You can view our question list for all candidates here.
Greens Candidate for La Trobe, Jim Reiher, responded :
Our party has spent considerable time and effort working out replies to each
question you asked. Here are our answers (some of them have extra notes from
me as the Greens candidate for La Trobe):
What are your thoughts on asylum seekers?
The Greens are committed to a fair and just immigration system that upholds
Australia’s commitment to international law and human rights. We believe
refugees and asylum seekers should be treated fairly and compassionately and
oppose an overly-politicised approach that demonises asylum seekers.
The Greens support:
. the abolition of mandatory detention;
. an end to offshore processing of asylum seekers’ claims;
. the right to legal aid and judicial review of decisions for asylum
. increased resettlement of refugees and humanitarian entrants from
offshore (e.g. refugee camps in foreign countries);
. enhanced specialised support services for refugees and asylum
seekers, including English instruction;
. a new refugee visa for people displaced by climate change;
. programs that seek to eliminate racism, promote belonging and
encourage connection between people.
What are your thoughts on public transport?
Smart transport infrastructure is integral to our environmental, social and
The Greens support:
. reform of the national transport plan to shift funding from roads to
fast, convenient public transport;
. stringent fuel efficiency standards for new cars;
. alternative fuels;
. the abolition of Fringe Benefits Tax concessions for company and
. an upgrade of our urban public transport and rail freight
. the removal of GST from public transport.
What are your thoughts on renewable energy? / What are your thoughts on
The Greens understand the urgency of the climate challenge, as well as the
tremendous opportunities that transforming Australia into a carbon neutral
powerhouse creates for new jobs and the health and wellbeing of communities.
The Greens’ Safe Climate Bill is Australia’s first legislative package to
truly achieve a safe climate.
The Safe Climate Bill aims to achieve net zero emissions for Australia by no
later than 2050, and at least 40% cuts by 2020, by:
. introducing an effective carbon pricing scheme that makes polluters
pay for the pollution they produce;
. establishing stronger targets and support for renewable energy;
. upgrading the energy efficiency of our homes, offices and
. rolling out clean transport alternatives;
. protecting and building our forest carbon stores;
. creating green jobs.
The Greens will also:
. redirect the massive subsidies for fossil fuels to renewable energy
and energy efficiency;
. assist coal dependent communities to move to sustainable industries
as international demand for coal falls.
The Greens are the only political party opposed to all aspects of the
nuclear industry – from uranium mining to nuclear weapons. Nuclear power
creates the fuel for nuclear weapons and is no solution to climate change,
especially when renewable energy and energy efficiency can reduce emissions
faster and cheaper. Future generations must not be burdened with toxic
nuclear waste for which there is no safe disposal. The Greens will phase out
the mining and export of uranium and oppose the establishment of nuclear
power plants, nuclear fuel processing, enrichment facilities and radioactive
Do you support or oppose the introduction of the R18+ rating classification
for video games?
The Greens support the introduction of an R18+ classification for video
games. The absence of this classification for video games means that games
that are unsuitable for minors are refused classification and made
unavailable for adults. This is inconsistent with our treatment of movies
and other media.
Do you support or oppose the proposed internet filter?
Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam has been the
Parliament’s most vocal opponent of the Government’s proposed mandatory ISP
filter. Like the entire ICT sector, he considers that the filter will not
achieve its stated objectives, but it will potentially cause problems with
internet speeds and reliability, and it runs the risk of restricting freedom
of information and expression beyond what is acceptable to much of our
community. See footage of Senator Ludlam’s recent comments on the filter in
the Senate at
However, Senator Ludlam is interested in measures that will truly crack down
on threats to online safety, especially threats to children and young
people. He is consulting with experts in the field as an active participant
in the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Cyber Safety. Senator Ludlam will
be launching an alternative approach to online safety during the course of
the election campaign; an approach based on optional PC-based filtering,
online safety initiatives with young people, and law enforcement to tackle
cyber crime such as child pornography.
Do you support or oppose gay marriage?
The Greens support gay marriage and have a strong track record of defending
the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals &
communities. Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has introduced a bill into
Parliament to legislate for gay marriage.
What are your thoughts on abortion?
The Greens believe women should have access to safe and confidential health
and wellbeing services, including reproductive health services; and will
ensure that all women have access to legal, free and safe pregnancy
termination services, including unbiased counselling.
And I would like to personally add (this is Jim Reiher speaking now – Greens
candidate for La Trobe): It would be wonderful if there were less abortions
in this country. It is an intrusive and violent procedure done to women, and
then there is the complex debate about the potential (or actual) life being
lost. It would be great if there were less abortions. But making abortion a
criminal offense would be going backwards. That did NOT stop abortions in
the past. The way to reduce the number of abortions (without undermining
women’s rights and the right to choose) would be:
- to fight poverty (one of the main reasons given for abortion is “I cant
afford another mouth to feed”)
- fight domestic violence (“I would not want to bring a child into my
- better sex education and
- better availability of contraception.
