Small, but vital steps for Greens

Greens candidates for McMillan and Gippsland say the party is being considered a viable local alternative to the status quo, following swings towards them in the federal election.

McMillan candidate Donna Lancaster drew a 1.88 per cent swing, including growth in Moe and Newborough booths.

“I was campaigning from September, so that made a huge difference because I was able to talk to more people,” Ms Lancaster said.

“I have valued the opportunity to run for McMillan and to be a voice for so many.”

The Inverloch resident said she now planned to help with the new Bass Coast Greens branch.

“We started it last year and now look forward to building it up and giving people a chance to be involved with the Greens at a local level.”

Gippsland candidate Ian Onley said he was pleased with the result, but the party had a “long way to go” to make the community aware of its policies.

Mr Onley drew a 1.79 per cent swing in the long-conservative-held Gippsland seat.

“It’s difficult when we don’t have a lot of money in the party, because we don’t accept donations from corporations,” Mr Onley said.

“We rely on having face-to-face conversations with people.

“It’s quite an achievement to get people to take The Greens seriously. We’ve got a lot of work to do, particularly with farmers. We need farmers to understand what The Greens offer.”

Mr Onley said he would consider standing for election again and he would like to be part of a “solution for the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland”.

“We do have some fairly considerable challenges ahead of us,” he said.

“There are enormous opportunities and for the Latrobe Valley economy to shift.”