Press Releases - Illawarra Greens

Greens welcome climate emergency motion to be debated at Wollongong Council

Greens welcome climate emergency motion to be debated at Wollongong Council

6 Aug 2019

Greens councillor Mithra Cox has welcomed a move by Councillor Ann Martin for Wollongong Council to declare a climate emergency.

Cr Cox said:

"Climate change has been politically polarised for decades. It is now time for us to work together on solutions.

"This is an important motion that acknowledges the seriousness of the problem, and the short time we have left to take serious action.

"We don't have decades left to turn this ship around and gradually reduce emissions.  We need to act NOW. This year, this month, today.

"While we wait for our federal and state governments to grow up and take responsibility, local communities can and should start taking action to address climate change, and council has a leadership role to play.

"For too long the only action on climate action has been from individuals and in the private sector.

"We look forward to this first step to formally acknowledge climate change is a real threat to our wellbeing and work with staff to bring about positive changes for the community."

The climate emergency motion will be debated by Wollongong Council on Monday 12 August.

More information: Mithra Cox 0419 720 322
Some climate related images available here:

Cr. Mithra Cox
Ward 1, Wollongong City Council
0419 720 322<tel:0419 20720 20322>

Add your reaction Share

Greens announce plan to transition to electric vehicles


Greens announce plan to transition to electric vehicles


We will have a fully electric vehicle towing The Greens campaign caravan to demonstrate that electric cars have the power and convenience of petrol and diesel cars.

Who:  Greens candidates Rowan Huxtable and Jamie Dixon with electric car enthusiast Tom Hunt


Where:  Flagstaff Hill


When: 10am, Thursday 9th May


More info: Mithra Cox 0425 351 844




Greens announce plan to transition to electric vehicles


Australians will be left driving expensive and obsolete petrol or diesel vehicles after the rest of the world has transitioned to electric, unless Governments at all levels immediately begin installing the infrastructure to support electric vehicles, Rowan Huxtable, Greens candidate for Cunningham, said today.


Mr Huxtable said:


“Electric vehicles are better for our health, cheaper to refuel and maintain, and emit no pollution when powered by renewable energy.


“The Liberal Party scare campaign on electric cars has been a disgrace. Electric cars can travel long distances, be used by tradies, and for long weekends - as long as we have the infrastructre to support them.


“The Greens will fast-track the roll-out of fast-charging electric vehicle infrastructure and legislate tougher vehicle pollution standards to drive down transport pollution.


“The NRMA is advocating for a ban on petrol and diesel cars by 2030. They are investing $10m in fast charging stations on major highways. However, the federal government is doing very little except trying to run a scare campaign on electric vehicles."


Jamie Dixon, Greens candidate for Whitlam, said:


“With many countries phasing out petrol and diesel vehicles, Australia will be left behind if we don’t act now.


“The Netherlands (by 2025), Norway (2025), France (2040), the UK (2040), India (2030), Germany (2030), and China (2040) have all announced they will ban internal combustion engine cars in coming years.


“Major car manufacturers like Ford, Land Rover, General Motors, Volkswagen, BMW and Volvo are all shifting their investment strategies to develop their electric models and phase out their internal combustion cars. The writing is on the wall, and we need to get with the times."


The Greens Policy Platform on Electric Vehicles can be downloaded here:


More information: Mithra Cox 0425 351 844

Add your reaction Share

The Greens see more potential in Port Kembla than offered by LNG

The approval given to the proposed JERA LNG import terminal at Port Kembla is a massive step backward for both the economy, as well as the environment of the Illawarra. It is yet another propping up of the fossil fuel industry by an over-lobbied, and under scrutinised State government.

Jamie Dixon, the Greens candidate for Whitlam  says 'The fact that the proposal was moved ahead as a State Significant Infrastructure project, which allows it to completely by-pass what’s left of the Office of Environment and Heritage is surely a sign that it will not be in the community of the Illawarra’s best interests.'

"The company sourcing the LNG has stated that it will be purchased solely based on market prices, and this has no way of excluding LNG sourced by fracking of Coal Seam Gas, or any other means of
environmentally destructive mining."

"New South Wales already produces more than enough LNG to supply our local needs, however the government has not ensured that any quota is kept for domestic use, and instead allows 100% export, leaving us with a shortfall, and needing to build further infrastructure to meet our own

Mr Dixon goes on to present an alternative  - "Instead of looking backwards to fossil fuels, we in the City of Innovation, should be actively looking to be at the forefront of the expanding $200+ billion/year hydrogen energy production market. Unlike LNG, hydrogen fuel production and consumption does not affect CO2 emissions, and will provide us with both the back up renewable energy needs to compliment wind, solar, and pumped hydro, as well as earning valuable export dollars, and employing just as many locals in Green Jobs for the Illawarra, as LNG."

