Getting Ready For The Australian Federal Election!

Apr 8, 2022

Any minute we’ll have a date for the Australian federal election.

Which means any minute we’ll know the exact day when we can take strong and meaningful action on the climate emergency.

Every election is so important, but when it comes to the climate emergency and actually acting in time to prevent runaway climate chaos, this election really, really matters. This piece is for Australian folks wondering how to make their vote as impactful as possible.

  • Quick note to all the folks who are about to come at me and say “stick to permaculture and leave politics out of it”. Thanks so much for taking the time to reach out :-)…..  The only reason I got into permaculture is because it’s about so much more than gardening. It’s based on three ethics – earth care, people care and fair share and a dozen principles that can be applied to everything from landscape management, economics, education, health and wellbeing, tools and technology, governance and the built environment. It’s a holistic design framework used to re-design a better world, not just your garden. I use it as a framework for proactive, progressive activism and for gardening/farming. So you’ll often hear me talk politics, because it’s very much part of permaculture.

Anyway – back to politics.

Here are my top 4 points to make this election really count for people and planet.

  1. Vote. Some people choose not to vote or to do a “dummy vote” because they think it doesn’t matter. But for goddess sake, Vote. And check to make sure you’re enrolled to vote. We all know it’s not perfect, but we live in a relatively functional democracy, which we can shape to be what we want.
  2. Check who your current member is and how they have been voting. Get to know who your current local member is and their track record on what they vote for. You can do this over at www.theyvoteforyou.org.au. Don’t like what you see when it comes to their stance on effective climate action? Vote. Them. Out. There’s no wriggle room here, doesn’t matter if you think they might be ok’ish cause they fund your local footy club. Local footy clubs mean sh#t when climate chaos is running rife and flooding/burning (take your pick) said footy field/club down.
  3. Remember your options. If you haven’t already, you can drop the old story that you have to choose between only the Liberal or Labor party. We’re well beyond that now. These two parties have slowly but surely “blended” far too much for my liking. And while Labor is definitely better than the Liberal party, when it comes to effective climate action they’re still far from where we need to be,  taking big money from fossil fuel companies and approving new coal mines on the reg. We cannot rely on either of them to lead us to climate justice and safety in the swift timeframe that is urgently required. Want to learn more about how insanely uncool the Australian political donation system is? Watch The Big Deal.

We have other options and we need to vote for them. 

Two clear alternatives:

  • The Greens are an obvious and well-established choice. Despite the efforts of mainstream media and the Liberal and Labor governments, they’re still here and they’re still offering some of the best leadership towards a climate just and safe world. And where they have had power (like in the ACT) they’ve done some darn good work. You can learn about their election policies here. 
  • The community minded independents. For the first time ever in Australian politics we have a coordinated movement of progressive Independents standing across the country with a shared focus on climate action, gender equality and corruption (as in stopping it). You can learn about them all over at ittakes3.com.au.

It Takes Three is a campaign being run to highlight that if we manage to vote just three of them into power (based on our current government) at this upcoming election then they’re likely to hold the balance of power and start to get some real changes made. Don’t know about you, but I reckon we should vote all of them in (plus current Independent Andrew Wilkie). 

Despite what Sky After Dark* would have you believe, these independents are NOT part of a pseudo party and answer to no one but the community. That they work together to support each other shows that these are candidates willing to collaborate for the public good. This is enormously exciting and shows a new type of politics emerging in Australia which is coming from the people, for the people. I am deeply excited and heartened by this. The origins of this new type of politics has its roots in Indi and Warringah and has community and integrity as its backbone. I really encourage you to read Australia reMADE’s two blogs on the origins here and here to deepen your understanding.

These people are our people. Intelligent, passionate, brave people who are running for politics for us, for our ecosystems, for our kid’s kid’s kid’s futures, for a fair and just society and definitely not for personal power trips.Some of the progressive Independents for us to vote for – Image from It Takes Three

4. Preferences count.

And if you can’t bring yourself to vote for a Green or an Independent, vote below the line and fill in all your preferences and place an Independent or a Greens person second and the Liberals and Nationals last. Preferences are powerful. Here’s an overview on how to vote with preferences from the last Federal election. 

Getting pragmatic.

The pragmatist in me needs to acknowledge that it’s unlikely we’ll get a Green/Independent government (my personal dream). I get it – Australia isn’t “there” yet. But you know what is incredibly possible – voting in a *minority* Labor government with progressive Independents/The Greens holding the balance of power. From where I sit, THIS is very possible and this is where we will see quicker, genuine change towards climate justice and safety. But just to be clear, I still advocate for voting for one of these progressive Independents or a member of The Greens as your number one choice.

The pragmatist in me also needs to say that this election won’t fix everything – even if we get the most progressive government in history. Climate action needs to come from top down, bottom up and sideways (basically every direction). Think grassroots community initiatives, politics, industry, the arts and media to name just a few things. This is also multi-generational work, we’re not going to solve everything in our short lifetimes –  but we can have a bloody good crack at it, making sure the next crew we hand the baton onto are in a better position than we are…

Folks, there has never been a better time to embrace the power of the collective and to remind politicians that they’re only there because we put them there.

More things

*I can’t bring myself to link to the article that Sky News did about The Independents on their program Sky After Dark with Peta Credlin. It’s complete misinformation and dangerous.

