Sunday, November 25, 2007

Kooyong results - Petro wins again and green vote holds well

I would like to thank the many people who helped out during the Kooyong campaign and on election day. Without you, the campaign would not have been so successful.

I would also like to thank the 7,457 people in Kooyong who voted Green.

Jenny Henty at Camberwell High school booth

I offer my congratulations to Petro Georgiou for his win again for the seat of Kooyong. I think Petro's strong stand on upholding the rule of law, human rights and fair treatment of asylum seekers and on the environment have stood him in good stead. In doing so I think Petro has demonstrated the only possible successful direction for the Liberal party.

Petro ran an honest and fair campaign in Kooyong, unlike many other electorates where the Liberals used negative fear tactics and distorted the truth. Petro was rewarded with virtually no swing against him, compared to an average national swing against the Coalition of -4.5%.

Petro Georgiou at Gennozanno College booth

I would also like to congratulate Kevin Rudd and the Labor party for winning the election and running a good campaign. I look forward to some real action on climate change in the very near future, starting with the next round of United Nations international negotiations in Bali in December.

Here are the results as of midday Sunday 25 November.

  • HARVEY, Ken (Labor) 19,248 votes 30.94% +1.93 swing
  • GEORGIOU, Petro (Liberal) 33,987 votes 54.63% -0.03 swing
  • CAMPBELL, Peter (Greens) 7,188 votes 11.55% -0.99 swing
On these figures, the Greens primary vote dipped by about 1% while Labor's rose by about 2%. It seems that many people may have voted 1 Labor this time because they wanted a change of government, without understanding that they could also achieve this by voting 1 Green 2 Labor. Please note that this is not the final count so these figures may change a little.

Labor candidate Ken Harvey at Camberwell High School booth

National results in the House of Representatives:
  • Labor(two party preferred): +6.15% swing (a record win)
  • Liberals primary votes: 35.96% -4.51 swing
  • Greens primary votes: 7.64% +0.45 swing
  • Nationals primary votes: 5.38% -0.51 swing
The two party preferred voting system in the lower house really does favour the old parties. Even though nearly 8 out of a hundred people voted 1 Green across Australia no Greens were elected to the lower house.

Nationally, over 15 Labor seats were won on Greens preferences, including Deakin and Corangamite in Victoria, so there is a clear mandate for real action on climate change and more funding for public transport, public health and public education.

Senate results in Victoria

We are still hopeful that Richard Di Natale will be elected as the first Greens Senator for Victoria. However, even though Richard received a record 10.1% of the primary vote in Victoria, this is still short of a quota (14.3%). However analysis of preference flows indicates it will be difficult for Richard to be elected, although he is still in with a chance, even though 1 out of 10 people in Victoria voted for him in the senate. It most likely take 2 weeks before the final result is known.

Overall senate results and the balance of power

The Greens achieved two more records in the Senate:
  • Senator Bob Brown received 17.7% of the senate vote in Tasmania, a swing of 4.45% and has therefore exceeded a quota on primary votes and is re-elected. Congratulations Bob!
  • Kerrie Tucker received 22% of the senate vote in the ACT, a swing of 5.5%. However, a quota of 33.3% is required in the territories (which only have two senators). Kerrie is still in with a chance of securing a senate seat.
Other Greens results in the senate are:
  • Scott Ludlum is likely to be elected to the senate in WA
  • Sarah Hanson-Young is likely to be elected to the senate in South Australia.
  • Unfortunately, Senator Kerry Nettle has lost her bid to get relected to the senate in NSW.
On these results, the final outcome would be a total of 37 Coalition senators and 32 Labor senators, with the balance consisting of five Greens, one Family First and one Nick Xenophon (indepedent). If this eventuates, the Greens will thus not hold the balance of power in their own right. The Coalition will be able to stitch together a blocking majority with either Fielding or Xenophon or an absolute majority with them both.

Let us hope that both Richard Di Natale and Kerrie Tucker are elected to ensure the Greens have the balance of power in the senate.

What about climate change?

Prophetic Kev 4PM signing writing in the Hawthorn sky

Alistair McCaskill (Greens candidate for the neighbouring electorate of Chisholm) has provided the following excellent summation of the challenges for getting climate change and other green issues onto the political agenda.

