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How green is your President 2018?

The ballot for the ALP National President opened on May 4 2018, and will remain open until June 15. All ALP members are eligible to vote and we encourage all to do so - the more members participate, the stronger our party will be!

LEAN asked the four candidates their views on the role of the Party membership and organisations like LEAN within the ALP as well as the role of the environment in the historic mission of the Labor Party. We thank all for their responses and are happy to say all believe environment and climate action are key tasks for a reformist Labor Party. We look forward to working with whoever wins the ballot on continuing to build Labor's unique offering as the party of both people and the environment. Answers are provided in alphabetical order. 

Mark Butler

Q1. How will you support the opening up of the party to give a greater say to grassroots ALP members and enable groups like LEAN and its membership to influence and be involved in policy development?

In 2015, I had the honour and privilege of being elected National President of the Labor Party on a platform of democratic reform, to make our party bigger, better organised and more representative of the communities we seek to represent.

After three years, most of the changes discussed by party members in 2015 have been blocked by factional leaders who still see democratisation as a threat rather than a long overdue and just reform. They still refuse to give up the last bastions of machine politics which disempower both individual party members and issues focused groups like LEAN.

If re-elected as Party President, I will lead the charge for further party reform at the 2018 National Conference and beyond. You can’t effectively fight inequality in our nation when there’s still inequality in our Party and if elected, I’ll keep fighting inequality in both our party and the nation.

Q2. What will you do as President to ensure that the ALP is the leading party in Australia on environmental policy?

I have been fighting for climate and environmental causes for many years and this will continue if I am re-elected as Party President.

I have worked closely with LEAN, as well as the broader environmental movement and being a former Environment and Climate Change Minister, as well as being the Shadow Climate Change and Energy Minister gives me a great appreciation for the importance of the environment and environmental issues.

I understand that just like equality in our party is needed for our party to best fight for equality in society, a strong environment is needed for a strong society and economy.

Q3. Do you think environment should be a central pillar of the ALP's vision for Australia? If so how can we better embody this and communicate it to the electorate?

Ensuring a sustainable and well protected environment should be at the core of both Labor vales and Labor policies.

I understand that the environment is the foundation that society is built on and that without a sustainable and flourishing natural environment, we cannot have a strong society or economy.

The idea that economic progress must come at the cost of the environment is not only wrong and outdated, as climate change is teaching us, it is dangerous.

I travel around the country talking to Labor party members, business and the broader community about the importance of doing what is necessary to tackle climate change and convince ordinary Australians that good environmental and climate policy is also good economic policy, health policy, and education policy.

But like all great progressive reforms, this is something that can’t be achieved by one person, regardless of their position. It needs to be a movement of empowered people, taking the case for change to their communities, their families, the streets and the ballot box.

That is why we need to further democratise the party to empower members and grow the party, as well as support LEAN and similar groups to grow their membership and spread their message, both internally and to the broader community.

Claire Moore

Q1. How will you support the opening up of the party to give a greater say to grassroots ALP members and enable groups like LEAN and its membership to influence and be involved in policy development?

I really value the work which policy focussed groups, like Lean have done for our party …the real focus on policy has encouraged members to join the party and take active interest in discussion and the development of party policy at the state and national levels. I want the discussions to continue around rules to recognise the status of these groups, and to help promote this process to attract and maintain our members. I have joined many of the current groups, and will continue to work with them to energise our membership and debate.

Q2. What will you do as President to ensure that the ALP is the leading party in Australia on environmental policy?

The President  has the opportunity to talk about policy across the party and the community. Our party has developed strong environment policy over many years…we need to celebrate this effort, reminding the community of our efforts , particularly through the national and international debates on climate change, and our commitment to a safe , resilient energy future centred around renewable sources. LEAN has been extremely effective in providing knowledge, debate, and advocacy around environment policy and the President should be active in working with LEAN to maintain the priority in our party.

Q3. Do you think environment should be a central pillar of the ALP's vision for Australia? If so how can we better embody this and communicate it to the electorate?

Yes.We must always be working on effective and responsive and innovative  communication. Again, I have been impressed by the networks and skills developed through LEAN. We must maintain the links within the professional, academic and community activist networks already focussing on the environment. This is the solid basis to gain credibility for our commitment and build trust. Then, we can work within the general community campaigning to reinforce our priority around the environment.

Mich-Elle Myers

Q1. How will you support the opening up of the party to give a greater say to grassroots ALP members and enable groups like LEAN and its membership to influence and be involved in policy development?

I want to see a party that welcomes all members to contribute to policy, leading our campaigns and driving the direction of our party. Members have so much more to contribute than handing out on election day! I support changing the rules to make sure more members and less MPs hold important positions in our organisation and policy. Labor is at our best when we listen to our conscience – when we listen to the members.

Q2. What will you do as President to ensure that the ALP is the leading party in Australia on environmental policy?

I know our members want real action on climate change that doesn’t leave workers behind. Australia has a remarkable history or workers and unions working together with environmental groups to protect our environment and make sure everyone can enjoy it. I’m proud of our history of Green Bans and the work underway now to ensure a Just Transition for workers in carbon-intensive industries. As a union leader, I’ve been part of bringing workers along to a safe climate future. By electing a workers’ voice to the top table we’ll ensure that Labor can continue to be on the forefront of climate action, while taking all our communities with us.

Q3. Do you think environment should be a central pillar of the ALP's vision for Australia? If so how can we better embody this and communicate it to the electorate?

Working class environmentalism should be a driving force in the Australian Labor Party. We have a unique vision for a thriving environment that everyone can enjoy. Too often it’s our people who suffer from the effects of corporate pollution. You can count on me to drive action on climate change and protection for our ecosystems. Let’s be clearer about our unique vision that marks us out from the Greens as a party that cares about planet and people.

Wayne Swan

Q1. How will you support the opening up of the party to give a greater say to grassroots ALP members and enable groups like LEAN and its membership to influence and be involved in policy development?

I intend to be a Party President for all Members. Having visited every state and territory in recent weeks, I've been heartened by the enthusiasm of grassroots supporters for a strong and inclusive Labor Party. The best way for Labor to build the Party is to maintain and increase this excitement with the power of our ideas. If there was ever a time when we should be able to grow our membership, it is by standing our ground on our dynamic policies and working tirelessly – just as LEAN has done – to enshrine them in our Party's Platform.

Q2. What will you do as President to ensure that the ALP is the leading party in Australia on environmental policy?I have a long record of advancing Labor's action on climate change, including introducing two carbon emissions trading schemes and establishing the Clean Energy Finance Corporation while in government. For a brief summary of my contribution to the fight against climate change, I encourage Party Members to view this short video.   As President I will work constructively with all Members of the Party – and with Labor's frontbench – to hasten Australia's transition to a clean energy future. I outlined what this future might look like at the National Press Club in 2011, you can read about it here

Q3. Do you think environment should be a central pillar of the ALP's vision for Australia? If so how can we better embody this and communicate it to the electorate?

Taking meaningful action on climate change and environmental degradation are of fundamental importance to Australia's future – and to the future of the Australian Labor Party. For me, the fight against climate change and the fight against economic inequality are two sides of the same coin. As a Party we need to advance an agenda that embraces all of the concerns of working people who it is our sacred mission to represent. I intend to use the platform as Party President to continue to amplify the voice of our Party Members who demand meaningful action on climate change

 

 

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