Dr Best for climate change in Lindsay


Image: The Greens

Dr. Nick Best, The Greens candidate for Lindsay

Greens’ candidate for Lindsay, Dr Nick Best, will hold Liberal and Labor accountable for the environment and refugees if voted in on Saturday.

“I’ll represent our community’s values in parliament and hold the major parties to account,” Dr Best, a sessional academic in science, says in his candidacy statement.

He says that the Greens’ environmental sustainability plan is based on science, and is most needed with the rapid deterioration of the natural environment.

Dr Best teaches at Western Sydney University, the place where he graduated from with a degree in chemistry and later a doctorate in the philosophy of science. He wants to tackle climate change, including “banning of coal mining, more government support for renewable energy, reduction of carbon emissions (critical this decade), rapid phase out of fossil fuel emissions from vehicles, end subsidies to all mining and all actions to be based on the precautionary principle.”

He is also a member of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) and advocates for trade unions in maintaining social justice, by keeping a balance in the desire for profitability and ensuring that the social and ecological factors are not compromised.

He also supports banning all single-use plastic bags, more investment in recycling and waste management, and more educational campaigns about sustainability in schools.

The main focus of his election agendas is sustainable environmental policies, and improving the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees.

Dr Best is critical of the current treatment of refugees, especially those in offshore detention, as well as the prolonged processing and lack of integration support.

He calls for the abolishing offshore detention centres and wants Australia to increase its humanitarian intake from 5000 to 50,000 per year.

“I am ashamed of the way we treat so many other asylum seekers, imprisoning them offshore, without charge, to the detriment of their mental and physical health,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

“The Greens are the only party to have always stood against indefinite offshore detention. Our plan will create a system that fairly and quickly helps people find safety, rebuild their lives with dignity and doesn’t punish them for seeking our help. The sooner we can get refugees integrated into the community the better,” he says.

The electorate of Lindsay is also referred to as ‘bellwether’, which means that the balance of votes among the candidates is often very close. There are many swinging voters in Lindsay, which makes it difficult to predict the outcome of the elections.

In the 2016 federal election, the Greens candidate in Lindsay, Kingsley Liu, received three per cent of the votes with a swing of 0.5 increase in votes from the 2010 election.