Adam Bandt - the king maker

Greens leader Adam Bandt is hoping that the predictions of a “hung” parliament come true on May 21. That, if all other things fall into place for him, will deliver the balance of power hold reins to him.

Among the “other things” that need to fall in place for him include the Australian youth choosing the Greens over other minor parties and only a few of the so-called trendy “teal independents” succeed.

The most influential group in some ways outside the traditional political system – Climate 200 convened by Simon Holmes à Court an Australian businessman and political activist and son of Australia’s first billionaire Robert Holmes à Court. Climate 200 is backing 22 Candidates in this election and the most likely to be successful is Dr Monique Ryan in Kooyong, a seat Adam Bandt had factored in on potentially winning in 2022.

Although he publicly supports the group for putting the climate as an issue “up there”, higher than any other issues, but surely his party’s potential gains in this election may be somewhat be traded off with those of backed by Climate 200. But Adam is not too fussed, or so he says.

“The teal independents aren’t running in every seat and the Greens are running in every state and there are not many seats around the country where we’re really in competition. And so we welcome the entrance of these new independents into the race. I think it’s good. It helps elevate climate as an issue at the election”, Adam Bandt told Dinesh Malhotra of Bharat Times in an interview.

Climate is an issue much more popular among young Australians. The Greens are reportedly targeting the young, particularly nearly 1 million first-time voters in this election. There are 921,500 voters aged 18 to 21 are enrolled for the May 21 poll, along with more than 3 million voters under 30.

That should explain the speech writers for Adam Bandt including the phrase “Youth Uprising” and asking him to make the call for it.

In a carefully curated list of seats the Greens are targeting this election, Adma and his team has chosen the following 10 seats, 5 each held by Liberals and Labor:

Liberal seats targeted:
Higgins (VIC), Kooyong (VIC), Ryan (QLD), Brisbane (QLD) and Griffith (QLD).

Labor seats targeted:
Cooper (VIC), Wills (VIC), Macnamara (VIC), Canberra (ACT) and Richmond (NSW).

In addition, the Greens hope to pick up one Senate seat in Queensland, reducing One Nation’s number by 1.

If the latest polls are true on May 21, the Greens do not seem to be gaining many extra lower house seats in this election. Adam Bandt is poised to hold on to his seat of Melbourne and that is about it.

But they say, the only poll that matters is the election day poll and Adam Bandt thus is not unnerved. He is optimistic to be holding the balance of power post May 21 and his agenda set for it.

Listing the issues this time around, Adam said:

“I think integrity is a lot more on the agenda than it was we had a government that promised a federal corruption watchdog and refused to do it. And I think people are rightly angry about that, and what their politicians to act with integrity. Getting the federal corruption watchdog is critical.

“I think we’re seeing a renewed focus on climate change this election, we’ve had three years in this country of floods and droughts and bushfires and we are seeing Australian population demanding action on climate. The cost of living with the wages going backwards.

And if you’re not on a wage, a lot of income support is below the poverty line and costs of things to keep going up. So we’re seeing a lot of focus on that. And we’re pushing to tackle that through a number of ways, including housing, affordability, and getting dental health into Medicare. But I think you’re seeing a renewed focus on that, because a lot of people are feeling under a lot of pressure…”. 

For those who have had to see a dentist or a specialist psychiatrist, would only know how expensive that visit is. The idea of bringing Dental care and Mental Health under Medicare with no out-of-pocket expenses, carries a huge appeal.

And Adam says the Greens have identified a number of unfair and wasteful government schemes refunding huge amounts of money to the very very wealthy big corporations as part of the plan to save $10 billion to pay for it without increasing the Medicare Levy.

I would rather that people could get their teeth fixed, then we pay for Clive Palmer to get cheap petrol”, Adam Bandt in part told Dinesh Malhotra explaining how the Greens would advocate funding for Dental and Mental Health Care for all Australians.

If Clime Palmer gets a say in the new parliament, it will be interesting to watch how the Greens advocate for their election items post May 21.

Also read: Rape allegations against Christian Porter is a chapter closed

Integrity, transparency and treatment of women in politics has been hogging the headlines all over Australia particularly with Brittany Higgins rape allegations and bullying and abuse allegations against Alan Tudge on the Liberal side and the late Senator Kimberley Kitching’s bullying allegations against the “Mean Girls” on the Labor side.

When Dinesh Malhotra raised the issue of widely reported payout to Rachelle Miller, accuser of Alan Tudge who stands cleared after not one but two enquiries, an interesting exchange took place:

If the inquiries, the two inquiries, I think were held and both found, the ministerial code of conduct was not breached. Then why is the payment being made? On what basis?

“Yeah, this is a very good question. And this goes to my point about the lack of transparency from this government, it is very difficult to get a straight answer out of this government, especially when it comes to the use of public money, and also its treatment of women. And here the two intersecting and, again, I mean, this is something the people have the right to know” Adam said.

You’re being one of the top four political leaders of this country after Morrison, Anthony Albanese, Barnaby Joyce. Will you call upon the Liberals to reimburse the taxpayer? like the Victorian Labour Party returned $380,000 in the Red Shirts affair?

“Well, I think on that specific question we need a lot more clarity about the purpose of the money that is being spent and once we know what it has been spent for and why then would be in a position to make a call like that. But taking a step back from all of this, not talking about that incident specifically, but taking a step back – we desperately need a federal anti-corruption commission in this country”, Adam Bandt said in the interview.

Adam Bandt is set to be returned on May 21. You can listen to the interview here.

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