Greens MP and lead Federal Candidate Lee Rhiannon today announced Lake Macquarie Greens councillor and teacher Phillipa Parsons as the Greens federal candidate for Shortland. Councillor Parsons listed climate change, sustainable jobs for the Hunter and clean government as key issues for her campaign.“The failure to deal with climate change, the ‘greatest moral challenge of our time’, and the accompanying spin from the major parties is making people cynical about politics,” Ms Parsons said. “The Greens advocate real government action to advance a transition from dependency on coal-fired power to an economy based around clean renewable energy.

“We have real and workable solutions to combat climate change, but the major parties have failed to meet the community’s expectation for leadership on this important issue.

“The doomed Emissions Trading System was negotiated with the Coalition, rather than the Greens.  It is time the Federal government seriously considered the Green’s proposal for an interim carbon tax, as recommended by the Garnaut review, while a long term solution is negotiated.

“The Greens believe an interim carbon tax is the most fair, equitable and easily achieved solution. An interim two year levy on polluters will get Australia moving towards climate action.

“Locally, I’ll be continuing to push for politicians’ accountability to the community and for implementation of Federal policy initiatives for a just and sustainable transition.

“Applied to our region, this means moving our local and regional economies away from coal dependency and toward new green collar jobs.

“The national skills shortage is an opportunity to create new apprenticeships in green collar industries and to foster new relationships with entrepreneurial industries pushing renewable energy technologies.

“Since European settlement this electorate has been built on industry. We need to move into new sustainable areas of industry as the international demand for coal falls. It’s critical we start planning for our children’s and grandchildren’s future,” Ms Parsons said.

Greens MP and lead Senate candidate Lee Rhiannon said:

“I have worked and campaigned with Phillipa in the past and have been impressed with her energy and commitment to her local community.

“The Federal government has short-changed the Hunter by refusing to make the big policy pushes towards a sustainable economy, away from coal mining with its destructive impacts on the local environment and communities,” Ms Rhiannon said.

For more information:

Phillipa Parsons 0414 427 135

Lee Rhiannon 0427 861 568

Candidate Bio:

Phillipa Parsons is married with three children and has lived in Charlestown and Belmont for 20 years. She is currently a Greens councillor on Lake Macquarie City Council.  Phillipa is a secondary public school history teacher within the Shortland electorate.  She has previously worked as a NSW police officer and insurance investigator.   In addition to her teaching qualifications she has qualifications and experience in management. Phillipa is active in Landcare and developing sustainable neighbourhoods.As a councillor she has been a strong advocate for empowering the community and regularly voices concerns surrounding issues such as climate change, mining and human rights.  Phillipa is passionate for governments to exercise leadership in the ‘big’ issues listen to the people and empower communities to develop sustainable communities.  The population of Shortland, with a median income lower than the Australian average, needs federal government investment in improving infrastructure for public transport and education.  There has never been a more important time for Shortland to vote Green. Only the Greens have the courage and integrity to stand by their policies to deal with the challenges we face.

My priorities will be to establish:

·        a public education system that is built around more teachers and smaller class sizes;

·        increased federal funding to universities and TAFE to enable access to more of our population, not just those who can afford it;

·        a just and sustainable transition of the region’s economy from being coal based to a clean; renewable energy economy and developing new green-collar industries and jobs;

·        the rejection of the cynical politics of fear and demonising of asylum seekers.

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