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The Tasmanian Greens are a political party in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 which developed from numerous environmental campaigns in Tasmania
Tasmania
Tasmania is an Australian island and state. It is south of the continent, separated by Bass Strait. The state includes the island of Tasmania—the 26th largest island in the world—and the surrounding islands. The state has a population of 507,626 , of whom almost half reside in the greater Hobart...

, including the flooding of Lake Pedder
Lake Pedder
Lake Pedder was once a natural lake, located in the southwest of Tasmania, Australia but the name is now used in an official sense to refer to the much larger artificial impoundment and diversion lake formed when the original lake was expanded by damming in 1972 by the Hydro Electric Commission of...

 and the Franklin Dam
Franklin Dam
The Franklin Dam or Gordon-below-Franklin Dam project was a proposed dam on the Gordon River in Tasmania, Australia, that was never constructed. The movement that eventually led to the project's cancellation became one of most significant environmental campaigns in Australian history.The dam was...

 campaign. Today they form a part of the Australian Greens
Australian Greens
The Australian Greens, commonly known as The Greens, is an Australian green political party.The party was formed in 1992; however, its origins can be traced to the early environmental movement in Australia and the formation of the United Tasmania Group , the first Green party in the world, which...

.

History


The party's history can be traced back to the formation of the United Tasmania Group
United Tasmania Group
The United Tasmania Group is generally acknowledged as the world's first Green party. The party was formed on 23 March 1972, during a meeting of the Lake Pedder Action Group at the Hobart town hall in order to field political candidates in the April 1972 state election. They received 3.9% of the...

 (UTG) (the first established 'Green' party in the world), which first ran candidates in the 1972 election. Many people involved in that group went on to form the Tasmanian Greens. Bob Brown
Bob Brown
Robert James Brown is an Australian senator, the inaugural Parliamentary Leader of the Australian Greens and was the first openly gay member of the Parliament of Australia...

 stood as an Australian Senate candidate for UTG in 1975.

1980s


In the 1982 state election
Tasmanian state election, 1982
Elections for the Tasmanian House of Assembly were held on the 15 May 1982. The incumbent Labor Party, in power since 1972 and led by Premier Harry Holgate, was defeated by the opposition Liberal Party, led by Robin Gray....

, Bob Brown stood unsuccessfully as an independent in the Denison
Division of Denison (state)
The Electoral Division of Denison is one of the 5 electorates in the Tasmanian House of Assembly. The division is named after Sir William Denison, who was Lieutenant Governor of Van_Diemen's Land 1847-55, and Governor of New South Wales 1855-61. The division shares its name and boundaries with the...

 electorate. In December of that year, Norm Sanders
Norm Sanders
Norman Karl Sanders is an Australian former politician, representing the Australian Democrats in the Tasmanian House of Assembly from 1980 to 1982 and the Australian Senate from 1985 to 1990.-Early life:...

—a sitting member for the Australian Democrats
Australian Democrats
The Australian Democrats is an Australian political party espousing a socially liberal ideology. It was formed in 1977, by a merger of the Australia Party and the New LM, after principals of those minor parties secured the commitment of former Liberal minister Don Chipp, as a high profile leader...

—stood down from state parliament to contest the Senate in a Federal election. A countback of votes followed and Bob Brown was elected to the vacancy, commencing his term in January 1983. The two had much in common—both having been directors of the Tasmanian Wilderness Society—Norm Sanders being considered to be Australia's first elected "green" member of parliament.

Immediately prior to taking the seat, Bob Brown had spent 19 days in Risdon Prison for obstructing workers at the Franklin River dam site. He took his seat on the day of his release. He was re-elected in the 1986 election
Tasmanian state election, 1986
Elections for the Tasmanian House of Assembly were held on the 8 February 1986. The incumbent Liberal government headed by Robin Gray hoped to secure a second term in office.Prior to the election the Liberals held 18 of the 35 seats in parliament...

 along with Gerry Bates
Gerry Bates
Gerard Maxwell "Gerry" Bates is an Australian environmental lawyer and academic, and former politician.-Early life and education:Bates was born in Lancashire, England in 1950...

 in the Franklin
Division of Franklin (state)
The Electoral Division of Franklin is one of the five electorates in the Tasmanian House of Assembly. The division is named after Sir John Franklin, the arctic explorer who was Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen's Land 1837-43...

 electorate.

In the 1989 state election a total of 5 Greens—Christine Milne
Christine Milne
Christine Anne Milne is an Australian Senator and deputy leader of the Australian Greens.Christine Milne first came to public attention for her role in opposing the building of the Wesley Vale pulp mill near Bass Strait in North Western Tasmania on the basis of its allegedly harmful environmental...

, Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong (politician)
Reverend Lance John Edward Armstrong is a former Australian politician. Born in Perth, Western Australia, he was active in Tasmania...

, Di Hollister
Di Hollister
Dianne Lesley "Di" Hollister is a former Australian politician.Born in Devonport, Tasmania, she started her career as a teacher....

, Gerry Bates
Gerry Bates
Gerard Maxwell "Gerry" Bates is an Australian environmental lawyer and academic, and former politician.-Early life and education:Bates was born in Lancashire, England in 1950...

 and Bob Brown—were elected after a community backlash against a proposed paper pulp mill at Wesley Vale, near Devonport
Devonport, Tasmania
-Sport:The Devonport Football Club is an Australian Rules team competing in the Tasmanian Statewide League. The Devonport Rugby Club is a Rugby Union team competing in the Tasmanian Rugby Union Statewide League...

. At the time of the election they were known simply as The Independents. In December 1991 they changed their name to The Green Independents. They held the balance of power in the government for three years, keeping Michael Field
Michael Field (Australian politician)
Michael Walter Field, AC was Tasmanian Labor leader from 1988 until his retirement in 1996, and was the Premier of Tasmania between 1989 and 1992...

's minority Labor Party
Australian Labor Party
The Australian Labor Party is an Australian political party. It has been the governing party of the Commonwealth of Australia since the 2007 federal election. Julia Gillard is the party's federal parliamentary leader and Prime Minister of Australia...

 government in power after signing an agreement known as the Labor–Green Accord. The February 1992 election saw all five sitting Greens re-elected but with a majority Liberal government in power.

Greens supporter Neville Curtis
Neville Curtis
Neville Wilson Curtis was an anti-apartheid activist and leader of the National Union of South African Students.Curtis' parents John and Joyce were active against apartheid as well...

 started the magazine Daily Planet in 1989, which later became the official magazine of the Green Independents.

1990s


In August 1992 the Green Independents moved to officially form the Tasmanian Greens.

In 1993 Bob Brown stood down to contest the lower house seat of Denison
Division of Denison
The Division of Denison is anAustralian Electoral Division in Tasmania.The division was created in 1903 and is named for Sir William Denison, who was Lt-Governor of Van Diemens Land 1847-55...

 in the federal election and Peg Putt
Peg Putt
Margaret Ann Putt is a former Australian politician and parliamentary leader of the Tasmanian Greens. She first entered the Tasmanian House of Assembly in 1993 after Bob Brown resigned and votes in the Hobart electorate of Denison were recounted...

 took his seat on a recount. Christine Milne became leader. In May 1995 Gerry Bates resigned and his seat was taken by Mike Foley.

At the 1996 election, four Greens were returned (Lance Armstrong lost his seat in Bass
Division of Bass (state)
The Electoral Division of Bass is one of the 5 electorates in the Tasmanian House of Assembly, or lower house; it takes its name from the British Naval Surgeon and Explorer of Australia: George Bass. The division shares its name and boundaries with the federal division of Bass...

) and they again held the balance of power, this time with a Liberal government.

After seven years of minority governments, the Labor and Liberal parties passed a bill reducing the number of Lower House seats, thus increasing the quota of votes needed under Tasmania's Hare Clark
Single transferable vote
The single transferable vote is a voting system designed to achieve proportional representation through preferential voting. Under STV, an elector's vote is initially allocated to his or her most preferred candidate, and then, after candidates have been either elected or eliminated, any surplus or...

 voting system from 12.5% to 16.67%. In 2011, Labor MP David Llewellyn
David Llewellyn (Australian politician)
David Edward Llewellyn is a former Australian politician, who was an Australian Labor Party member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly from 1986 to 2010...

 confirmed to ABC Radio that the two major parties had "conspired" to reduce the number of seats in the House specifically to increase the quota for minor parties such as the Greens: "I could admit now that being part of the government back in 1998 or 1997 in conspiring, suppose that's not the best of words but that's what it was, between the Liberal Party and the Labor Party to reduce the size of Parliament on the basis that it would take more percentage for minor parties to actually win a seat."

The 1998 election returned a majority Labor government, as well as a sole Green member—Peg Putt—who had little chance of exercising any influence, but would offer bills into Parliament knowing they would in all likelihood be voted against by both Liberal and Labor parties.

