Funding: The Kiama Greens Council election campaign is fully funded by local members and local supporters. The Greens do not accept donations from companies or corporations and for local campaigns there is no funding provided by the NSW Greens.
Printing and other media matters: For the 2021 campaign, Kiama Greens have sourced 800mm x 500mm cardboard signs (core flutes) for poling booths and supporters’ front yards. At poling booths we will be using some normal recycled “issues” based signs from previous elections where they are related to Local Government matters.
We use recycled paper for all of our printed media and How to Vote cards.
Update (25th November) The restrictions on handing out of material at polling booths has meant that we have printed a small number of large format signs with a copy of the How To Vote recommendations for display to voters. Some of these have been printed on paper and stapled to old core-flutes and some have been printed on traditional core-flute material. We will ensure that these are recycled in some useful manner.
Policies: All of the policy statements made during our campaign are locally developed. As a local group within the larger Greens organisation we have full autonomy over the organisation of our campaign and the ideas we present to the community.
Our candidates know that policy issues will only be acted on with the support of other Councillors and that the success of a Council depends on the ability of 9 Councillors to work together.
Elected Councillors who have been endorsed by the local group are never instructed to vote in a particular way by Greens NSW or indeed by our local group.
Some of our members have been actively involved in developing Greens NSW policies for State and Federal elections and we do not hesitate to use at a local level the experience and background that goes into that work.
In developing policy positions, we recognise that in many cases the Council is simply not able to do certain things which are outside its legislative role. However, a Council and Councillors should be willing to lobby State and Federal Governments to achieve outcomes that benefit residents, or to change legislation that allows greater freedom for Councils to act.
Preference recommendations: Our HowToVote cards will provide some recommendations to voters as to how they might exercise their preference allocation. The Kiama Greens do not enter into “deals” with other groups for the exchange of preferences and we are in no way directed to allocate preferences by the larger Greens organisation. All such decisions are made by our local group members.
Political Parties and Local Government: During election campaigns we often hear the comments that “there is no role for political parties in local government” or “there is no role for ideology in local government”.
We disagree that being in a political party is necessarily a bad thing. We further question the way that the word “ideology” is used to suggest that Councillors are unable to consider matters on the merits of the case because of some “ideological fixation” that bypasses the facts.
In the case of Kiama Greens, we are a group of people who share a set of values and those values are shared very publicly. We are open with our agenda of things we would like to achieve. Too often the critics of parties in local government are members of political parties themselves but stand for election as “independents”. Indeed some have been known to be members of the State Executive of the party they belong to, parties that in other LGAs are actively standing candidates under the party banner.
It is important that the residents of Kiama know what values candidates will bring to their role as an elected representative. Too often we are criticised by others who have not made their values clear. Too often candidates spend much time criticising others and little time explaining and justifying their own policies.