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Greens launch Celeste Liddle as candidate for Cooper

Media Release
Adam Bandt 14 May 2021

The Greens have today launched Celeste Liddle as the Greens candidate for Cooper, with Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP declaring her a “fierce” advocate for working people that would take on Australia’s billionaires and the politicians that represent them.

A proud Arrente woman, unionist, feminist and writer, Celeste is on a mission to fight back against the Liberals’ cuts to higher education, their failures to spur wage growth for workers, and years of inaction on the climate crisis. 

If elected, she’d join fellow trailblazer Senator Lidia Thorpe in a possible Greens shared power minority Parliament, representing Cooper as the first Indigenous member of the House of Representatives in Victoria.

Lines from Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt MP:

“Celeste is  a fierce advocate for working people, and I’m thrilled that she’s chosen to take her years of community activism and campaigning to the heart of Australia’s democracy,” Adam Bandt MP said.

“With Celeste Liddle and the Greens in balance of power after the next election, the people of Cooper would have one of the most powerful MPs in the country.

“This week’s billionaires’ budget has shown Australia that the Liberals don’t care about working people. Billionaires get tax cuts and big corporations get handouts, but wages go backwards and job seekers are stuck in poverty.

“Luckily, there’s more of us than there are of them. Celeste’s history shows that when you organise working people, you get results, and by uniting Australians in opposition to the billionaires, we can end their toxic legacy on our politics.

“We need to turf the Liberals out, but this week has shown that the Liberals and Labor are in lockstep on so many issues that matter. Labor voted with the government to use money that should be spent on schools and hospitals used to build new coal and gas projects, and to overturn refugee status and threaten refugees with indefinite detention.

“Only 828 votes separate Australia from being in a minority Parliament. By campaigning hard on growing economic inequality and billionaires, we will push the next government to tax the billionaires, kickstart a massive spend on public housing and get dental into Medicare. 

“Putting Celeste Liddle into Parliament would be a tremendous victory for working people across the country. We can turf the Liberals out and push the next government to go further and faster on tackling inequality and the climate crisis.”

Lines from Greens Candidate for Cooper, Celeste Liddle:

“I am extremely proud to have been preselected by the Greens for the seat of Cooper - a seat named after Yorta Yorta man William Cooper who is celebrated internationally for his private citizen protest against the atrocities of Kristallnacht, and was one of the key organisers of the 1938 Day of Mourning protest. Should I be successful, I would hope to continue his legacy of activism and compassion.

“As a union organiser, I’ve seen first-hand the power of collective action. With a small change in the vote, we can hold the balance of power. We can tax billionaires to fund a massive increase in renewable energy and get dental into Medicare. Treaties and proper recognition of Indigenous sovereignty, as well as robust rights for workers are all possible if we fight for it.

“I’ve been involved with the tertiary education sector for decades - as a student, a staff member, and then a union organiser. Both major parties have devastated the sector through continuous cuts and the Liberals seem content to let it die completely. I believe universities must be properly funded, casualisation in the sector must be stemmed, and higher education should be free for all.

“Cooper is a very progressive seat. It’s a highly multicultural seat. It’s a seat with a sizable population of Indigenous people. It’s a seat that values the right to health care, free education, asylum, and a sustainable future. I believe through the crossbench, we have a better opportunity to represent these key community values and hold the majors accountable.”  

Lines from Greens Senator for Victoria, Gunnai Gunditjmara DjabWurrung woman Senator Lidia Thorpe:

“Celeste Liddle is going to be a great representative for Cooper because she lives and breathes the values of these communities. She’ll be an MP that truly represents this area and everyone who lives here.

“Celeste knows how to bring people together, to organise and work at the grassroots to fight for the things we all need. 

“She’ll be in the Parliament fighting for a good future for all of us, unlike the major parties who just listen to their corporate donors.

“For too long our Parliament has not represented us. We need strong, smart First Nations women like Celeste in the Parliament and I can’t wait to campaign with her - bring it on."

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