2000s


The 2002 election saw a major resurgence of their popularity, with the party winning 4 seats, and outpolling the Liberal party in the Hobart
Hobart
Hobart is the state capital and most populous city of the Australian island state of Tasmania. Founded in 1804 as a penal colony,Hobart is Australia's second oldest capital city after Sydney. In 2009, the city had a greater area population of approximately 212,019. A resident of Hobart is known as...

 based seat of Denison
Division of Denison (state)
The Electoral Division of Denison is one of the 5 electorates in the Tasmanian House of Assembly. The division is named after Sir William Denison, who was Lieutenant Governor of Van_Diemen's Land 1847-55, and Governor of New South Wales 1855-61. The division shares its name and boundaries with the...

. The swing was primarily against the Liberal Party, while the Labor party continued in the majority. The statewide 18.2% vote in 2002 was the highest vote recorded for a Green party at a state or national level anywhere in the world.

At the 2004 federal election, former Tasmanian Greens leader Christine Milne and WA's Rachel Siewert
Rachel Siewert
Rachel Mary Siewert is an Australian Greens politician who was elected to represent Western Australia in the Australian Senate at the 2004 federal election....

 joined Bob Brown and NSW's Kerry Nettle
Kerry Nettle
Kerry Michelle Nettle is a former Australian Senator and member of the Australian Greens in New South Wales. Elected at the 2001 federal election on a primary vote of 4.36 percent with One Nation and micro-party preferences, she failed to gain re-election at the 2007 federal election, despite an...

 in the Senate, doubling the Green representation.

On 23 July 2005 the Greens celebrated 33.3 years of political activity and achievements, with a large party entitled "33-and-a-third – Now we're Long Playing!"

The 2006 election saw a 1.5% swing against the Greens but all four sitting members were returned. In the lead up to this election Tasmanians for a Better Future
Tasmanians for a Better Future
Tasmanians for a Better Future is a group of concerned business and community members that was formed in the lead up to the 2006 Tasmanian state election....

 organised a campaign against minority government
Minority government
A minority government or a minority cabinet is a cabinet of a parliamentary system formed when a political party or coalition of parties does not have a majority of overall seats in the parliament but is sworn into government to break a Hung Parliament election result. It is also known as a...

 suggesting it was a risky outcome for commerce and industry. Although there was no conclusive evidence to support the claim the advertisements may partially explain the swing against the party.

Peg Putt resigned from the House of Assembly on 7 July 2008, and was replaced as party leader by Nick McKim. Cassy O'Connor
Cassy O'Connor
Cassandra Stanwell O'Connor is an Australian politician, who has been a Tasmanian Greens member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly since 2008, representing the electorate of Division of Denison....

 was elected as her replacement in Denison after a recount of votes.

2010s


During the 2010 Tasmanian state election
Tasmanian state election, 2010
The 2010 Tasmanian state election was held on 20 March 2010 to elect members to the Tasmanian House of Assembly. The 12-year incumbent Labor government, led by Premier of Tasmania David Bartlett, won a fourth consecutive term against the Liberal opposition, led by Will Hodgman, after Labor formed a...

, the Tasmanian Greens secured a swing of around 4 to 5% for a total of 21.3% of the primary vote, picking up a seat in Braddon
Division of Braddon (state)
The Electoral Division of Braddon, Tasmania is one of the 5 electorates in the Tasmanian House of Assembly. The constituency takes its name from the former Premier of Tasmania, Sir Edward Braddon. Prior to 1955, the electorate was known as Darwin. The boundaries and name of the electorate are...

 and securing the balance of power in parliament.

The current Tasmanian Greens members of the Tasmanian House of Assembly
Tasmanian House of Assembly
The House of Assembly, or Lower House, is one of the two chambers of the Parliament of Tasmania in Australia. The other is the Legislative Council or Upper House...

 are Cassy O'Connor
Cassy O'Connor
Cassandra Stanwell O'Connor is an Australian politician, who has been a Tasmanian Greens member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly since 2008, representing the electorate of Division of Denison....

, Nick McKim, Kim Booth
Kim Booth
Kim Dion Booth is an Australian politician. He is a Tasmanian Greens member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly representing the Bass electorate....

, Tim Morris
Tim Morris
Timothy Bryce Morris is an Australian politician. He has been a Tasmanian Greens member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly since the 2002 election, representing the Lyons electorate....

 and Paul O'Halloran
Paul O'Halloran
Paul O'Halloran is an Australian politician. He has been a Tasmanian Greens member for Division of Braddon in the Tasmanian House of Assembly since 2010...

.