"Port Kembla and surrounds have the available industrial space, access to fresh water, and desire to engage in energy production which helps to supply our total needs, as well as halting the potential for climate change."

"This is just one more example of our State government bowing to pressure by cashed up lobbyists, with short term economic goals, and no care for our environment, or the long term security of our energy and employment sectors."

For further information and comment,  contact:
Jamie Dixon
Greens candidate for Whitlam
0403 402 114
Add your reaction Share

Early learning centres in all new public schools under Greens Early Education plan

Media Release                              

19 March 2019   

Early learning centres in all new public schools under Greens Early Education plan The Greens have called for a radical rethink of pre-school and early learning services, announcing a policy that would bring preschool for three and four year olds into the state’s public education system. 

The plan includes a proposal to build Early Learning Centres in all new public primary schools and retrofitting existing schools based on local need and space availability. This investment in public pre-school facilities will help ensure access to free, universal pre-school for all three and four year olds for up to 15 hours per week. This will bring NSW in line with other States' existing programs. The Greens plan also commits to supporting the many early learning services, including Out of School Hours care, playgroups and other services relying on facilities owned and managed by schools or council owned, to guarantee tenure and ensure that facilities are appropriately maintained and upgraded. Tighter regulations to ensure childcare and pre-school facilities in NSW comply with outdoor space requirements would also be introduced.

Greens Early Education Spokesperson Justin Field said : 

“This is about putting kids first and recognising the value of quality early education and the work of educators in the sector. 

“We need greater public investment in early learning. NSW has the lowest preschool access rates and the highest fees, while also having the highest rates of for-profit operators. We need a rethink of how we deliver these critical services, that puts children first."

Benjamin Arcioni, Greens candidate for Wollongong says :

“The Greens want to see a transition away from the provision of for-profit early learning to pre-school being part of the free, universal public education system. There will still be collaboration between schools and the community and not-for-profit preschool services and where appropriate not-for-profit long day care services."


Jamie Dixon, Greens candidate for Shellharbour adds :

“Other countries have moved to deliver free preschool for three and four years olds because the benefits it delivers are significant, especially for those from disadvantaged backgrounds. By bringing these services into the public education system, we can also address the issue of low pay in the sector, which is a significant contributor to the gender pay gap."

Kaye Osborn, Greens candidate for Keira states :

“One benefit of using school grounds to construct these facilities is that they can more easily deliver before and after school care,  as well as other services that support families, such as playgroups, mothers' and fathers' groups, and early intervention programs.

“This is about building a supportive learning and care environment for families from the youngest years and changing the way we think and talk about early education and care."

The Greens plan includes:

●      Transition to free, universal access to preschool for all children from the age of three for a minimum of 15 hrs/wk. 

●      All new primary schools in NSW to include Early Learning Centres and prioritise the construction of facilities into existing schools based on need and where space allows.

●      Review the rules and guidelines around facilities leasing for early learning services in schools and council facilities to ensure ongoing certainty of access.

●      Stricter enforcement of outdoor space requirements, with clear limits on exemptions.

●      A $20m OOSH and Playgroup Facilities Grant program. 


Justin Field is available for comment - 0439 205 835

Add your reaction Share

Greens put Empty Home Levy on the Table for Wollongong Council


Greens put Empty Home Levy on the table for Wollongong Council

Monday 4 March 2019
What: Greens put Empty Home Levy on the table for Wollongong Council 
(notice of motion below)
When: 12noon, Monday 3 March 2019
Where: Corner of Cliff Road and  Georges Place, Wollongong

Wollongong Greens Councillor Cath Blakey said,

"On Monday week, I have a motion before Wollongong Council calling for an Empty Home Levy. It has succeeded in the UK and has been introduced in Victoria. It is time for NSW to step up and address this obscene inequality in housing".

Kaye Osborn, Greens candidate for Keira said,  
“Every day across New South Wales there are thousands of homes sitting empty. Meanwhile there are thousands of people who can’t find affordable housing or can’t find a home at all.   We need an Empty Home Levy so we can have better housing for a better future for all of us.”
Jamie Dixon, Greens candidate for Shellharbour said:  "There is no housing shortage. Six thousand homes are sitting empty in Wollongong.  Let’s encourage owners to make their properties available to rent rather than leaving them empty. "
Ben Arcioni, Greens candidate for Wollongong said, 
“I know how hard it is for young people to find affordable rental accommodation.  Houses are sitting empty that could be homes.”
Add your reaction Share

Greens back pill testing at festivals


19 February 2019

Wollongong Council last night unanimously called on the state government to repeal its regulatory burden and draconian policing on music festivals, but Greens councillor Cath Blakey called on council to do more to keep festival goers safe from the risk of overdoses. Council should also support pull testing at Festivals.

