My Nomination Statement
Janet Rice Nomination for Senate Preselection
I’m standing for the Senate as part of our journey to solving the climate crisis, and our biodiversity crisis. A journey to the time when we have retreated from our rampage of resource use, and are heading for justice for all the peoples on the planet.
The politics of connection
I feel deeply connected to all the species and peoples of our planet. I see Australia in a global context – it’s an accident of birth or fortune of migration that we live here.
I want the people of Tuvalu to be able to keep living there. I want self-determination for Indigenous Australians. I want the 80% of refugee women who experience rape and sexual abuse to be safe. I want Tiger Quolls and Leadbeater’s Possums to thrive in our forests, and know that the coastal heaths of Anglesea, the wilds of the Kimberley and the world’s climate are safe from gas and coal mining.
I’m an optimist, and a realist. I believe that we can solve these problems. They are what I’ve devoted my life to; as an activist and a Green. My strength is applying my efforts strategically to get real action, real success. These issues motivated me to form The Greens and they are what drive me to seek preselection as your Senator.
Hand in hand with connection are care, respect and humility. I want to not just represent you but to be in partnership with you and our voters; to share power with you. This way of working is ultimately what will enable us to achieve great things.
Experience and skills
I feel I’ve achieved a lot on my journey so far. I’ve gained experience and skills which I can put to powerful use in the Senate.
The success of the Greens in Victoria is very important to me. I helped drive the formation of the party, then contributed ten years on the state executive, including as Convenor. I was awarded life membership in 2002 - one of only two ever awarded. Since then I’ve continued working in the Party locally, nationally and globally.
I’m an experienced and successful election campaigner. I was elected and re-elected to Maribyrnong Council with votes of 42% and 36% respectively, in a highly multicultural, socio-economically diverse and traditionally Labor electorate.
I was the candidate for Footscray in last year’s state election where we increased our primary vote from 12% to 21%, the equal biggest swing in the state. In 2007 I was the candidate for the Williamstown by-election when we increased the vote from 12% to 22%. Critical to both campaigns were getting and using media attention, including TV, and working as a team, encouraging and motivating people to ‘go the extra mile’ to maximise our results (thanks again everyone for all that doorknocking!).
My time on Council including as Mayor, gave me invaluable experience in government, negotiating, making decisions and representing constituents. Maribyrnong’s decision to go carbon neutral was hard fought, and the highlight of my six years on Council.
I built understanding and experience in transport through five years as Chair of the Metropolitan Transport Forum, and I’m proud to have been the first Green Vice-President of Victorian Local Governance Association, paving the way for three Green Presidents.
Prior to the Greens, I helped lead the campaign that achieved National Parks to protect the ancient forests of the Errinundra Plateau and the Rodger River in East Gippsland. It’s staggering that over twenty years on we are still fighting for protection of Victoria’s forest heritage.
I’m currently juggling working in local government as a transport planner, working as a facilitator, and working pro-bono managing the Groundswell mobilisation for a safe climate.
Our priority campaigns
There are so many issues we can campaign on. Those we choose as priorities have to work both as core Greens issues, and reflect the highest values and aspirations of Victorians. I am passionate about:
- The economy, industries and jobs, including presenting climate change as an economic issue. We can and must shift our economic activity to industries that will bring the planet back to health. Our current economy is based on living the high life on our planetary credit card while pretending the bill will never come.
- Creating a national focus on transport and the shape of our cities and regions. The Federal Government controls the purse strings on these issues. We can present a future of great public transport in cities and regional centres; travelling between cities by very fast train; freight moved by rail and farmland protected from urban sprawl.
- Our natural environment. Protecting our forests, rivers and our wildlife.
- Excellent public education. We can’t afford education to be hit and miss. It all needs to be as good as my children have received in their great public schools.
- Better services to make life fair for all – that means excellent health care, affordable and accessible housing and ensuring that people who are struggling with disabilities, drug dependency, gambling problems, domestic violence, or the hurdles of being a newly arrived refugee can access support when they need it. My work as a Councillor in Maribyrnong brought home to me every day the importance of this work.
I believe a strong campaign focused around these issues will enable us to not only elect another Victorian Senator and re-elect Adam Bandt in Melbourne, but also elect Greens in Batman and elsewhere. Then we really will be in a position to negotiate and deliver on climate change, on a sustainable economy and on a just society.
Why Janet for the Senate?
I’m experienced, fresh and full of energy. I’ve worked hard with you over the past two decades and am ready for more. I have ability and commitment to work with you to achieve real power and real change.
With your help and support, I can win both this preselection, and the election.