Green candidates in state election

May 15, 1991

The endorsed Green candidates for the May 25 NSW election are activists from a range of backgrounds. Green Left will profile all the Green candidates over the next three issues.


For long-time women's, peace and environment activist and single mother Carole Medcalfe, Illawarra Greens candidate for Bulli, "it's about time Greens put in an appearance to the north of Wollongong".

Issues in the electorate include the Helensburgh expansion plan (recently defeated by a close vote in Wollongong City Council but still being pushed by developers); the need to declare a marine park along the seaward side of the Royal National Park (to forestall sand mining), and the scandalous state of public transport in the region.

A worker at the Wollongong Women's Centre, Medcalfe has seen the impact of Greiner government policies on women's services at first hand and demands that community facilities for women be expanded. She is also resolutely opposed to the Greiner government's industrial relations legislation, the issue used to trigger the election.


Eastern Suburbs Greens candidate in the seat of Vaucluse, held by the unpopular minister for corrective services, Michael Yabsley, is Geoff Ash, an activist for 10 years in the environment and peace movements.

For Ash one of the key issues is Greiner's false claim that deepwater ocean outfalls will solve Sydney's sewerage problems and produce clean beaches. Ash calls for a decentralised sewerage system which returns sewage to useful ends such as a fertilisation.

Ash also attacks the Greiner government's method of "hosing down" contentious issues like Sydney's smog. "Health minister Peter Collins' statement that no-one is hurt by this is just a cover-up. And the proposed Environmental Protection Authority may have less teeth that our discredited State Pollution Control Commission", Ash told Green Left.

Port Jackson

The Sydney Greens candidate for the seat of Port Jackson is 46-year-old journalist Hall Greenland, a longstanding activist in inner-city politics.

Greenland says Sydney's terrible smog problem must be tackled at the source, "and that is the motor car". That means rejuvenation of public transport, a pause in development in the eastern sector of Sydney, a determined effort towards decentralisation and public participation in environmental planning.

Greenland says recent moves to strip local councils of their powers over development "reinforces the case for public onmental planning".

Legislative Council

The Greens are standing two candidates in the NSW Legislative Council, the upper house. Heading the ticket is Ian Cohen, a well-known peace and environmental activist.

"It politically translates to ecocide if the Greiner-Murray government is returned to power with control in both houses", Cohen says. "A major consequence will be that the Forestry Commission will no longer need Environmental Impact Statements.

"Meanwhile, in the cities a post-election horror budget will slash thousands of jobs from the public service. Greiner will increase the fire sale of public assets. The union movement will come under growing attack from a government which in its second term of office will move significantly to the right.

"I am presenting myself as a candidate with a priority as the election of a progressive to maintain the balance in the upper house.

"Each electoral opportunity is another tool for incremental change so necessary in a world which is dying. Nothing more vividly illustrates this than the legacy of the Gulf War, the plight of the Kurds, the pall of toxic gases and the hypocrisy of all the major political players."

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