Saturday, 10 March 2012

Qld Greens to unseat Andrew Fraser Qld Treasurer ?

Greens throw Adam Stone at ALP
The Greens have put their faith in Adam Stone not only to become the party's first elected Queensland MP, but also to topple a future Labor leader and influence the policies of an incoming Liberal National Party government.

At the party's campaign launch in Brisbane yesterday, Mr Stone -- who is running in Mount Coot-tha against the incumbent, Treasurer Andrew Fraser, and the LNP's Saxon Rice -- was promoted as the lead candidate for the party that does not have a state leader.

Asked whether the lack of a leader had hamstrung the Greens in the presidential-style campaign, Mr Stone said he believed the party had strength in its diverse and grassroots representation. "There's a variety of talent and a variety of views and a variety of sets of world views available to voters," Mr Stone said.

Federal Greens leader Bob Brown said if Mr Stone -- who has a background in public policy and is articulate and confident on the hustings -- were allowed to take the stage with LNP leader Campbell Newman and Premier Anna Bligh, he would steal votes from the major parties.

An interesting sub-theme was the need for a party such as the Greens to keep an incoming LNP government accountable. Queensland elected its first Greens senator, Larissa Waters, at the 2010 federal election and she has been active in the state campaign. The only Greens MP to have sat in the Queensland parliament was Ronan Lee, but that was the result of his defection from Labor. He did not win re-election in his seat of Indooroopilly.

Mr Stone said Queensland remained the most difficult state for the party to put up candidates because it did not have an upper house of parliament.

In Mount Coot-tha, at the last state election, in 2009, nearly one in four votes went to the Greens, whose preferences ultimately helped to elect Mr Fraser.

The launch encouraged voters to put the Greens first on ballot papers, in Queensland's optional preferential system, and decide whether to support a major party second. Mr Stone would not be drawn on whether his how-to-vote cards would recommend preferences be directed to Labor.

"We've made no decision about that yet," Mr Stone said, adding, however, that the Greens had not previously recommended a preference flow in Mount Coot-tha.

Asked if he was anxious about potentially toppling a future Labor leader, Mr Stone said: "I think I could learn to live with it."

Senator Brown said the Greens were destined to become the "most powerful influence" on the economy, environment and society.

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