ACT Greens pledge anti-corruption body, dramatic reduction in poker machines
Advertisement

ACT Greens pledge anti-corruption body, dramatic reduction in poker machines

The Greens would use a balance-of-power status to push for an ACT anti-corruption commission, reduce pokie numbers by 30 per cent and improve housing affordability.

The announcements were made at the Greens' election campaign launch on Sunday, when the party introduced its 15 candidates, 11 weeks out from the poll.

The ACT Greens campaign launch.
From left, candidate for Brindabella Michael Mazengarb, candidate for Murrumbidgee Caroline Le Couteur, Member for Kurrajong Shane Rattenbury,  candidate for Ginninderra Indra Esguerra, and candidate for Yerrabi Veronica Wensing.

The ACT Greens campaign launch. From left, candidate for Brindabella Michael Mazengarb, candidate for Murrumbidgee Caroline Le Couteur, Member for Kurrajong Shane Rattenbury, candidate for Ginninderra Indra Esguerra, and candidate for Yerrabi Veronica Wensing.Credit:Jamila Toderas

Greens leader Shane Rattenbury confirmed the glaring conflicts in key policy areas, particularly light rail, meant there was almost no chance the party would consider forming government with the Liberals.

But that left the Greens with another challenge: differentiating themselves from Labor after eight years of sharing power in the ACT Legislative Assembly.

Advertisement

Mr Rattenbury emphasised the parties' differences in his speech to the Greens faithful in Civic on Sunday, and said he was well aware of the ill-will toward Labor in the electorate.

"We do have our differences," Mr Rattenbury said, after his speech.

"I think that creative tension between the two parties, those differences of approach, differences of ideas, has made for a better government," he said.

"We have pushed each other at times, and that has meant that we're not just getting one party's view, it's getting two parties' views."

The two election pledges on Sunday – the creation of an ACT integrity commission and a 30 per cent reduction in pokie numbers – further differentiated the Greens from Labor.

Mr Rattenbury said the creation of an ACT integrity commission, similar to anti-corruption bodies that exist in every state in the country, would ensure transparency and ensure trust was restored in government.

"People do have concerns in the community, you do hear rumours around town," he said.

"We want a proper place for that to be investigated, not for the rumours to dominate. It does no one any favours when there's a lack of confidence based on rumour or innuendo."

"Either it will be proven not to be the case, or wrongdoing will be rooted out."

The Greens would also push to reduce the number of pokies by 30 per cent, an announcement met with loud applause from the Greens members on Sunday.

Mr Rattenbury said reducing poker machine availability had been proven to reduce community harm.

He also committed to introducing minimum standards for renters, and a "Nightingale Housing Model", which capped returns to investors, involved buyers in decision-making, and gave architects the lead, rather than developers.

Government land would also be dedicated to creating affordable housing, Mr Rattenbury said.

The lead candidates include Indra Esguerra in Ginninderra, a scientist and current chief of staff to Mr Rattenbury; Caroline Le Couteur in Murrumbidgee, an economist and former ACT politician; and Veronica Wensing in Yerrabi, a former Canberra Rape Crisis Centre manager who has held senior advisory roles in the territory government.

The Greens face an uphill battle in Brindabella, where lead candidate Michael Mazengarb will need to achieve a significant swing in what is traditionally a Liberal stronghold. That is likely to be made more difficult in a context of perceived anti-light rail sentiment.

Christopher Knaus is a reporter for The Canberra Times.

Most Viewed in National

Loading
Advertisement