Greens Clr Cath Blakey said:
"I am gl;ad that Wollongong Council agreed to call on the state government to end the draconian policing of music festivals. But the Council motion failed to get to the crux of the issue - how to keep festival goers safe from the risk of drug overdoses. Over the last 5 months, 6 people have died. Prohibition has failed. Sniffer dogs have failed. Representatives of the music industry have clearly stated that more red tape isn't the answer. We know what works - it has been used in Europe since the 90s, and was a big success in the ACT last year. It is pill testing and we need to start a trial here in NSW.

"Pill testing will save more lives than heavy policing, and will cost the festival organisers about a third of the estimated cost of the new festival regulations".

Greens candidate for Wollongong, Benjamin Arcioni said:

"The failed war on drugs is killing people while politicians and police have wilfully ignored the mounting evidence that zero-tolerance abstinence does not work.

"How many more people need to die before they get the message? Pill testing saves lives.

" That is why I will travel up to Sydney on Thursday21 February -- to take the message to the Premier that the over policing of festivals is killing people.”



Media contact for Illawarra Greens: Mithra Cox 0425 351 844

Act Background

Add your reaction Share

Universities and TAFE to be free under Greens

Wollongong Uni and TAFE to be free under Greens new public education plan

Australian Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi is in Wollongong on Monday 17 December to announce that Wollongong University and TAFE would be made free under the Greens 5 Point Plan for Education.

Senator Faruqi said:

“It’s time to end the debt sentence. Young people are graduating from university and TAFE with crushing debts that take almost a decade to pay off. Under the Greens plan, over 1.3 million Australians will be studying fee free and debt-free in TAFE and universities by 2023.

“We have universal primary and secondary education. Free public higher education is the missing piece of the puzzle.

“No one should graduate with a decade of debt ahead of them. Australians have seen the benefits of free education, and we can have them again.

“We are ranked 30th out of 34 in the OECD for public investment in tertiary education, which shows how behind we are globally. We need to properly fund our public university system and reverse the cuts imposed by the Liberal-National Government.

“Removing TAFE fees is a crucial part of this plan. TAFE is being decimated by state and federal governments.”

Benjamin Arcioni, Greens state candidate for Wollongong, said:

“Vocational education provides a pathway into work for both young people and for older people retraining into a new profession. That pathway should not come with a burden of debt.

“Privatising vocational education hasn’t worked, and has wasted large amounts of Government funding. The Greens want to put that money to better use by funding the TAFE system, giving people a chance to develop skills and improve their lives.

“Making higher education free is going to cost money. Fossil fuel extraction companies use tax loopholes to avoid paying their fair share for exporting our natural resources. We could fund free university and TAFE education by closing those tax loopholes.

“We aren’t getting as much in royalties from gas extraction as other nations, even though we are producing more gas. Making those companies pay their fair share would let us invest in our future by providing free education.

“I’ve taught students who are working while trying to study, and the thing they need most is more time. Increasing student support through Youth Allowance, Austudy and Abstudy means students can spend more time learning instead of earning money. Proper funding of university and TAFE students will improve their ability to study.”

Rowan Huxtable, Greens federal candidate for Cunningham said:

“Reducing the diesel rebate for mining and gas production would provide additional government revenue without additional personal tax. We want to use this revenue source to better fund public education.”

“It would also provide a financial incentive to miners to replace diesel power with renewable power and energy saving.

“This would drive technological innovation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions – which we urgently need to do.

“Maximising community benefit from mining is not the same as maximising the volume that we dig out of the ground.”

More information:

Details of the Greens 5 Point Plan for free education can be found at :

Media contact for Illawarra Greens: Mithra Cox 0425 351 844

Media Contact for Senator Mehreen Faruqi: Matt Hilton 0423 106 247

Add your reaction Share

Greens jubilant after best ever result in Ward 3

Greens jubilant after best ever result in Ward 3


25 Nov 2018


The Greens are celebrating after their candidate Jamie Dixon posted the Greens best ever result in the Wollongong Council Ward 3 by-election.


The Greens vote reached up to 20% at some booths, the sort of results that we normally see in Greens heartland.


