Template:Infobox Australian Political Party

The Greens New South Wales is the state Greens party in New South Wales. It is a member party of the Australian Greens. The Greens NSW have four members of the New South Wales Legislative Council, Ian Cohen, Lee Rhiannon, Sylvia Hale and John Kaye. Former Senator, Kerry Nettle, lost her seat in the 2007 Federal Election.


The first Greens party was registered in 1984, but the Greens NSW did not take its current form until 1991, when six local groups in New South Wales federated as a state political party. Greens candidates have run in every federal election since 1984, when a single candidate ran in the federal Division of Sydney.

New South Wales electionsEdit

NSW Election Results
Primary Vote

The party first came close to electing a candidate in 1991, when Ian Cohen was the last candidate to be excluded in a contest against Christian Democratic Party leader Fred Nile, which was dubbed as a contest between 'heaven and earth' by the media, for the last seat in the New South Wales Legislative Council.

In 1995, Cohen was successfully elected to the NSW Legislative Council, the first Greens member in NSW. In 1999 Cohen was joined by Lee Rhiannon. In 2003, Cohen was elected for a second term and joined by Sylvia Hale, a Marrickville local councillor, bringing the number of Greens in the NSW Parliament up to three. At the 2003 Election the Greens also established themselves as the third force in NSW politics, becoming the only minor party to win more than one seat at an election to the Legislative Council.

On September 17, 2005, by-elections were held after the resignation of sitting members in three Sydney electorates, including the then Premier Bob Carr, member for the electorate of Maroubra. The Greens party contested all three seats with increased success, including a primary vote of 38.96% in the electorate of Marrickville (increased from the 28.47% received in the 2003 State election). This is the party's highest ever primary vote in a New South Wales Legislative Assembly electorate or any other election in Australia, although much of the gain was the result of the Liberal Party not standing a candidate.

At the 2007 NSW state election, the Greens increased their Legislative Assembly vote to 8.8%, up from 8.3% in 2003, and saw the re-election of Lee Rhiannon and the election of John Kaye, bringing the number of Members of the Legislative Council to 4. The Greens also became the first minor party to ever win two full Legislative Council quotas. In the Legislative Assembly, the Greens polled 33% in Marrickville, the highest vote polled by the Greens in a lower house seat in a general election. The Greens also outpolled Labor in the seats of North Shore and Vaucluse, the first time Greens have appeared in the two-party race in safe Liberal seats.

Federal ElectionsEdit

Federal Election Results
NSW Primary Vote

The Greens elected their first ever New South Wales Senator, Kerry Nettle, at the 2001 election, only the second Australian Greens senator elected ever, joining Senator Bob Brown of Tasmania, who was elected to a second term at that election.

In 2002, Michael Organ was elected to the House of Representatives for the Wollongong seat of Cunningham at a by-election. Organ was the first, and is still the only, Greens member to be elected to a single-member electorate in Australia.

At the 2004 Federal Election, the Greens ran John Kaye as their lead Senate candidate, since Nettle's term did not expire until the 2007 election. The Greens also targeted a number of House of Representatives electorates, particularly Sydney, Grayndler, and Organ's seat of Cunningham. While Organ was defeated and the Australian Labor Party retained both Sydney and Grayndler, the Greens polled over 20% in all three of these seats, the only times that the Greens have achieved that in a general election.

In the Senate in 2004, the Greens increased their vote to 7.3%, but due to less favourable preference flows, Kaye was not elected to join Nettle and Brown.

In the 2007 Federal election, Senator Kerry Nettle obtained 8.6% of the NSW Senate vote, but failed to hold her seat, making her the only Greens casualty of the night. Two other Greens, Sarah Hanson-Young in South Australia and Scott Ludlum in Western Australia, joined Senator Bob Brown to lift the Greens numbers in the Senate from 4 to 5, despite Nettle's loss in NSW.

Constitutional ConventionEdit

In 1997 The Greens NSW formed part of a joint ticket called Greens, Bill of Rights, Indigenous Peoples for the 1998 Constitutional Convention held in Canberra in February 1998. Catherine Moore of the Braidwood Greens local group, who had been active in a number of progressive parties meetings (with the Republican Party, the Australian Women's Party, the Progressive Labour Party, the Bill of Rights Group, the Indigenous Peoples' Party) led the ticket and was the last to be elected for NSW. She joined Christine Milne from Tasmania, who was an appointed delegate, and their contributions focused on ensuring that the overall process was more inclusive. [1]

Local GovernmentEdit

The party endorses candidates to stand for election in local government areas across the state some, notably. in areas (mainly rural and regional) where the major parties have usually not overtly run candidates. By 2004 the Greens had 58 elected representatives.

At the local government elections held on September 13th, 2008 a total of 76 elected Greens representatives were returned in 42 local government areas.[2] Greens councillors were elected to serve on the following councils for the first time: Armidale Dumaresq, Ballina, Burwood, Canterbury, Hurstville, Lake Macquarie (2 elected), Lane Cove (2), North Sydney, Tweed, Wagga Wagga, Warringah(2) and Willoughby.

In Leichhardt Greens control the Council in their own right. In Byron Jan Barham was elected as mayor with 50% of the vote with another 3 Greens candidates.

Greens representation was increased in Blue Mountains, Cessnock, Coffs Harbour, Gosford, Hornsby, Orange and Woolahra.


The Greens NSW retain the same basic structure which was created in 1991, with the formation of the state-wide party.

The party is made up of 'local groups', who cover a specific geographical area. Local groups have complete responsibility for elections held in their area, particularly elections for the House of Representatives, the New South Wales Legislative Assembly or Local Government. There are currently approximately 50 affiliated local groups in NSW.

Each affiliated local group make decisions affecting the Greens NSW through the State Delegates Council. The SDC consists of a delegate from each local group. The SDC is the highest decision-making body, and controls election campaigns for state-wide candidatures (such as the Senate and Legislative Council) and in areas with no local group. It also decides on admitting new local groups as members of the Greens NSW.

Decision-making at the SDC, in local groups and in other bodies of the Greens NSW is conducted according to the principles of Consensus decision-making.

Notes Edit

1The NSW Greens do not formally have a leader.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

Template:Australian Green parties Template:Election australia

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