GREENS Senate candidate Andrew Bartlett stopped into Airlie Beach and met with Dawson Greens candidate Jonathon Dykyj at the early polling booths.
GREENS Senate candidate Andrew Bartlett stopped into Airlie Beach and met with Dawson Greens candidate Jonathon Dykyj at the early polling booths. Dane Lillingstone

Greens call for change

GREENS Senate candidate Andrew Bartlett stopped into Airlie Beach today to discuss healthcare, climate change and the coming of age of his party.

Mr Bartlett met with Dawson Greens candidate Jonathon Dykyj at early polling booths and declared the Greens "a mature party".

"They know what we stand for, they know we're consistent, they're not going to agree with everything we're about but we will say things based on what we believe, not just what's popular," he said.

"We're a mature party now. It's not just a protest vote. It's recognition that the two party system has failed. "

Mr Bartlett is no stranger to the campaign having spent over 10 years as a senator for the Australian Democrats.

Spending close to 25 years in third party politics, Mr Bartlett said it was time to break the two party stronghold.

 "The community is more diverse than that, the same way you want diverse economy and ecology, there's a diversity of ideas and to keep trying to squeezing in everything into two parties, both of who are captured by corporate interests anyway - is a failure," he said.

While Mr Bartlett acknowledged that the Senate vote didn't get as much attention as the House of Representatives, he said in some ways it was more crucial because the balance of power with crossbench numbers was crucial.

Dawson candidate Mr Dykyj said embracing opportunities in clean renewable technologies was imperative to the future of the reef. He is campaigning to stop thermal coal burning, stop the industrialisation of port expansions, and working with farmers to improve water quality.

"There's a whole range of measures that can work practically and we can implement now," he said.

Including dental care in Medicare and $400 million in funding for comprehensive rural and regional mental health also topped his list of policies.

"If we keep doing the same thing the same way, we get the same result. For decades, state or federal, Labor or Liberal they're always saying there's not enough for schools, there's not enough for hospitals. I think people want a genuine choice and they are disappointed with the old parties, they haven't been delivering on their rhetoric, we got to hold them accountable," he said.

"A vote for the Greens in the Lower House is not a wasted vote, because with the preferential voting system you can max your vote that way. Certainly in the senate, this is the way you hold the incumbents accountable and can effect real change in the community."


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