This was clearly Labor's election, and the result is largely a reflection of the electorate's focus on the major parties combined with a mood for change. It's easy to think of additional things we could have done (locally), but it's clear they would have had little, if any effect on the final result. In the seat of Melbourne, with a budget many times larger than ours, a much larger support base, and Adam Bandt as a very capable candidate, the swing to the Greens was only 3.6%. This is a good indication of just how hard it is to change minds.

Even with the efforts of groups such as The Big Switch, GetUp, The Climate Institute, Australian Conservation Foundation, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and numerous local climate action groups, I don't think climate change was the influential issue that many people suggested (and I hoped) it would be.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Ready for the greening of Kooyong

I spent today delivering three rounds of the last lot of Greens leaflets for the campaign - better late than never. It has been a good campaign for Kooyong - we have had very encouraging feedback from many of you out there.

As Richard Di Natale said to me after the recent senate debate in Hawthorn - sharing information about Greens policies is easy - as they are the best and most balanced policies compared to the big spending pork barelling of the old parties, and their lack of real action on climate change.

A face in the crowd: Liberal, Labor and union supporters surround Prime Minister John Howard on his morning walk through Cairns. Photo: Andrew Taylor

I would like to thank all who have helped out during the campaign - your efforts are key contributions to the result we will get tomorrow.

I have been reluctant to speculate on our result for Kooyong. Many people still don't know that voting 1 Green and then 2 for another party means that if I don't get elected then their vote transfers at full value to the other party. With a mood for change about, this means that they will be tempted to vote 1 for another party, even though they want to support the Greens. Well, that would be wasted vote.

You get double value when you vote 1 Green, 2 old party.

I will be happy if our primary vote is maintained at around 13%, anything above that would be a bonus, and a huge wake up call to both Labor and the Liberals.

Remember, if there is a swing of 5% away from the Coalition then Kooyong will become a marginal seat. Vote 1 Green then choose your next preference very carefully.

Ken Harvey (Labor), Petro Georgiou (Liberal) and David Collyer (Democrats) have all run good campaigns too - I have enjoyed the opportunity to debate with them and chat with them. I think that the Kooyong campaign has been clean and fair with no dirty tricks, unlike some other seats such as Deakin and Lindsay where the negative campaigning has been quite unpleasant.

So let's see what tomorrow brings. Hopefully by tomorrow night we will know if we have Richard Di Natale as the first Greens senator for Victoria (although it may take longer for the senate result to be known), and whether we have a government that is committed to taking action on climate change.

I am tipping a Labor win by only 2 seats. Howard is an outside chance to retain government, but only by 1 seat.

This could well be the most important election of our lifetimes. Vote carefully. A Green MP for Kooyong would provide three years of dynamic action in Canberra and be be front page news.

Monday, November 19, 2007

IPCC report indicates urgent action on climate change

With a 37 degree day in Melbourne in November and the severe ongoing drought, the scientific predictions of the latest United Nations IPCC report such as intensified water security problems in southern and eastern Australia are well validated.

Projected surface temperature changes for the late 21st century (2090-2099) Source: IPCC Report 4

Finance Minister Nick Minchin stated (ABC radio AM 19/11) that Kevin Rudd "has recently become an economic conservative after a decade of being an economic vandal". Unfortunately, the Howard government has only recently become a "climate change realist" after 11 years of climate change vandalism.

Nick Minchin stated in March this year that he was still skeptical about human activity causing climate change. Mark Vaile said in October (ABC radio PM 29/10) that "there is conflicting scientific evidence on it".

The Howard government has been economic vandals by shutting Australia out of the booming world market for genuine renewable energy technology. Instead they have diverted around $500m more of our money towards subsidising risky research and development for the coal industry, which should be funding these activities on its own.

The latest IPCC report clearly states that the world is now facing a looming "abrupt or irreversible climate catastrophe that will spare no country", but it also says that many available measures combined can avoid the worst catastrophes at an estimated cost of less than 0.12% of the global economy annually until 2050.

These measures include transitioning away from coal to renewable energy and gas-fired power stations, developing hybrid cars, using more efficient electrical appliances and protecting our forests to store more carbon.

