With a passion for the environment and a history in computer science, it is fair to say that Boothby Animal Justice Party Candidate Geoff Russell is not your typical political candidate.
However, in a marginal seat that is open to change, Russell’s unique approach may be what it takes to attract undecided voters.
In the lead up to Saturday’s election, Russell has one promise for the people of Boothby – that he will fight to ensure all members of the community are given respect, kindness, and have a sustainable future.
Russell has made clear that he supports the party’s long term vision for a “kinder Australia” and upholds their core values of kindness, equality, rationality, and non-violence.
He has stated that he won’t be campaigning on local issues but rather ones that impact Australia and the planet as a whole.
His reasoning behind this is that, in his opinion, Boothby is a well off and stable electorate, and so voters should not be voting out of self-interest but rather for the good of others and a better future for all.
In light of this, he is campaigning on issues vital to the party’s overall mission, most prominently addressing Climate Change, the threat to Australia’s biodiversity, and the welfare of all animals, especially those in the entertainment and farming industries.
However, it remains to be seen how well this more generalist policy approach will fair in comparison to the local focus favoured by other Boothby candidates.
He is a proud supporter of renewable energy production but has made clear his concerns regarding current approaches to this issue. Most notably he has outlined his disquiet regarding the way Cobalt, a key component of Lithium-ion batteries, is sourced and argues that alternative sources of renewable energy need to be found.
One alternative that he advocates for is nuclear energy. He believes that Australians are misinformed about nuclear energy and that this ignorance is stopping policymakers from delivering an effective response to Climate Change.
Russell’s scientific focus and passion for issues regarding our planet and the animals within it is easily understood given his history.
He began his career within the computing industry, focusing on public transport scheduling and developed software used for the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
During his computing career, Russell volunteered with several animal protection groups. He has served as an animal welfare representative on two Animal Experimentation Ethics Committees and has volunteered with the RSPCA where he developed valuable software for them.
Russell also has a long-standing passion for science and has undertaken extensive research in the field. He has written and published two books, Greenjacked! The dealing of environmental action on climate change which was endorsed by Nobel Prize Winner Peter Doherty, and CSIRO Perdify, a critique of the CSIRO’s Total Wellbeing diet.
He will no doubt be hoping that his expertise and background are enough to convince voters to look beyond their immediate concerns, and to see the bigger picture.