Proof: Hey Reddit!

We're just eight days away from what may be the most important election Australia has ever seen. If we're serious about the twin challenges of climate change and economic inequality - we need to get rid of this mob.

This election the Australian Greens are offering a fully independently costed plan that offers a genuine alternative to the old parties. While they're competing over the size of their tax cuts and surpluses, we're offering a plan that will make Australia more compassionate, and bring in a better future for all of us.

Check our our plan here:

Some highlights:

  • Getting out of coal, moving to 100% renewables by 2030 (and create 180,000 jobs in the process)
  • Raising Newstart by $75 a week so it's no longer below the poverty line
  • Full dental under Medicare
  • Bring back free TAFE and Uni
  • A Federal ICAC with real teeth

We can pay for it by:

  • Close loopholes that let the super-rich pay no tax
  • Fix the PRRT, that's left fossil fuel companies sitting on a $367 billion tax credit
  • End the tax-free fuel rebate for mining companies

Ask me anything about fixing up our political system, how we can tackle climate change, or what it's really like inside Parliament. I'll be back and answering questions from 4pm AEST, through to about 6.

Edit: Alright folks, sorry - I've got to run. Thanks so much for your excellent welcome, as always. Don't forget to vote on May 18 (or before), and I'll have to join you again after the election!

Comments: 2062 • Responses: 43  • Date: 

kiminoth452 karma

Hey Richard,

The green's stance on the "Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) 2018" was disappointingly in the minority in the strong opposition of said amendment.

What are you plans around this legislation and the reinstatement of the privacy and security that this amendment undermines?

Also, what is your view on nuclear energy do you see it as a viable option in Australia's energy future?

Thanks for your time!

RichardDiNatale616 karma

We know that the Liberals don’t care about the IT industry or people’s privacy and were pleased when Labor first opposed it. But an incredibly spineless backflip from Bill Shorten, has now compromised the digital security of each and every Australian. When you shoot holes in digital protection, everyone is vulnerable. History shows that hackers and foreign states can and will use the holes our government wants to create. We will do what we can in the next parliament to overturn this legislation.

We have a plan to take us to 100% renewable energy by 2030 without any nuclear energy. Uranium mining is dirty, it feeds the nuclear weapons cycle and the risk of an accident is too high a price to pay. We just don’t need nuclear energy because we have so much wind and sun in Australia.

Black--Snow132 karma

I believe nuclear energy is less cost effective at the present moment than renewables. We missed the window for nuclear by a bit.

RichardDiNatale289 karma

Yep. It takes ages to build, is far too expensive, and with the price of renewables constantly coming down, we simply don't need it.

HonestDeath395 karma

Hi Richard,

Wondering if the Greens will look into getting rid of Robodebt? Or a royal commission into Centrelink? People are tired and worn out and dieing because of the process.

The Forest needs planting not deforestation in Gippsland. What are the Greens going to do to stop the logging of our national forests?

Is there going to be a royal commission into the South Australian Education department?

RichardDiNatale416 karma

Robodebt has been a disaster. Senator Rachel Siewert has been leading the charge on fixing this deeply unfair system.

In Gippsland and across the country we will scrap the Regional Forest Agreements and end logging of native forests on public land, end broadscale land-clearing of forests and woodlands on private land to protect our precious places, animals and carbon stores that are being destroyed and unlock jobs and community benefit from environmental restoration and tourism and recreation. We have a really comprehensive plan on how we reforest some any parts of Australia which you can find here.

Pomohomo82358 karma

Hi Richard, this week Bill Shorten got into a stoush with Newscorp. How healthy do you think Australian’s media diets are, and what impact do you think it has on progressive politics? Thanks for doing an AMA and good luck in the weeks ahead! PoMo

RichardDiNatale629 karma

Thanks Pomo! Sadly, the media landscape has never been narrower in Australia. As publishers have folded, we’ve seen outlets become far more conservative over the last few years. This week’s front page article attacking Bill Shorten’s mum (which was even criticised by Andrew Bolt, of all people) shows the level of partisanship in some of our major mastheads. The good news is that most people don’t trust them anymore and are starting to wake up to the toxic influence of Rupert Murdoch.

hindenburgular356 karma

Hello Richard,

I live in a regional electorate where the Greens are an afterthought. Has the party been giving any thought to becoming a stronger presence in such areas?

I also fully acknowledge that media sources make this a tremendous challenge. E.g. presenting the greens falsely as the moral equivalent to Anning types.

