A Greensparty missive today foreshadowed a handing over of “objects from the Greens(party)” to the Museum of Australian Democracy.
Some hope this will be an opportunity for the Greensparty to hand over Soviet-trained oddity NSW Greensparty sixty-something Senator Lee Rhiannon as some kind of living display piece who could eventually (with the passage of time) be housed in the museum in the style of Lenin.
Rhiannon’s deeply divided NSW branch of the Greensparty was dealt a blow by voters in the Heffron by-election where they poured dozens of volunteers and spent many thousands of dollars in an attempt to win the seat from their Labor frenemies. They polled dismally, boosting the case of many on Greensparty leader Christine Milne’s staff, who want Rhiannon retired. Perhaps making her a museum exhibit could work out well for all.
Sent: Monday, August 27, 2012 11:44 AM
Subject: GREENS MEDIA RELEASE: Christine Milne at Museum of Australian Democracy
Tuesday August 28
Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne will be in Canberra tomorrow to hand over objects from the Greens to the Museum of Australian Democracy. The event will coincide with the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Australian Greens Party this week.
Senator Milne will join the museum’s Acting Director Andrew Harper and Deputy Director Steven Fox to address the press with any questions.
WHO: Senator Christine Milne, Andrew Harper, Steven Fox
WHERE: King’s Hall, Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House, Canberra
WHEN: 10:30 – 11:00 TOMORROW
Media contact: Alexandra Lamb on 0437 587 5XX
Media Adviser for Senator Christine Milne
Suite SG-111 Parliament House, Canberra ACT | P: 02 6277 36XX | F: 02 6277 31XX
firstname.lastname@example.org | M: 0437 587 5XX
UPDATE: Tuesday 28 August 2012 at the Museum of Australian Democracy
CHRISTINE MILNE: Thank you everyone for coming this morning. August 30th marks the 20th anniversary of the formation of the Australian Greens. So I am delighted to be here this morning at the Museum of Australian Democracy to hand over a couple of documents that have been significant in the history of the Greens in the Federal Parliament. One event 20 years ago a small group of people who met in a hall in North Sydney couldn’t have imagined that within 20 years of formation of the Australian Greens that we would hold the balance of power in the House of Representatives and the balance of power in the Senate. [VEXNEWS: To think nothing of their unprecedented access to carbon-expensive business class travel]
That outcome has meant that we have been able to achieve the biggest economic and environmental reform after many decades. And it will mark the significant achievement of this period of the Gillard government. So it’s significant that I am able to hand over this Clean Energy Bill that has the signatures of all the Australian Greens who made up the team that made this possible after the people of Melbourne voted in Adam Bandt, and after the people all around Australia voted in the Greens.
Twenty years ago we could not have imagined that we would now have a senator from every state, that we have got members of Parliament of the Greens right around the country and one of the really wonderful things about being able to hand over such documents to the national collections like to the Museum of Australian Democracy is it really encourages us to ask the community to come forward with the documents that they might have that show how strong participatory democracy is in Australia.
So as part of handing over today marking the 20th anniversary of the Greens I really encourage people if you have any collection material that relates to federal elections, if you have badges that relate to federal elections, regardless of which party you are from, then please think about donating them to the Museum of Australian Democracy. Today this is part of our celebration, 20 years of the Greens, but let’s use it to strengthen the collection of this wonderful new addition to Australia’s democracy and recalling what has happened over the years, including of course the contribution of the Greens. So with that I’d like to hand over to Acting Director Steven Fox.
STEVEN FOX: It’s our great pleasure to accept these donations from the Australian Greens on obviously a very important date and milestone for the Australian Greens. This document and of course the other documents which have been donated mark an important contemporary milestone in Australia’s political parliament history and the Museum of Australian Democracy is all about celebrating our journey and our Australian democracy and we believe that these sorts of items coming into our collection give us the opportunity to engage with a new audience, a younger audience and in some ways a much more engaged audience that traditionally may think of democracy as been something stuffy or boring but what we’re talking about here is obviously contemporary issues of the moment, of the time and these are stories that are told from all the political parties as well as from grassroots movements as well. So we are very pleased to accept this donation and we look forward to more donations from all parties but particularly working with the newer parties in terms of building our small but growing collection to record Australia’s journey and celebrate our democracy.
JOURNALIST: Can I just ask whether the Museum of Australian Democracy sees the Clean Energy Bill particularly as a Greens initiative? Have the Government handed over a version of the Bill to you for donation?