State Government Election Results


Tasmanian Election Results

Primary Vote

  • 1972
    Tasmanian state election, 1972
    Elections for the Tasmanian House of Assembly were held on 22 April 1972. The one-term Liberal government of Premier Angus Bethune had collapsed following the withdrawal of support by Kevin Lyons...

    : 3.9%
  • 1976
    Tasmanian state election, 1976
    Elections for the Tasmanian House of Assembly were held on 11 December 1976. The incumbent Labor Party, led by Bill Neilson, won a second term against the opposition Liberal Party, led by Max Bingham.-Background:...

    : 2.2%
  • 1979
    Tasmanian state election, 1979
    Elections for the Tasmanian House of Assembly were held on 18 July 1979. The incumbent Labor Party, led by Doug Lowe, won a third term in office against the opposition Liberal Party, led by Max Bingham.-Background:...

    : DNP
  • 1982
    Tasmanian state election, 1982
    Elections for the Tasmanian House of Assembly were held on the 15 May 1982. The incumbent Labor Party, in power since 1972 and led by Premier Harry Holgate, was defeated by the opposition Liberal Party, led by Robin Gray....

    : 1.7%
  • 1986
    Tasmanian state election, 1986
    Elections for the Tasmanian House of Assembly were held on the 8 February 1986. The incumbent Liberal government headed by Robin Gray hoped to secure a second term in office.Prior to the election the Liberals held 18 of the 35 seats in parliament...

    : 5.6%
  • 1989: 17.1%
  • 1992: 13.2%
  • 1996: 11.1%
  • 1998: 10.2%
  • 2002: 18.1%
  • 2006: 16.6%
  • 2010
    Tasmanian state election, 2010
    The 2010 Tasmanian state election was held on 20 March 2010 to elect members to the Tasmanian House of Assembly. The 12-year incumbent Labor government, led by Premier of Tasmania David Bartlett, won a fourth consecutive term against the Liberal opposition, led by Will Hodgman, after Labor formed a...

    : 21.6%

(includes United Tasmania Group
United Tasmania Group
The United Tasmania Group is generally acknowledged as the world's first Green party. The party was formed on 23 March 1972, during a meeting of the Lake Pedder Action Group at the Hobart town hall in order to field political candidates in the April 1972 state election. They received 3.9% of the...

)






















Federal Government Election Results


Federal Election Results

Tasmania Primary Vote

  • 1998: 5.6%
  • 2001: 7.8%
  • 2004: 9.9%
  • 2007: 13.5%
  • 2010: 16.8%











Structure


There are five Electorate Branches—one representing each state/federal electorate—that are responsible for choosing candidates at all levels of government.

The party has an annual state conference and annual general meeting. The State Executive is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the party.

The Tasmanian Greens, together with other State and Territory parties, form the Australian Greens
Australian Greens
The Australian Greens, commonly known as The Greens, is an Australian green political party.The party was formed in 1992; however, its origins can be traced to the early environmental movement in Australia and the formation of the United Tasmania Group , the first Green party in the world, which...

.

Local government


Unlike other political parties in the state, the Tasmanian Greens officially endorse candidates to run in local government elections. They first stood local government candidates in 1999 with two candidates elected. Following the 2005 elections there were ten elected Greens councillors. This expanded to 13 after the 2007 elections.

Parliamentary leaders

  • Dr Bob Brown
    Bob Brown
    Robert James Brown is an Australian senator, the inaugural Parliamentary Leader of the Australian Greens and was the first openly gay member of the Parliament of Australia...

     (1989–1993)
  • Christine Milne
    Christine Milne
    Christine Anne Milne is an Australian Senator and deputy leader of the Australian Greens.Christine Milne first came to public attention for her role in opposing the building of the Wesley Vale pulp mill near Bass Strait in North Western Tasmania on the basis of its allegedly harmful environmental...

     (1993–1998)
  • Peg Putt
    Peg Putt
    Margaret Ann Putt is a former Australian politician and parliamentary leader of the Tasmanian Greens. She first entered the Tasmanian House of Assembly in 1993 after Bob Brown resigned and votes in the Hobart electorate of Denison were recounted...

     (1998–2008)
  • Nick McKim (2008–present)

Further reading

  • Armstrong, Lance J.E. (1997). Good God, He’s Green! A History of Tasmanian Politics 1989-1996. Wahroonga, N.S.W., Pacific Law Press. ISBN 1-875192-08-5
  • Lines, William J. (2006) Patriots : defending Australia's natural heritage St. Lucia, Qld. : University of Queensland Press, 2006. ISBN 0-70223-554-7

External links