Some of the best results for the Greens were:

• Port Kembla Public -- 20%

• Warrawong Community Hall -- 17.5%

• Primbee -- 17%

• Cringila -- 17%

• Berkeley West Public -- 16%

• Figtree High -- 23%

• Koonawarra Hall -- 17%


This is only the second time the Greens have contested Ward 3, and this result builds on the good result in 2017. Across the Ward, there was a swing of 5 percentage points towards the Greens.  In 2017, the Greens polled 9% and yesterday it was 14%. This is an impressive increase of nearly 70% on the 2017 results.


Greens candidate Jamie Dixon said:


“That so many of these areas, which have a high level of disadvantage, voted so strongly Green shows that our platform of social justice, public services and a fair go for everyone has resonated in areas that have never voted Green before.


“People want to live in a city with decent transport, where we look after each other, where there is vibrant culture, and where we look after our lake, escarpment and beaches. 


“We spoke to more people, and campaigned harder than ever before, and our efforts paid off.”


More information: Jamie Dixon 0403 402 114

Add your reaction Share

Greens call for better buses in southern Wollongong


21 November 2018


Greens candidate for Wollongong Council, Jamie Dixon has called for better buses in southern Wollongong.


“Navigating between the shopping centres in the Ward 3 area using public transport is unnecessarily time consuming. The routes seem to be designed around the needs of the bus operators, rather than the needs of the user. 


“With Wollongong City Council, and the local chambers of commerce, already dedicating significant amounts of time and money to revitalising the centres of Port Kembla, Warrawong, and Dapto, there needs to be a focus on enhanced public transport access to these areas as well.


“The first step in getting improved bus routes and timetables is to show that there is an increasing demand. At the moment, a very small proportion of bus stops have a shelter, which discourages potential users, and can make it harder for bus drivers to identify waiting passengers. 


“I am repeatedly being told by voters that if the weather is too hot, too wet or too windy, the idea of waiting at a bus top can be very off-putting. On winter mornings, passengers have had busses go past without stopping, because there is no lighting, and they cannot easily be seen by the driver.


“There are a number of existing, Australian made, designs available, which are mass produced, easy to assemble and install, and provide both shelter from the elements, as well as seating and visibility. The preferred Greens option also has a small stand alone solar system, to provide both safety and visibility outside daylight hours. This lighting is contained within a vertical panel, so there is also the potential to rent part of the space for advertising to offset the initial purchase cost.


“Wollongong desperately needs better public transport, and our local businesses need community support to thrive. Surely it is one of Council’s most basic duties to facilitate both of these goals – by making the bus an attractive and viable all weather option, it gives every member of the community a reason to leave the car at home, and shop locally,” Mr Dixon said.


Jamie will be available for comment at Dapto Ribbonwood prepoll on Thursday 22nd November


Please contact Jamie Dixon 0403 402 114


Add your reaction Share

Greens call for Wollongong Council to protect agricultural land at Yallah


16 November 2018

Greens candidate for Wollongong Council, Jamie Dixon, has called on Council to protect agricultural land before it is all developed for housing and industrial uses.
Mr Dixon said:
“Given that large areas of New South Wales are still in desperate drought conditions, and Wollongong City Council staff have been pushed to donate to farm relief appeals, it makes no sense that even more Illawarra farmland is being rezoned for development.
“With existing developments to reduce the amount of green space in the Lake Illawarra catchment area, and serious questions arising about the supply of housing even meeting our city’s needs, I am stunned that another agricultural holding is to be concreted over, this time as light industrial land.
“I personally know farmers out west who would give their eye teeth for 11 hectares of prime arable land. Shellharbour Council is allotting part of their open areas to make hay for starving livestock, but, here in Yallah, we’re turning our back on the problem, and creating an even bigger one, in terms of poorly managed runoff, for our Lake.”
Mr Dixon is making a plea for better judgement, and a realisation of the beneficial food production capacity of the Illawarra.
“Wollongong City Council needs to take a stand against this rampant over development, and understand that they have a responsibility to protect food production capacity.
“There is an abundance of under-utilised industrial land around Port Kembla, and a desperate need for employment there. This is fertile land, that can grow local produce, reduce food miles, and remind our children that food doesn’t just come from a supermarket.
“There are a number of locally based community farming initiatives, with sound business models to act as precedents.
“The Greens want to see this part of our local economy grow, and be supported by Council. Wollongong should not think of itself as just a labour pool for Sydney – we’re a city of our own, and we need to think about providing more for ourselves.”
Jamie Dixon is available for comment at the Dapto Ribbonwood Centre prepoll voting centre today
Contact: Jamie Dixon 0403 402 114
Add your reaction Share