The Howard government is still basically stuck in denial about climate change while Labor is committing to little immediate action on reducing our carbon emissions. It seems that our political system is failing to address the urgency of the situation.

Voting for the Greens' strong emission reduction and energy efficiency targets is a good option, but we also need to consider how we can get climate change out of the political arena so that it can properly addressed with a bipartisan approach properly informed by science.


Friday, November 16, 2007

You can help to turn Kooyong marginal

Senator Bob Brown and Peter Campbell, Greens candidate for Kooyong

Your help in Kooyong handing out "how to vote cards" for me on the 24 November would be greatly appreciated.

While Kooyong is a fairly safe Liberal-held seat, we can change the political landscape by making it marginal. There is even a very slim chance that the Labor candidate Dr Ken Harvey might tip out the Liberal incumbent (Petro Georgiou).

Kooyong has the 10th highest Green vote in the country, with your help we can move further up the ranks and force reaction from both the old parties.

Everyone in Kooyong can benefit from an increase in the Greens vote - if the margin the seat is held by continues to decline the seat will become "marginal" so it will benefit from the largesse that is showered on such seats during election campaigns. Voting 1 Green really does count.

You will notice that Kooyong has received no such attention this campaign. The Howard goverment takes voters in the seat for granted.

If you would like to help with the campaign, please contact me via Facebook or via this web form (which sends an email)

Regards, Peter

Friday, November 9, 2007

Greens win mock election at Canterbury Girls Secondary College

Canterbury Girls Secondary College holds a "mock election" event during the campaign of every federal election. This is an excellent opportunity for the student to hear from political candidates from a variety of parties, ask them questions, then vote on ballots similar to those used for the House of Representatives (lower house) in the upcoming federal election.

The ballots (votes) are then counted from the "voting booth" and preferences distributed. This provides hands on experience for how our prefential voting system works.

This year, I spoke as the Greens candidate for Kooyong. My "opponents" were the Petro Georgiou (MP for Kooyong), Senator Lyn Allison (Leader of the Democrats) and Barbara Norman (Labor candidate for Higgins).

A wide range of topics were covered and as usual many good questions were asked.

I was fortunate enough the win the majority of primary votes, and be declared the "winner" after preferences were distributed. Here is the primary vote percentages:

Lyn Allison 16.4

Petro Georgiou 11.3

Peter Campbell 46.8

Barbara Norman 22.4

Informal 3.1

Total 100

While this does not set a precedent for the outcome for Kooyong in the upcoming federal election, it was nonetheless pleasing to see and hear so many year 9 students with a keen interest in taking real action on climate change and many other Greens policies I spoke about.

Greens how to vote card for Kooyong

I have been getting some recent questions about Greens preferences. The first point I make is that we recommend to voters that they carefully choose where to place their second preference. Voting 1 Green sends a powerful message, and if I don't get elected then the vote flows at full value to the next preference chosen by the voter.

This is our "how to vote card" recommendation for Kooyong in this election, in the order of the ballot draw:

3. Harvey, Ken (Labor)
6. Laidler, John (Family First)
4. Georgiou, Petro (Liberal)
2. Collyer, David (Democrats)
5. Curtis, Pierre – (CEC)

1. Campbell, Peter - Greens

Remember, this is only our suggestion to you. We recommend that you choose carefully where your second and later preferences go after you vote 1 Green.

We have carefully examined the other party's policies. The Democrats have many policies that are very close to the Greens, such as emission targets for addressing climate change and mandating energy efficiency standards for example. Our how to vote card has the Democrats as number 2.

In Kooyong in the 2001 and 2004 elections we left it voters to choose whether their preference ended up with Labor or Liberal. We did this by issuing a "split ticket" how to vote card which had a "to Labor" option and a "to Liberal" option after voting 1 Green.

However, this election Labor has committed to 2050 emission reduction targets, to ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, and to a 20% renewable energy target by 2020. While they are still avoiding setting 2020 emission reduction targets, we think their policies on climate change are significantly better than the Coalition. Our how to vote card has Labor as number 3.

The Liberals are taking no real action on climate change this election and are supporting nuclear power and spending excessive amounts of taxpayers money on coal research and development, rather than investing in renewables. In addition, many in the Liberal Party such as Nick Minchin and Mark Vaile are still openly skeptical about whether humans are causing climate change. However, Petro Georgiou has taken a principled stand on the treatment of asylum seekers over the term of the Howard government. The Liberals are number 4.

