The ACT Greens welcome today’s announcement by the Australian Electoral Commission that the ACT will gain a third seat in the federal House of Representatives.
“The people of Canberra deserve to have their voice heard in the Federal Parliament. Increased representation via a third lower house seat in the ACT is more representative and more democratic, and will give the voters of Canberra a real opportunity to elect a much needed alternative to the two old parties,” said ACT Greens Convenor Michael Mazengarb
“There is no doubt that the Federal Liberal and Labor parties have grown complacent with two ‘safe’ Labor seats in the Federal lower house.
“Successive Federal Liberal and Labor Government have gutted our public service, and the Coalition continues to display contempt for Canberrans as Ministers attempt to transplant ACT residents working in federal agencies, such as the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, into their own electorates”.
Each of the current federal seats in the ACT have remained safe Labor seats for over two decades and as a result, Canberra residents receive little attention when it comes to election commitments from either the Labor or Liberal parties.
“The last time the ACT had three federal seats in 1998, with the electorate of Namadgi, it was in fact the last time the ACT had what could be described as a marginal seat.” Mr Mazengarb said.
“The ACT Greens see a third House of Representatives seat in the ACT, particularly one based around central Canberra where Greens support is very high, as a potentially winnable seat for the Greens.
“The ACT Greens would seek to replicate the success of Greens campaigns in other states, such as in the seat of Melbourne, to offer a genuinely progressive choice for Canberra voters.
“Canberra is a progressive city, and one that is calling out for genuine alternative voice in the Federal Parliament. The ACT Greens will be campaigning to win the seat, just as we have done at past ACT Legislative Assembly and Federal Senate contests.
“It is clear that the two major parties tend to favour marginal seats when it comes to election time, and with the ACT gaining a new marginal electorate, the Canberra community will stand to benefit as the parties would have to genuinely compete for the support of voters.”
Michael Mazengarb 0401 618 115 firstname.lastname@example.org