RichardDiNatale422 karma

I think a lot of voters in regional areas align with Greens policy, even if they don’t know it. They’ve had a gutful of the National Party selling them out to the mining industry and they’re looking for alternatives. Supporting sustainable agriculture and investing in regional services for example are a core part of our agenda. I agree that the media landscape can make getting our message out there challenging, but we are slowly breaking down preconceptions of our party. That’s a long-term job, but our work on the Murray Darling Basin, renewable energy jobs in regional communities and supporting rural health and education is getting us there.

fallenwater61 karma

There are a lot more Greens candidates in rural seats that I can remember in the past, but campaigning in rural areas is expensive and without corporate backing it's very hard to justify spending a lot on campaigning for seats you're unlikely to even come close to winning. Palmer (for example) can do that sort of thing because he's cashed up, but a grassroots party can't match that.

RichardDiNatale85 karma

Our vote holds up in many regional parts of Australia and we proudly fight for the best interests of regional Australia too, especially against gas and mining companies and protecting valuable food-producing land (seeing as all the other parties back the gas companies!).

But of course there are challenges when powerful media interests are stacked against you and we have only a fraction of the finance of the major parties - we have to be wise where we spend it.

Building our vote in rural and regional Australia is a long-term project that we are committed to and we are confident in its success.

sydneychatchit299 karma

There are a bunch of great policies there. The dental plan is especially good. What are you proposing as the model for this? All dentists bulk billing? A mix of private/public? And how to separate our cosmetic dentistry from fixing actual problems?

RichardDiNatale840 karma

Under our plan seeing a dentist will be the same as seeing the doctor. You’ll be able to claim up to $1000 every 2 years of preventive dental under Medicare. You’ll be able to continue seeing your regular dentist, and Medicare will pay rather than using your private health insurance.

It’s very odd that if you break a bone, you’re able to get support from the taxpayer - but if you chip a tooth, you’re out of luck. We won’t be including item numbers for cosmetic dentistry so people will still have to pay for that.

kerrbris210 karma

Hi Richard

The Greens and Labor seem to be sniping at each other a lot more even when they share common ground on working better for the environment. Do you think it’s necessary to differentiate yourself from Labor? Or should you be working collaboratively on solutions?

RichardDiNatale553 karma

Hey mate!

I've answered this here

Copy-pasted from below:

As a party, we’ve got a lot more in common with the ALP than we do with the LNP, and I’m on the record saying I’d much rather work with a Shorten Government than a Liberal Government (who can’t even agree among themselves)

But the Greens have our own policies, priorities and positions that don’t align with the majors. We’re free to actually develop policies in the interest of the country, because unlike the ALP or the LNP, we don’t take donations from corporations who are just trying to buy their way into power. I don’t employ coal lobbyists as my chief of staff, like Bill Shorten and Scott Morrison have both done.

While we would prefer to work with a Labor government, we’ll always call out bad policies. Neither party will stop the Adani coal mine. Labor wants to go even further and frack the Northern Territory. Both parties want mandatory data retention. Both parties want to keep Newstart at a rate so low it’s actually creating unemployment. Both parties want to keep giving away billions in fossil fuel donations to companies that mostly don’t even pay tax in the first place. Both parties support logging our native forests, draining our Murray-Darling. And we’re going to oppose those things, no matter which party forms government.

KellyAnnewithanE50 karma

Want to jump in here and say that I think this is a good question, especially given the C Milne wanted The Greens to distance themselves from Labor (for good reasons)—but wouldn’t a Green/Labor coalition help both parties? Or would it sink both parties?

RichardDiNatale227 karma

We Greens are totally in this to get outcomes and work constructively to improve this country, but that doesn’t mean waving everything through.

If we aren’t there pushing Labor to do better, they will only listen to their corporate donors. We are also in the Senate to hold Labor to account on the details. Look at their climate package, they support renewables, yes good, but they also will allow the Adani coal mine to go ahead and want to give $1.5 billion of public money to three energy companies to frack gas in the Beetaloo basin. If you don’t have a plan for coal and gas, you don’t have a plan for a safe climate.

Aglet94176 karma

If another political party puts forward a climate change option that's not as ambitious as yours, but will still be a step forward, will you vote in solidarity of positive change or will you block their efforts entirely because you want a bigger outcome? Political one-ups between the major parties is a significant cause of frustration for voters like myself and I'd like to see a good-faith effort to work together this term.

RichardDiNatale293 karma

We showed in 2010 that we can work with Labor to build policy that worked - the price on carbon was the most effective action on climate change that we've seen so far.