STEVEN FOX: The Government haven’t although we do have an exhibition here on Australian prime ministers, and we asked the current Prime Minister as well as former prime ministers to give us an object that they feel marks their moment in time and the current Prime Minister has actually given, or lent us, her signed copy of the Clean Energy Bill, so I suppose that for her that represents something that’s important for her.
JOURNALIST: what is the handwritten document here?
CHRISTINE MILNE: The handwritten document is a document generated by Senator Bob Brown, former Senator Bob Brown, when I was elected together with Rachel Siewert in the 2004 federal election we joined Bob Brown and Kerry Nettle in Parliament and so having doubled our numbers from two to four at that time we did not need rules of engagement, if you like, between two people but once you go to four you needed to have rules of decision-making, recording decisions and so on in the party room so a party room was formally established and rules were set up and this document represents the establishing of rules around the Australian Greens in party room in the Federal Parliament.
JOURNALIST: This was the particular item that you as leader of the Greens wanted to donate to the museum just to clarify.
CHRISTINE MILNE: Yes that’s right I want to be able to go out to our members and ask them for a whole lot of things I hadn’t realised that so little of the election material from the Australian Greens over the last 20 years is here in the collection, so of course I want to make sure I go out now with badges and other materials and so on. But for me this represents a primary source, it was signed at the time that the Clean Energy Bill went through the Parliament. This was really a crowning achievement for the Greens, it was part of our agreement to provide the confidence and supply to Prime Minister Gillard for this period of government and it was actually the fruition of that agreement to deliver a carbon price in this period of government, legislated of course for 1 July 2012. so this was a really exciting time for the Greens, it was the fruition of what we had agreed, but actually it was a crowning achievement for the Greens over 20 years because what it showed was given the balance of power the Greens can deliver huge systemic reform for the nation and that’s what the Bill represents.
JOURNALIST: Do you foresee that you might also bring to the museum some notes and discussion and letters between the Prime Minister and so on in the lead up to the passing of the Bill, some sort of formal documentation?
CHRISTINE MILNE: I had an interesting discussion just a minute ago with Mr Fox about which are the appropriate collections because we’ve got the National Library, the National Museum, the Museum of Australian Democracy, the Sound and Film Archives, and so on and I am very pleased to say that there is now a move to make sure all of those collections are coordinated so that people will be able to go online and determine who has got what where. It’s certainly our intention over time to contribute all the primary source documents to public collections, I think it’s really important. The key thing for us is to determine which is the appropriate collection because this collection is about Australian democracy, about the political parties that engage in that democracy and the participation of the community in federal elections and in issues that lead to big issues in elections. This was the appropriate place to donate these particular documents…
JOURNALIST: Just given that it’s the 20th anniversary of the Greens, you have indicated that you would like to see party conferences open, some of the rank and file seem to disagree, is there something that you would like to take more of a lead on, have you discussed this with your Parliamentary colleagues at all?
CHRISTINE MILNE: Not in recent times but it’s certainly been the subject of conversation over time. The fact of the matter is our membership is really important to us and unlike the other political parties the membership actually determines policy in the case of the Greens and that means the members have argued that they want to have a safe and secure environment in which to discuss various aspects of the policies that they may wish to implement. So that is why the membership has overwhelmingly said they would prefer to do it without the media because whilst elected parliamentarians and representatives are used to the media, average members of political parties are not and don’t wish to be in an environment where they feel stressed about being in that kind of, with that kind of public scrutiny, if you like, the way the media is. From my point of view I think it would be a good idea if they were open and I have made that clear as did Bob before me, as have many of my parliamentary colleagues, what’s going to be interesting is to see how new technologies actually lead to impact all political parties having warts and all out there because that’s the reality of where the media, not the formal media, but the whole social media will take political parties in the long run.
JOURNALIST: Can you imagine that things might become a bit more open in the future then?
CHRISTINE MILNE: Well that would all be up to our members because as I indicated the Greens’ strength is in our membership and the participation of our membership where both the Coalition and Labor have really suffered in recent years is that they have been taken over by central bureaucracies and the membership has just been used to in fact put up their hands in branch meetings to endorse often parachuted in candidates and the like. The strength of the Greens has been in our local groups and in our local membership and I don’t want to do anything that would take away from the membership of the political party, the reason that they are members and that is because they do have a significant impact on the policy and the way of operating of the Greens.