Greens celebrate 20 years in local government
Twenty years ago yesterday the first Greens were elected in NSW, at the local council elections in Marrickville and Newcastle. The Greens have had unbroken representation on these councils since that time and currently have five Mayors across the state.
Greens NSW MP and Local Government spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
"From two councillors in 1991 to 74 today, including 5 mayors, Greens representatives in local government have built a solid foundation for progressive politics in NSW.
"Newcastle hit world headlines following an initiative of Greens councillors when McDonalds was required to use non-disposable cutlery for its sit down customers.
"Greens initiatives on Marrickville council have seen the construction of a world-class renewable energy driven aquatic centre and the reintroduction of apprenticeships to the area after they were abolished by Labor.
"Greens NSW members elected to public office represent the party and our four principles of social and economic justice, environmental sustainability, grassroots democracy, peace and non-violence.
"The Greens have traditionally pursued policies on the basis of what is right, not what is just politically convenient or easy.
"Greens councillors often have to weather extreme pressure from the old parties or different interest groups, and those who have stood up to this pressure for many years should be praised for their courage and commitment.
"As Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu wrote recently to Marrickville Greens Mayor Fiona Byrne 'sometimes taking a public stand for what is ethical and right brings costs, but social justice on a local or global scale requires faith and courage'.
"On behalf of Greens members and supporters I would like to thank all of our past and present Greens NSW Councillors who have been courageous advocates for progressive politics over the past twenty years," Mr Shoebridge said.
Read more about the history of Greens Councillors on Marrickville and Newcastle councils: http://davidshoebridge.org.au/2011/09/14.../