At the launch of his 2022 Federal Election campaign, Adam Bandt, Leader of the Australian Greens, spoke to NRI Affairs.
On the Federal Election 2022 for the Greens
This election is absolutely crucial. We’ve got the chance to change the government, which we think we absolutely need to do because we’ve got a climate crisis and we’ve got to get quick action to keep coal and gas in the ground. Otherwise, the climate crisis – the floods, the droughts and the Bush fires will get worse. We’ve also got an inequality crisis in Australia and I worry Australia is going down the more US-style road where the gap between the haves and the have-nots grows and that means more inequality. It means more racial inequality, means more social inequality and more economic inequality, and we have to fight to make sure Australia remains an equal country.
We got a real chance of doing that not only by getting more Greens into power and but one of the things that I’m proud of about the Greens as a grassroots party is that we reflect the community. Out of ten members of parliament we have two First Nations aboriginal women. We also have the only female Muslim in the Senate, Senator Mehreen Farooqi from NSW. We’ve got more women than men in our party room as well and, I think, we need to start changing the people who are making the decisions so that it’s more reflective of what this country actually looks like.
I’m really proud to be part of a party that is trying to make that change and so, in this election by voting for the greens and supporting the greens it’ll be a vote for tackling racial hate speech and fighting for more equality in our country, but also making sure we do things like get dental and mental health into Medicare, build more affordable housing so that young people aren’t priced out of the housing market and that we take action on climate change so that we keep people safe throughout NSW Queensland and all across Australia.
On diaspora and migrant issues
Look here in Australia we were kinda lucky that we’ve got a relatively peaceful country although there is still lots of instances of racial discrimination and hate and in some instances violence.
On the whole. we’ve got some political rights and liberties that a lot of people around the world don’t enjoy, and one of the crucial things I think that parliamentarians have got to do with the power that we have is to continue to draw attention to places where those liberties aren’t enjoyed in other parts of the country and shine a spotlight on that, but also make sure that here in Australia that diaspora and refugee and migrant communities are never used as political footballs. Coming into an election that is always critical because you always see, especially from a certain side of politics trying to use certain groups to try and win votes. We’ve got to make sure that never happens and one thing that we are fighting for in this country is a change to the law so we have a charter of rights enshrined in this country so that everyone is protected equally in law. That is a critical thing that we need to do but one thing you will hear from the Greens is we will always stand up and fight for diaspora communities, we will always stand up and say everyone is equal in this country and we will fight against any form of vilification.
On human rights issues
Authoritarian governments around the world are abusing human rights and discriminating against minority communities and that often results in violence and sometimes even killings and our governments very rarely speak up about it because they’re more interested in money and they’re more interested in maintaining good relationships with other governments and it comes at the expense of human rights. The Greens are absolutely consistent on this we will always stand up for human rights and call out actions of governments around the world when they violate human rights. That should be what the Australian government does and too often the Australian government goes silent when when there are attacks or when there’s violence even when it’s happening here in Australia when that violence finds itself here in Australia and the government stays silent far too often.
For many many years now the Greens have always stood firm and you know whatever the side of politics, whatever kind of government it is, there is no room for the abuse of human rights and when it happens overseas, part of our job is to call about here at home so that everyone knows about it and to try and push our governments to take action.