Big thanks to Dr Millie Rooney for helping me with this blog – you can follow her work here. 

your thoughts:

30 Comments

  1. Anne Wrigglesworth

    Thank you so much for your activism and information. Your passion for a clean, green, humane world is inspirational. You give this old grandma hope for the future of our beautiful children… 💕💚🌏💙🌳🍃

    Reply
    • Gary Schliemann

      Thanks Anne Wrigglesworth! Love your response, and your inspiring name. You encourage me to “get a wriggle on!”.

      Reply
  2. Cath

    Thank you for this info. Xx
    Peace ✌

    Reply
    • Hannah Moloney

      Pleasure, hope it helps people make informed choices 🙂

      Reply
  3. Kirsten bacon

    Brilliant . I am constantly told i should not comment about politics because im a teacher and i work for the public service. I say bullshit. I AM a teacher and my students deserve to know how to live and work sustainably and understand about climate change. I will not stop encouraging or supporting young people to understand and act for their future. Good on you Hannah. An excellent read!

    Reply
  4. Kylie Pan

    Thank you for everything you do and for all of these wonderful links.

    Reply
  5. Melissa

    Thank you Hannah. I’ll be spreading the word. Yes we have Dr Monique Ryan and boy is she everywhere including her volunteers. Voting independents.

    Reply
  6. Pat

    Passionate & informative! 👍

    Reply
  7. Kathryn Dadd

    Sharing this information widely! Thank you

    Reply
  8. Robyn Everist

    Nice job, good work – thanks for caring and for taking the time to put this useful article together.

    Reply
  9. Meri

    Thanks Hannah! This is very helpful! ✨👍🏼💚

    Reply
  10. Sylvia

    Thanks Hannah – this is useful for someone like me who wants to make my vote count on some of these issues but sometimes am not sure who is standing for what!

    Sylvia

    Reply
  11. Talia

    Thank you, Hannah. Such important information!

    Reply
  12. Nicole

    Such a practical run-down, thank you!

    Reply
  13. Maggie

    This has been very helpful and deepened my understanding of voting and how to make my own vote count!! Thank you 😊

    Reply
  14. Janine

    Thank you for that info Hannah, it’s a bit concerning as to our we’ll fair come election time. Just rather not have china knocking on our doors !!

    Reply
  15. Matt

    You’re preaching to the converted here but I’m pleased that you are! 😊

    Another independent source for updated info that peeps may find useful is The Conversation via https://theconversation.com/au

    Reply
  16. Suzie

    Thanks Hannah heres to change for the earths sake. I’m still shocked at how little some of our guests at Bombah Point Eco Cottages know about lifestyle changes to save our children’s children’s future life on earth!

    Reply
  17. Kirti

    Thank you so much Hannah for all of this. The It Takes 3 link is really helpful. I have everything crossed for a smooth departure away from two party system and towards caretakers who deeply and truly invest in our planet/ kids’ future.

    Also, I just bought your book and the first few pages moved me to tears. And now I really really want goats….

    Thanks lovely

    Reply
    • Hannah Moloney

      Happy to help Kirti! And so pleased my book’s resonating with you – goats and all :-).

      Reply
  18. Sarah Rowley

    So many aha moments….gone from overwhelm to action, thanks Hannah!

    Reply
  19. Kushla Gale

    I’d say what is good about the Independents is that that aren’t progressive – they represent their communities, and if their communities have conservative values, they’ll represent those. But they all seem to be climate smart. As one of my conservative Councillors said, “I don’t see climate action as controversial”, and that’s true for most (74%) of LNP voters – they want strong action on climate, – it’s just that the coalition is hell bent on not being climate smart – so who can conservatives who want climate action vote for? Centrist and conservative Independents! I think it is not wise to paint Independents as progressive – I don’t know of any like that. They are more like conservatives who have been left behind in the centre as the coalition has moved right

    Reply
  20. Lauren

    Heya Hannah 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing this important information. I am struggling to find some detailed information on certain candidates for the Huon Division. I have searched high and low. Any further links/info would be much appreciated 😀

    Thanks so much,
    Lauren

    Reply
  21. Linda Scott

    Thanks Hannah, a really useful article for someone new to Tasmania. As a grandmother, it’s great to see the passion you have for permaculture and all it entails, especially being brave enough to speak out on politics.

    Reply
  22. Penny Boyle

    Many thanks for such an informative article. The links have helped me separate the sheep from the goats.

    Reply
  23. Amy Thwaites

    Love your work & principles Hannah ❤️ I do have some genuine questions though and am just asking if you could point me in the direction of factual information as I sometimes get a little lost in the whole climate debate.

    1. How is steel produced now & how will it be produced if there is no coal production?

    2. If solar panels are largely made of steel what is the alternative?

    3. The lifespan of solar panels is short, what happens to them when unable to be used anymore? Can they be repurposed, recycled?

    4. Car batteries also have a short lifespan, where do they go when no longer used?

    5. & if Australia isn’t producing any coal anymore, won’t some other country?

    I actually would love answers to these questions if you know where I could find them ❤️

    Reply
  24. Karin

    Well spoken Hannah!
    Makes so much sense – change is inevitable election by election around the world. Thankyou for highlighting the solutions in easy to understand language

    Reply
  25. Mia

    Very help info. Thank you!
    I’ve shared this post.

    Reply
  26. my blog

    Hi, I would liike to subscribe for this blog to get most up-to-date updates, so where can i do it please help.

    Reply

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