Today the Greens will announce their Queensland Senate ticket to defeat Pauline Hanson and Clive Palmer at the next election and put the Greens in balance of power.
Caloundra veterinarian and public health advocate Anna Sri, and Brisbane social scientist and environmental activist Ben Pennings, will join previously announced lead Senate Candidate Penny Allman-Payne on the ballot in Queensland, which is quickly shaping as the battleground state in May’s contest.
The Greens have identified four critical campaign issues in Queensland that will determine the outcome of the election: action on climate and supporting the transition from coal and gas to green economy jobs; getting dental and mental health into Medicare; ending the housing and homelessness crisis; and making education, including childcare, free and accessible for all.
Lines attributable to Greens deputy leader and Queensland Senator Larissa Waters:
“Queenslanders will be incredibly powerful at the next election. With just a 1.5% swing to the Greens in the Senate, our lead Senate candidate Penny Allman-Payne would become the second-ever Greens senator from Queensland and help make the Greens the biggest third party in history.
“I can’t wait for Queenslanders to reject Pauline Hanson’s divisive politics, stop billionaire Clive Palmer’s cynical power grab and send this bin fire of a government to the opposition benches.
“In balance of power after the election the Greens will ensure that the next Senate works for people, not mining billionaires and political donors, and we’ll push the next government to go further and faster on climate, put dental and mental health into Medicare, provide free childcare for all and make sure everyone has a home.”
Lines attributable to lead Greens Senate candidate for Queensland Penny Allman-Payne:
“I’ve had the chance to travel all over the state during the past nine months and from Cairns to Toowoomba I’ve heard the same thing: people are fed up with this government.
“Whether it’s their catastrophic responses to the Black Summer fires, the pandemic and this latest flooding crisis on the east coast; or their climate denialism, appalling treatment of women and unwillingness to provide any hope for Australians struggling to pay their bills, the Morrison Government has failed us all.
“The Greens are offering a different vision for Australia, and I’m so excited to have Anna and Ben on the Queensland Senate ticket with me. Together we’ll remove Pauline, keep Clive out and push the next government to deliver on climate, schools and hospital funding, housing and ensuring a better life for all of us.”
Lines attributable to Greens Senate candidate for Queensland Anna Sri:
“I’m proud to be a Greens candidate because unlike Labor and the LNP we can’t be bought by corporate donations, and we won’t do the bidding of billionaires.
“Animal rights are important to me as a veterinarian and a Green. I've seen how wildlife and their habitat are undervalued. Greyhounds and horses are exploited for profit in the racing industry. The live export of sheep and cattle relies on poor welfare at all stages of the process to remain profitable. Political donations from industries involved in these practices ensure that this mistreatment continues. We must enact strong, national laws to end animal cruelty with a just transition for workers employed in those industries.
“The Greens will make massive corporations and billionaires finally pay their fair share so we can fund the things we all need: a truly public healthcare system; action on the climate and ecological crisis; housing for all; and a guaranteed income people can actually live on.”
Lines attributable to Greens Senate candidate for Queensland Ben Pennings:
“As a social scientist, I’ve spent the pandemic doing all I can to grow the capacity of our mental health system. Families simply can’t afford to get the help they need. Gaps in the mental health system have become chasms.
“The Greens are the only party with a plan to ensure everyone can access mental healthcare, when they need it, not just when they can afford it.
“Last time the Greens were in balance of power we got free dental for kids into Medicare. This time we will fight to get people the mental health care they deserve. And we’ll do it by funding by taxing greedy billionaires and big corporations making big profits.”
About the candidates
Penny, who lives and works in Gladstone, is a teacher and unionist. She has been a member of the Queensland Teachers’ Union since she began working in public schools 28 years ago, and is the president of her local QTU branch.
Penny has previously been a Greens candidate at state and federal level and would join Senator Waters in parliament as the second-ever Greens senator elected in Queensland. Senator Waters' current term as senator expires in 2025.
Anna is a veterinarian and public health advocate. She has worked in South-East Queensland and the Northern Territory, both in private practice and with local government. She is currently undertaking a PhD in the field of antibiotic resistance. Her passion is the connections between human, animal and environmental health.
Anna lives in Caloundra with her partner and small dog. She is involved in numerous campaigns to protect the local environment and has taken an active role in protests against the Adani mine and fracking in the Northern Territory Beetaloo Basin. Anna is a member of the Sunshine Coast Council Multicultural Advisory Group, which works to highlight the value cultural diversity brings to the region and strengthen inclusion.
Ben is a social scientist and small business owner who has spent 30 years serving Queenslanders through crime prevention and environmental advocacy, including a prolonged battle against the Adani coal mine.
He lives in suburban Brisbane with his wife and children where they run a family-owned psychology practice.