Family First have very poor policies on climate change and are lobbying hard to reduce the retail price of fossil fuel which will increase its use therefore our carbon emissions. They also voted against the Greens Senate motion (along with both Labor and Liberal) to set a 2 degree temperature increase as the maximum tolerable rise and use this to guide energy policy and regulation. We have therefore put Family First at number 5.

The CEC come last at number 6. They are openly skeptical about whether climate change actually exists - which is an untenable position to take in this time of decreased rainfall, rising temperatures and bushfires. Science clearly demonstrates the humans are causing climate change by excessive greenhouse gas emissions.

Please contact me via mobile 0409 417 504 or email if you have any questions about this.

Street stalls around Kooyong

We have been out in the community visiting strip shopping centres such as Balwyn, Glenferrie Road and Camberwell. We hand out the Green Times newspaper which has some excellent articles on the problems with WorkChoices, setting climate targets, how to improve public education, forest conservation and West Papua.

Many people have told me they are greatly concerned about climate change, and that the old parties are not doing enough about it.

think it is becoming increasingly apparent that if you want real action on climate change, both in the House of Representatives and in the Senate, your best option is to vote 1 Green.

Jenny handing out the popular Green Times newspaper in Camberwell

Thursday, November 8, 2007

ABC TV Difference of Opinion on climate change

I was in the studio audience of the ABC Difference of Opinion TV program on climate change on Thursday 8 November.

I was lucky enough to be able to make the statement that Australia really should ratify the Kyoto protocol and participate in good faith with international efforts to tackle climate change, then ask Guy Pearce whether we should have shorter term emission reduction targets for 2020. Guy's emphatic answer was "yes, these are essential" You can read the transcript and watch the program on the Internet here

AUDIENCE MEMBER (me): On the issue of Australia's leadership position, I have a question for Guy. If Malcolm Turnbull can lead the world on light globes by saying, let's move to the compact fluorescent light globes and the rest of the world follows California and Europe, surely we can do the same thing, by developing our clean energy and getting it 25% renewable target. And short-term energy targets in place.

GUY PEARSE: I couldn't agree more. APPLAUSE I think what we've seen is a very deliberate attempt to steer clear of the fact that really counts, and that is, that Australia' emissions are on track to rise 70% by mid century. That's the trajectory we're currently on. But, instead we're snowed with a series of press releases about how we're banning the bulb, we need 800 steps of that scale in order to cut our emissions by 60% by mid century. We hear all about our $3.5 billion climate change budget. But, you know, on day one of this election campaign, John Howard gave away 10 times as much in one tax cut, the sixth tax cut in a row. APPLAUSE What really matters is whether we're pursuing those deep cuts in emissions. Right now we're headed in exactly the opposition direction.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

We need real action on climate change

It is disappointing that both Labor and Liberal party election policies on climate change announced so far do not provide any immediate action to reduce our carbon emissions.

The scientific evidence on climate change clearly indicates that immediate action is required, yet the Howard government has only committed to an emission trading scheme in 2012 after a decade of denial. No details of their proposed scheme are available yet. There is considerable risk that it may not result in any emission reductions.

The Howard Government is also promoting nuclear power as part of their solution, which will be too expensive, too late, produce toxic waste and not be renewable.

On the other hand, Labor has committed to 2050 emission reduction targets, but not too any shorter term 2020 targets that are essential for achieving the longer term ones. However, Labor’s 20% renewable energy target by 2020 is a step in the right direction.

Neither the Labor or Liberal party will commit to the essential policy goal of limiting global temperature increase to 2 degrees, yet science tells us even this temperature rise will have widespread deleterious effects on global ecosystems.

I encourage the many people in our community concerned about climate change to attend the Walk Against Warming rally on Sunday 7/11 to show their support for immediate bipartisan action to address climate change.

Setting energy efficiency targets and increasing our utilisation of renewable energy is achievable immediately, but we need the political will to do so.

Vote 1 Green for real action on climate change, rather than a load of hot air

This video succinctly explains why we really must take immediate action.

Peter Campbell
Greens candidate for Kooyong