Adjournment Speech given on 25 May 2022.
I want to take this moment to reflect on what happened over the weekend.
Against every prediction of the political class and many politicians, the Greens won two new lower-house seats in Queensland, with a third being closely counted as we speak. We may well quadruple our seats in federal parliament, in just one election. We are also on track to have our biggest party room yet, with 12 Senators.
Across the nation, the number of everyday people who went to the ballot box and voted one Greens has soared.
For some in the media and political class, these results may come as a surprise. But for the Greens, we have known for at least six years, since Jonathan Sri won the Gabba Ward, that when you give people the option to vote for someone who genuinely listens and is fighting for the community first and foremost, people will take that option.
We proved it again when we won Maiwar and again when we won South Brisbane despite all predictions from commentators, and we wake up today, in Greensland.
I want to reflect on how this change came about, and what this means for the next state election. There are very likely members here wondering what these results mean for their own political careers.
It’s no secret how we won Ryan, Griffith and potentially Brisbane. We’ve been upfront about it for years. We go out there and listen to people, at their doorstep, on their streets, in their communities, and connect with them on the issues that matter to them. Any progressive movement serious about changing the face of politics in Australia should be doing this, and we’re ready to scale up our campaigns right across the state.
And what have we learned? Everyday people are disaffected by the political status quo. Whether it’s a family struggling to pay the rent in Ipswich, a single-parent trying to afford childcare in Mackay, or a student in Greenslopes hoping for a future where they won’t have to worry about floods, heatwaves and bushfires, people want change.
That’s why, across this state and across the country, people voted for a party that is fighting to build 1 million public homes, cap rents and scrap negative gearing. They voted for a party committed to fighting to abolish uni and TAFE fees and scrap student debt. They said yes to a plan to phase out coal and gas in 10 years, to bring dental and mental health into Medicare, and to tax billionaires and big corporations.
Voters across the country said ‘no thanks’ to the major parties and their corporate backers, and no thanks to politicians who have helped drive up house prices, drive up the cost of living, drive down wages, and drive our public services into the ground.
Voters voted for change. I’m thinking especially of voters in Paddington, Carina Heights, Greenslopes, Bulimba, Coorparoo, Clayfield, and New Farm, who are looking at their current sitting members here in the Queensland parliament and thinking “what if I had a representative who was genuinely fighting for me?”.
Every time you vote to sell off public housing; everytime you vote to give subsidies to fossil fuel corporations; every time you vote for landlords at the expense of renters; know that you could also be voting yourself out of a job.