By Drew Hutton, Co-founder of the Queensland and Australian Greens
The philosophy of The Greens upholds a vision of reality based on love of life, respect for nature, its life forms and natural processes, and awareness of the interdependent nature of the world.
All things are connected to the web of life. We recognise that we are part of nature - not above it - and our lifestyles and the continuation of life itself depends on our wise interaction with the biosphere. Our political and economic decisions must be made with this mind.
The policies of the Greens are guided by a long term view of the global future and are founded on the principles as expressed in our Charter.
Brief History of the Greens in Australia
Australia's history of green politics precedes the emergence of the word "green" to describe a politics based on participatory democracy, nonviolence, social justice and environmental sustainability.
Australia can claim in the guise of the United Tasmania Group (UTG), the world's first green political party. The UTG stood in the 1972 Tasmanian state election in a effort to present a comprehensive environmental alternative to the destructive policies of major parties. A direct line of descent can be drawn from the UTG via the Tasmanian Green Independents to the Tasmanian wing of the Australian Greens today.
In 1984, inspired by the German Greens, Green parties were founded in Sydney and in Brisbane. The Sydney Greens registered the name "The Greens" as a political party to stand in the 1984 federal election.
The Greens was launched as a national confederation of Green parties on August 30 1992.
Throughout the 1980s, various regional Green parties were founded. Australia now has some of the world's most influential and innovative Green parties.
The Queensland Greens
The Queensland Greens were founded in November 1991. Locally-based and independent of corporate interests, we are affiliated with the Australian Greens and part of a worldwide network of Greens parties.
Our four guiding principles are:
- social justice
- grass-roots democracy
- ecological sustainability
We believe these qualities are essential for human survival and well-being.
Impact of the Queensland Greens on State politics
In our short history, the Queensland Greens have had a significant impact on politics in this State.
Pollution and waste
- The Greens have run many campaigns alerting people
to the dangers of hazardous waste dumping.
- Branches in Cairns, Townsville, the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane have uncovered serious cases of water pollution caused by illegal dumping and effluent discharges from industry and sewage treatment plants.
- Queensland Greens spokesperson Drew Hutton originally took evidence about toxic dumping to the CJC and was a key participant in the public inquiry that followed. The flow-on from this inquiry and the pressure the Greens put on the State Government resulted in a much more effective system of waste management and pollution control.
- Pressure from the Greens in the lead-up to local authority elections persuaded the Brisbane City Council to agree to the closing down of the controversial Willawong liquid waste treatment facility. The Greens were represented on a four-person committee that recommended alternative technologies and locations for treating south east Queensland's hazardous liquid waste.
- The Greens have also been in the forefront of campaigns
to reduce air pollution in the Brisbane region through better traffic
management and provision of public transport.
- We have also been instrumental in the campaign for better disposal of bio-medical waste.
- Over-exploitation of our precious wilderness areas such
as the Great Barrier Reef has also been a focus since 1992.
- Queensland Greens played a major role in the successful decade long campaign for land clearing reform.
- Queensland Greens play a major role in campaigning for the protection of numerous endangered ecosystems across the State such as wetlands and rivers.
Economy and innovation
- The Greens are currently involved in a 'greening of
industry' campaign, liaising with industry and government to achieve
cleaner production, more effective environmental management and the
provision of more skilled jobs.
- We have given support to the campaign to stop the State
Government closing down community based facilities for alcohol and drug
rehabilitation such as Bialla and lobbied for the provision of new facilities.
- Converting Queensland's historically significant Treasury Building into a casino was another State Government plan that was vigorously opposed by the Greens.
Key issues for the Greens
- sustainable resource management
- regenerative forestry
- ecological agriculture
- waste avoidance
- renewable energy
- non nuclear power
- human scale technologies
- social equity
- community economics
- international co-operation
Why vote for the Greens?
A vote for the Green Party is a strong statement. It tells the mainstream parties that Green concerns are YOUR concerns.
At election time the Green Party:
- raises issues of policy alternatives
- introduces the politics of ecology
- makes other politicians answer directly on issues of peace, environment and social responsibility
- enables voters to see that the issues they care about are election issues
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We invite you to join us in developing the politics of a healthy future - to become part of the Greens' effort to work for a society that is just, democratic and environmentally sustainable.
Click here to donate securely online to the Queensland Greens