Greens endorsement to continue in Ipswich
THE Greens' decision to endorse a candidate in the Ipswich mayoral by-election is set to be a regular event in Ipswich politics.
The Greens last endorsed a candidate in 2008 when Peter Luxton ran for mayor.
On Saturday, Greens-endorsed candidate Brett Morrisey picked up 6177 votes, 6.62% of the total counted to date.
It was a promising first-up performance by Mr Morrissey who had two Greens big names backing him on the hustings.
Former Greens Senator Larissa Waters attended the polling booth at Camira State School and Mr Morrissey said her presence was felt.
That was revealed in the figures from the booth where the Greens picked up 268 votes, 9.68% of the total.
Greens convener Andrew Bartlett, a former Democrats senator, was on a booth at Silkstone assisting Mr Morrissey's campaign.
Mr Bartlett spoke to the QT at the Coronation Hotel on Saturday night where Greens supporters gathered to review the day and support Mr Morrissey.
"There was a positive response to us putting our hands up and having a Greens candidate... rather than the half/half approach we've had here and in plenty of councils around Queensland,” Mr Bartlett said.
"We are Greens and we should say so.
"The last council general election in 2016 we made a point of looking to do that in a range of places.
"We had a team of people on the Sunshine Coast in particular and we had Steve Purcell running out here in Division 1.
"We ran a candidate in the Sunshine Coast mayoral election that was Green-endorsed.
"It is up to the members in the branch and every area, but it is certainly our feeling in the party that we want to do more of this and to reinforce the importance of local government.
"If you are getting party support you should put your label out there.”
Mr Morrissey said he found that being with the Greens had added weight to his message.
"Everybody knows what the Greens stand for and having that endorsement behind me has added huge credibility to my stance on things,” he said.
"The party has supported me in what I have said and haven't censored me in any way and I have largely been able to do my thing.
"I am sure if I had stepped out of line somebody would have said something.
"I guess that means my values must align with theirs and I must be a positive fit.”
Mr Morrissey said the feedback to his campaign, reflected in his result, had been positive.
Ipswich has not historically been a happy hunting ground for the Greens but Mr Morrissey said there was no reason why it could not be in the future.
"Environmental and social issues should be at the forefront of everyone's mind,” he said.
"Given the growth we are having in Ipswich and the conversations I've had, people are genuinely concerned about these things.”
Mr Morrissey said the waste dump issue raised by Four Corners and its impact on Ipswich had added interest to his message.
"It is not just an environmental issue. It is a social and economic issue and has got it all,” he said.
"That's why it resonated.
"But if people think we are just about 'green' issues they don't know what the Greens stand for. We are about social, environmental and economic issues and solutions.”
Mr Morrissey is in fourth position overall in the Ipswich mayoral by-election after counting stopped yesterday.
The count will resume as postal votes come in.
The next mayor will be Cr Andrew Antoniolli who was on 32,355 votes, 34.67% of the total.
He was followed by Cr Paul Tully on 28,801 (30.86%), Peter Robinson 6758 (7.24%), Mr Morrissey 6177 (6.62%), Gary Duffy 5609 (6.01%), Dallas Klass 5494 (5.89%), Patricia Petersen 3398 (3.64%), Jack Paff 2439 (2.61%), Paul Rix 1383 (1.48%), Peter Luxton 503 (0.54%) and Ken Salter 398 (0.43%).