Greens' Eden-Monaro candidate: 'We've been set back three years' on climate change

Greens candidate for Eden-Monaro Patrick McGinlay stands in front of Najanuga in Central Tilba. Picture: Albert McKnight
Greens candidate for Eden-Monaro Patrick McGinlay stands in front of Najanuga in Central Tilba. Picture: Albert McKnight

The Greens' candidate for Eden-Monaro has described the shock outcome of the federal election as devastating in terms of action on climate change.

"We've been set back three years - that's the tragedy of this particular result," Patrick McGinlay said of the Liberal National Coalition's surprise win.

"In the immediate future it won't make much difference. But our next decade will be set back another three years from any meaningful work on climate change and that could have a large impact.

"We should be doing our part, like the rest of the world is doing it's part."

While it is likely the Eden-Monaro will be won by Labor's Mike Kelly, who's party was campaigning for a stronger approach to combat climate change than the Coalition, Mr McGinaly said he did not think voters in the electorate were particularly receptive to the issue of global warming.

"I saw a lot of disinterest and disengagement in the majority of people to the political process," he said.

"I think people are over politics, and I think climate change is a difficult concept to grasp."

He was not as shocked as some to the election's result, as while media polls had suggested a Labor victory he said "you can never trust exit polls".

"If you're proud of your vote you'll shout it out, while if you're a little bit ashamed you'll shut up," he said.

With three quarters of the votes counted by 10am on Sunday morning, Mr McGinlay had received 8.5 per cent of first preferences, or 6727 votes, with a swing of .9 per cent towards him.

But it was less than what he was aiming for, saying he was hoping to get "in the double figures" and the result was "not enough to make a difference".

Patrick McGinlay

Patrick McGinlay

"People seem to be ignoring the bigger issues and getting caught up by the massive advertising campaigning and dirty tricks of the Liberal Party," he said.

"The only thing that gives me some hope is a newer wave of voters will be coming onto the scene who are not rusted onto parties and will be looking at the issues.

"But whether that change comes quick enough is a different question."

Now, it is back to work for Mr McGinlay.

"I'll just go back to being a [Eurobodalla Shire] councillor and start looking for a part-time job," he said.

He does not plan to run for the Greens next federal election and hoped someone younger would take up the baton.

This story Greens' Eden-Monaro candidate: 'We've been set back three years' on climate change first appeared on Bega District News.

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