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Political Parties

The Australian Greens (The Greens)

Origins

The Australian Greens was formed as a national political party in 1992 by a group of independent Greens parties from the States. Separate Greens parties had been active in most States since the 1980s, and were represented in the Tasmanian Parliament and the Senate by the early 1990s.

Interests represented

The Australian Greens seeks broad membership and participation to support its ecological and social justice objectives. While it is a 'conservationist party' opposed to powerful vested interest groups, the party has policies on a wide range of concerns such as wealth distribution, participatory democracy, economic development and multiculturalism. It attracts votes from those who are disaffected with mainstream parties, younger voters and individuals responding to the immediate environmental issues at the time of any particular election.

Values

The policies of the Australian Greens focus on global as well as national issues. The party seeks to build an ecologically sustainable and socially just society. It uses election contests as well as direct action and community initiatives to cultivate global environmental awareness and to promote its wider aims to eradicate poverty, oppression and discrimination.

Organisation

The Australian Greens consists of autonomous State and Territory Greens parties/organisations who subscribe to the party's national charter. Representatives of the State and Territory organisations make up the National Council, which makes decisions on national policy. Each State and Territory has a State Council (or similar) that makes policy and electoral decisions for their respective State or Territory. Where possible, decisions at all levels of the party are reached by consensus. The Australian Greens and its affiliated organisations are part of the Global Greens network of Greens parties.

In the Parliaments

Western Australian Greens, Christabel Chamarette and Dee Margetts took their seats in the Senate in 1992 and 1993, and were followed by Tasmanian Senator Bob Brown in 1996. With the election of the 42nd parliament in 2007, the total number of Australian Greens in the Senate was five. In the State and Territory parliaments, the Australian Greens held the balance of power in the Tasmanian Parliament in the early 1990s. In recent times, they have achieved parliamentary representation in all levels of governance in Australia, including nine Senators, one federal Member of Parliament and 22 Greens Members in State Parliaments.

The Australian Greens website

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