Opinion: Greens finish meeting with fighting rhetoric

Conferences are complete, policy platforms declared and candidates ready.

The closure of the 2017 Tasmanian Greens State Conference completed the three major parties’ annual meetings – which started with Labor at George Town back in June. 

It is worth noting the difference in what Labor, Liberals and the Greens claim will be key issues at the poll.

Labor is eyeing a health campaign, the Liberals are likely to run on the economy and the Greens believe pokie reform and the Federal Group’s monopoly is what voters, firstly, want fixed. 

Greens’ leader Cassy O’Connor’s rousing address to the party faithful on Sunday morning oozed with optimistic rhetoric.

It was a speech littered with references to the party’s history in defending environmental issues like Lake Pedder and the thwarted pulp mill.

Predictably, the environment and preserving Tasmania’s natural assets, including the Tarkine, were front and centre at the conference.

It might be at the forefront of the Greens’ members, but is it fresh in voters’ minds?

Planning for the next 100 years is absolutely vital – we only have one Earth.

That must be in concert with a plan for job security and economic prosperity.  

Across the globe there has been a shift to the conservative right of politics – something Australian Greens’ leader Richard Di Natale believes is turning.

He declared the party’s federal success usually flowed from Tasmanian success. 

But in the spiritual home of the Green movement, the group – which lost party status at the 2014 election – faces a real challenge to retain, let alone gain, seats.

Political analyst Kevin Bonham questioned if the profile of Bass MHA Andrea Dawkins was prominent enough for her to be re-elected.

Ms Dawkins was up-front about the fight on her hands.

“I aim to keep this job,” she declared on Saturday.

Losing Bass and not securing any other seats would be incredibly damaging for the party already facing a difficult future.

Ms O’Connor remained bullish about the party’s chances – declaring it could pick up Lyons and possibly Braddon.

The Greens face an almighty task of rebuilding at the next election.

You can be sure they’ll give it a red-hot go.