Putting the Green in Greenway


Photo: Supplied

Damien Atkins, The Greens candidate running for seat of Greenway in Sydney’s west.

The Greens candidate for the electorate of Greenway, Damien Atkins, has a straightforward response to why people are looking outside the big two parties this election.

“People are getting sick of the same same between Labor and Liberals,” he says.

Greenway is a seat in western Sydney, marginally held by Labor since 2010. The current sitting member is Labor MP Michelle Rowland.

This is the second time Atkins has run in Greenway having fought for the federal seat in 2019 where he received 5.5% of the vote. He is hoping dissatisfaction with the major parties will lead to a larger share this election.

“Katherine Murphy from The Guardian summed it up perfectly on one of her podcast episodes where she called the Labor strategy in parliament the “Bitch and Fold method” where Labor complains about an issue but in the end just votes with the government to pass bad legislation,” says Atkins. “The Labor Party is not an alternative party anymore. That is why people are looking elsewhere to express their political opinions.”

Atkins has lived and raised his family in western Sydney for over 5 years and says he wants to see local business lead Australia in “a Green manufacturing revolution.”

Where the major parties in his area seem to be relying on built in support, Atkins has spent his time since the election was called, knocking on doors and speaking to voters. He has found the message the Greens are presenting is resonating with the people in his electorate.

“The cost of living is affecting everyone across the electorate. From rising childcare costs and power/energy bills, workers and families are struggling to make ends meet with stagnating wages and higher inflation,” he says.

Atkins plans to help with these higher costs by proposing a free childcare plan that would put money back into pockets of thousands of families across the Blacktown area, who are currently spending a large amount on these services.

Another area of concern for Atkins is climate change which he believes is a significant issue in his electorate.

“As the climate changes, it is putting pressures on households to try and stay cool and habitable in the summertime. Poor insulation in rental properties, black roofing and poor development is making our area too hot to live,” Atkins says. “The Greens want real action on climate change which is seriously affecting our local area.”

With Election Day rapidly approaching Atkins is hoping that his progressive message will win him the votes needed to be elected.

“I will bring a fresh, relatively young voice to parliament. A voice for equality, progress and the environment,” he says. “We need to take strong action now on climate change after the wasted decade of the Abbott, Turnbull, Morrison COALition government.”