that time I developed a sense of where Greens state policies most often overlapped with local concerns. I learned the issues that come up first: overcrowding, awful high-rise towers, and inadequate public transport.

And not far behind, discomfort with the integrity of Victorian politics. A common theme was respect for the Greens and our willingness to stand up to big business. And a strong distaste for the negative campaigning of the other parties. A bloke in the pub wished us luck one night during the 2014 campaign. I asked him why he liked the Greens. “Aww…….fucken integrity.”

With limited resources and no outside funding, our 2014 campaign grew and grew. We built a team of volunteers, funded by small donations.

We outpolled Labor on primary votes and got within 900 votes of victory.

And having seen our new state government, I’m more motivated than ever to finish the job in 2018.

Hearing the Victorian Premier declare that he would not allow a supervised injecting centre in Richmond, where 34 people died from heroin overdose last year, was the most recent motivating event.

From my days as a community health doctor, I remember caring for a patient with brain damage after he stopped breathing from a heroin overdose in the clinic toilets. He was discovered a bit too late for the heroin-blocking injection, Narcan, to prevent brain damage. 

Our government loves ambulances (and they carry Narcan), but it’s too timid to even trial having a nurse, equipped with Narcan, in a heroin hotspot. Their unwillingness to practise some simple harm-reduction is infuriating.

We need more Greens in parliament and one of them should come from Brunswick. In Brunswick, you can lock your bike to a yarn-bombed rack and chat about recycling. In Brunswick the Moreland Greens are leading the way.

Last year Moreland Greens members ran brilliant federal and council campaigns and we doubled our number of councillors. And now our councillors are challenging the nation on Australia Day, challenging the state government over transport and planning, and confronting Labor and business interests over pokies and development.

It’s time we sent a Green from brunswick to Spring St, and we can do it in 2018.

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And here’s just one reason why it’s urgent. Remember the Australian-style bushfire that tore through half a million hectares of subarctic forest in northern Canada last May? Much of the oil town of Fort McMurray was razed. The fire was fuelled by a heatwave when normally there would still have been snow on the ground.

Global warming is global, and Victorian brown coal is more to blame than virtually any other source of electricity. Victoria has an epidemic of diabetes, particularly in our sprawling outer suburbs, where public transport is hard to find. The doctor in me wonders why we allow billboards to promote junk food and alcohol, when our hospitals are full of the consequences? Why can’t we build decent bike lanes and run a reliable bus service in the outer suburbs?

If selected as your Greens candidate I will be blunt. Victoria must stop burning brown coal. We need the EPA to list carbon emissions from energy generation as pollutants. We need an urgent building program for renewable energy.

Victoria needs Greens policies in so many areas and I look forward to your support in making them a reality.