- and also: improve people’s understanding of adoption and the desperate
need for more babies to be offered to families that really want children but
cant have them: turn one person’s huge problem into another person’s
Do you support or oppose the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia?
The Greens have a long record of supporting the right of terminally ill
people to choose a medically-assisted death with dignity.
Jim Reiher adding: I support this if the form being proposed contains
adequate safeguards such as:
- only the person themselves can make the call
- no coercion allowed by family members (punishable by law)
- two independent doctors who have no connection to the family or vested
interest in the estate, both agree that the patient is incurable and they
are not getting adequate pain relief from any available treatments
- you have to be a citizen of the state for at least two years (to prevent
What are your thoughts on stem cells research?
The Greens have no agreed policy on stem cell research. The issue is
subject to a conscience vote.
For me (Jim Reiher, La Trobe, Victoria) I would add: I am nervous about stem
cell research, especially if it is embryonic stem cell research. I would
probably vote against moves to allow it. Some say we should never hinder
scientific research, but I am of the opinion that there are always ethical
limits that need to be weighed and included in any discussion and policy
making. We Greens are opposed to GM Foods and reject the “always allow
scientific experimentation” on that issue. There are limits to what a
community can and should allow.
What are your thoughts on education?
A strong public education system underpins a fair, successful, productive
and cohesive society.
The current generation of political leaders benefited from free university
education, only to subsequently de-prioritise education funding in the
national budget. The Greens believe that every Australian is entitled to
free, high-quality public education and training, and we would restore
education’s place in our national priorities for the benefit of today’s
students and our future society.
The Greens propose:
. increased funding for all levels of public education;
. access to relevant information about our schools and education
without ‘league tables’;
. funding for at least two years of public preschool education for all
. a more equitable system for funding private schools to prioritise
. to abolish university fees and forgive HECS-HELP debts;
. an adequate living allowance for all full-time students;
. a vibrant student life through student controlled and funded student
What are your thoughts on campaign finance disclosure?
The Greens support full campaign finance disclosure. The role of the
Parliament is to serve the best interests of all Australians. The Greens do
not accept political donations from big business, and we support public
election funding to stop the practice of buying political influence.
To further strengthen the integrity of the Parliament, the Greens also
advocate an independent national anti-corruption commission to hold federal
politicians fully accountable. We also want truth in political advertising
laws to lift the standard of election campaigns.
What are your thoughts on water?
Australia is the driest inhabited continent, yet Australians are the world’s
highest per capita users of water. In a changing climate, Australians need
water security – and the Greens know that we cannot rely on run-off
dependent dams, mega-pipelines or energy-hungry desalination plants. To
protect our precious water resources we want water-sensitive building and
urban design principles, efficiency targets, storm water harvesting and
re-use, and agricultural systems that are responsive to our climate and soil
The Greens will:
. push for a truly independent national authority to manage the
Murray-Darling Basin (MDB)
. fast track the MDB Plan to ensure that adequate water is returned to
the river system
. fund sustainable new industries in basin communities and upgrade
. ensure that adequate environmental flows are allocated to save South
Australia’s Lower Lakes
. introduce water recycling and demand reduction initiatives
. support incentives to retrofit buildings with rainwater tanks and
grey water systems
. set water efficiency standards for new developments and appliances
. ensure that all land-use planning addresses the impacts of climate
. keep major water resources and infrastructure in public ownership
. ensure that mining projects do not go ahead on productive farmland
without assessing their likely impact on ground water and other essential
Do you support or oppose standing order 50?
The Australian Greens oppose Standing Order 50 as it stands. In 1997,
Senator Bob Brown gave notice of a motion to amend SO 50 to remove the
Lord’s Prayer and replace it with an invitation to senators to pray or
reflect on their responsibilities. The Greens still believe in amending SO
50, including an acknowledgement of the traditional owners.
Are there any local issues you are trying to highlight with your campaign?
The Australian Greens are a national party. Our policies address numerous
local issues – too many to list here.
All of our national policies are at http://greens.org.au/policies. You can
also visit each candidate’s individual website for information on the
specific local issues they are each seeking to address.
For me (Jim Reiher) in La Trobe, Victoria: I would like to see more federal
funding for health and education services (including education services for
kids with special needs like the proposed special school in Officer); more
resources put into specific public transport projects; and more funding for
weed control especially in National Parks.
Though group voting tickets have not been submitted yet, do you have an idea
on where your preferences will be going?
Senator Brown has been at pains to remind voters that it is their decision
where their preferences flow. Voters should number all candidates in the
order they prefer. How-to-vote cards are simply a guide. For more
All political parties must lodge a preference arrangement for the Senate
with the Australian Electoral Commission. Senator Bob Brown has attempted
to have this system abolished, but his efforts have been voted down by the
The Greens have made a much-publicised preferences deal with the ALP in some
seats. Preferences in other seats are being decided by local Greens
branches on the basis of local issues. However, again, it is up to voters
whether they wish their preferences to flow in accordance with these deals -
they can always choose to number each candidate and their preferences will
All preference arrangements are available on the AEC website: