Greens New South Wales

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The Greens NSW
Founded 1991 (1991)
Headquarters Suite D, Level 1/275 Broadway
Glebe NSW 2037
Ideology Green politics[1]
International affiliation
Legislative Assembly
3 / 93
Legislative Council
5 / 42
NSW Local Councillors
58 / 1,480

The Greens New South Wales is the state Greens party in New South Wales and a member party of the Australian Greens.

Electoral history[edit]

The first Greens party was registered in 1984, but the Greens NSW did not take its current form until 1991, when six local groups in New South Wales federated as a state political party. Greens candidates have run in every federal election since 1984, when a single candidate ran in the federal Division of Sydney.

New South Wales state elections[edit]

NSW Election Results
Primary Vote (LA)

The party first came close to electing a candidate in 1991, when Ian Cohen was the last candidate to be excluded in a contest against Christian Democratic Party leader Fred Nile. In the subsequent 1995 election, Cohen was elected to the NSW Legislative Council and became the first Greens parliamentary representative in NSW. In 1999 he was joined by Lee Rhiannon and in 2003 he was re-elected and joined by Sylvia Hale.

Greens members celebrating during the 2015 NSW election.

In 2007 Lee Rhiannon was re-elected to the Legislative Council and joined by John Kaye, bringing the number of Members of the Legislative Council to four. In 2010 Lee Rhiannon resigned from the Legislative Council to contest and win a Senate seat, and Sylvia Hale also resigned her seat. The resulting casual vacancies were filled by Cate Faehrmann and David Shoebridge respectively.

At the 2011 NSW state election the Greens further increased their vote, resulting in the election of Jamie Parker as the first Greens member of the Legislative Assembly representing Balmain. David Shoebridge was re-elected and joined by Jan Barham and Jeremy Buckingham in the Legislative Council.

In 2013 Cate Faehrmann resigned from the Legislative Council to contest a Senate seat. The resulting casual vacancy was filled by Mehreen Faruqi of the South Sydney Greens.

At the 2015 State election current sitting members Jamie Parker, John Kaye and Mehreen Faruqi were re-elected. Two new members were elected to the Legislative Assembly: Jenny Leong in the new seat of Newtown and Tamara Smith in the previously safe National seat of Ballina. The Greens primary vote in Newtown of 45.6% is the party's highest ever primary vote in a lower house electorate.

Federal elections[edit]

Federal Election Results
NSW Primary Vote (HoR)

The Greens elected their first ever New South Wales Senator, Kerry Nettle, at the 2001 election, only the second Australian Greens senator elected ever, joining Senator Bob Brown of Tasmania, who was elected to a second term at that election.

In 2002, Michael Organ was elected to the House of Representatives for the Wollongong seat of Cunningham at a by-election. Organ was the first Greens member to be elected to a single-member electorate in Australia.

At the 2004 Federal Election, the Greens ran John Kaye as their lead Senate candidate but was unsuccessful due to unfavourable preference flows and in 2007 Nettle lost her seat despite increasing her vote from 2001. In 2010 the Greens elected Lee Rhiannon to the Senate. No Greens candidates were successful in the 2013 election.

Constitutional Convention[edit]

Greens NSW members representing their local groups at an SDC meeting in 2015

In 1997 The Greens NSW formed part of a joint ticket called Greens, Bill of Rights, Indigenous Peoples for the 1998 Constitutional Convention held in Canberra in February 1998. Catherine Moore led the ticket and was elected for NSW. She joined Christine Milne from Tasmania to focus on ensuring that the overall process was more inclusive.[2]

Local government[edit]

The party endorses candidates to stand for election in many of the 152 local government areas across NSW, including in rural and regional areas where the major parties usually do not run candidates on party tickets. By 2004 the Greens had 58 elected representatives in local government.

At the local government elections held on September 13, 2008 a total of 76 endorsed Greens representatives were returned in 42 local government areas or just over 5% compared to around 3.75% previously.[3] Greens councillors were elected to serve on the following councils for the first time: Armidale Dumaresq, Ballina, Burwood, Canterbury, Hurstville, Lake Macquarie (2 elected), Lane Cove (2), North Sydney, Tweed, Wagga Wagga, Warringah(2) and Willoughby.

In Leichhardt Greens came close to doubling the vote of the ALP in their traditional heartland and won control the Council in their own right with 6 councillors (1999 -1 seat and 2006 - 4 seats). Jamie Parker, a councillor since 1999, was elected as Mayor. In Byron Shire, Jan Barham was elected as mayor with 50% of the vote in a popular mayoral election, and serves on council with another 3 Greens councillors.

Greens representation was increased in Blue Mountains, Cessnock, Coffs Harbour, Gosford, Bellingen, Hornsby, Orange and Woollahra.


The Greens NSW was founded when local Greens groups federated into a statewide party.

The Greens NSW retain the same basic structure which was created in 1991, with the formation of the statewide party.

State Delegates Council[edit]

The Greens NSW make decisions affecting the state party through the State Delegates Council (SDC), a meeting that consists of a delegate from each local group. The SDC is the highest decision-making body, and controls election campaigns for statewide candidatures (such as the Senate and Legislative Council). It also decides on admitting new local groups as members of the Greens NSW.

Local groups[edit]

The party is made up of 'local groups', who cover a specific geographical area. Local groups have complete responsibility for elections held in their area, particularly elections for the House of Representatives, the New South Wales Legislative Assembly or Local Government. There are currently 56 affiliated local groups in NSW.[4]

Working groups[edit]

A variety of working groups have been established by the SDC, which are directly accessible to all Greens members. Working groups perform an advisory function by developing policy, conducting issues-based campaigns, or performing other tasks assigned by the SDC. These include:

  • Young Greens
  • Sex, Sexuality and Gender Identity Working Group
  • Women's Working Group
  • Refugee Working Group
  • Economics Working Group

Political factions[edit]

There is only one publicly acknowledged faction within Greens New South Wales which is the Left Renewal faction. It was formed in late 2016 and presents itself as the far left wing of state's party.[5]

Members of Parliament[edit]

Australian Parliament[edit]

New South Wales Legislative Council[edit]

New South Wales Legislative Assembly[edit]


  1. ^ Boyle, LINKS. "Australia: Left-Green unity is an objective necessity". Socialist Alliance. Retrieved 22 March 2014. 
  2. ^ [1] Archived September 21, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ [2] Archived August 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Local Groups". 6 September 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2016. 
  5. ^ Aston, Heath (22 December 2016). "Hard-left faction forms inside Greens aiming to 'end capitalism'" – via The Sydney Morning Herald. 

External links[edit]