It has been a big year. While the election of the Abbott government is a serious setback, community action on climate change, public education, open and accountable government, and many other critical campaigns is resonating.
In the past month after a strong community, union and Greens campaign Labor reversed its position on the proposed $2.3 billion cuts to higher education.
The movement for refugee rights is growing, and although we had a win when the Senate voted to support the Greens’ move to scrap the Coalition government’s Temporary Protection Visas, there is much more to be done
I love my job as a Greens Senator working in the federal parliament. Every day I am reminded that our strength in achieving progressive change lies with people taking a stand for what is right - calling and emailing their MPs and taking protest actions.
In 2013 tens of thousands of Australians took to the streets calling for an end to live exports. The Greens are the only parliamentary party to support this call. We have developed a transition plan to end the live export trade and expand jobs in regional and rural Australia in chilled boxed meat trade.
The UN have declared 2014 the ‘Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People’. Earlier this year I visited the Occupied Territories including the Gaza strip and I recently called for our government to cease military cooperation and military trade with Israel.
I also visited Sri Lanka in November as part of my work in campaigning for an international independent war crimes investigation during the brutal civil war.
In 2013 backroom deals saw candidates elected to the Senate with less than one per cent of the vote. This only happened because the current voting system takes power out of the hand of voters and gives control to political parties. The Greens are working to change the system so voters can decide their own preferences.
The Greens certainly achieve more wins in parliament when there is a strong public voice. In 2014 I am looking forward to working with you to continue to safeguard our environment, protect jobs, strengthen public services, fight cuts to international aid and promote human rights.
From my office we extend a big thank you to all members and supporters for the memorable moments of the past year. It is a pleasure working with you. Have a good break.