Rest assured, if any party puts in legislation that's a step forward and we can build on - we'll support it.

Iplaydeadpeople174 karma

I don't see the Greens cutting through the anti-Greens rhetoric. Something needs to change in your tactics because I still see a lot of flat-out lies being perpetuated about the Greens, many of which incite outright hatred of them. What do you think can be done to change this?

RichardDiNatale238 karma

Scott Morrison wouldn’t be spending time attacking us each and every press conference if he didn’t think we were a viable threat. Whenever he attacks us, a lot of people do rush to look at our policies, and quite a few end up seeing what they like.

That said, I think we have some big problems in our media landscape. The shocking front-page attack on Bill Shorten’s mum shows just how low the Newscorp media will stoop - and we really need a greater diversity of voices in the media to ensure people get a full range of perspectives on important issues.

deniz-the-menace147 karma

Hi Richard!

What are the Greens views on a universal income? Is it something you have looked at? Cheers!

RichardDiNatale279 karma

I floated this at the National Press Club speech last year. We are keen to explore what the future of work looks like. With automation, flat wages, record corporate profits and casualisation, we need to prepare for a different kind of work/life structure.

We want to see a Future of Work Commission established that can look into the viability of a universal basic income here in Australia.

luisvsm130 karma

Hello Richard,

I'm a big fan of the greens, and especially Scott Ludlum for his work advocating for the Australian games industry. My question is, are there plans to pick up where he left off?

Keep up the good work!

RichardDiNatale243 karma

Yes, we miss Scott too :)

We’re bringing a great video games policy to this election - $100 million to a new Games Investment & Enterprise Fund that will invest in game development projects and help successful games companies grow their businesses. We’ll also extend the Producer Tax Offset and the PDV Offset to video game developers. And we’ll allocate $5 million to assist in the development of creative coworking spaces, inspired by the Arcade in Melbourne.

You might be interested to know that our lead Senate candidate in the ACT, Penny Kyburz, is actually an indie video game developer. Hopefully she’ll get elected and then we’ll have a gamer in Parliament.

WorstZyraAU129 karma

Hi Richard, what plans do the Greens have to protect the Great Barrier Reef?

RichardDiNatale375 karma

The most important thing we can do to save the Great Barrier Reef is to stop climate change. The Australian Conservation Foundation scored each party on their plans to stop climate change - giving us 99/100, the ALP 56/100 and the coalition only got 4/100 - you can read our full plan to stop climate change here. But the thing to remember is the mining, burning and exporting of coal is the world’s biggest cause of climate change - and Australia is the world’s biggest exporter of coal. The Greens are the only party who will stop Adani and coal exports. We will also reclaim the $443 million grant made to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, and reallocate this funding through process that will better protect the Reef and will stop damaging coal and gas port expansions onto the Reef.

SGTBookWorm98 karma

What are your opinions on electric cars and the possibility of electric car manufacturing in Australia?

Do you have any ideas on ways the effects of climate change could be reverse, not just mitigated?

RichardDiNatale215 karma

Electric cars are 100% the way of the future, and I’m more confident of that now than ever. It’s pretty tragic that uptake has been as low as it has been in Australia so far. We shouldn’t be surprised though - this government can’t even sort out something as basic as vehicle efficiency standards. China, India, Japan, the US and EU all have these standards, and we don’t - even though the Climate Change Authority says it’d save motorists $8,500 a year, and save the climate 59 million tonnes of carbon emissions in the process.

So we’re not going to get progress on electric vehicles with a Liberal Government hooked on deals and donations coming from the big end of town. The Nationals in coalition with the Liberals blocked a common-sense move to vehicle efficiency, that would have saved drivers billions. But the experience from all over the world is that if you don’t have leadership from government, you don’t get going on electric vehicle uptake. Look at Norway, for example.

We’ve got a plan to put in place the charging infrastructure, the tax incentives and the buying power of forward-thinking government that can kick EV sales into a higher gear (pardon the pun). It’s also a plan to reduce emissions in the process - 20% of our emissions come from transport. You’ve got to plan to fix the problem if you’re going to fix it.

ezioadf92 karma

Hey Richard, stoked your doing this. Big fan of the Greens and so so so much of what you guys are about. What were you feeling when you found out Scott Morrison stood up in Parliament with an actual lump of coal telling people not be afraid of it? And then how did you feel when you realised that same man had become leader of our country?

RichardDiNatale251 karma

The Liberal Party are basically the political wing of the coal lobby, so I was disappointed, but not surprised. I've been saying that far too much lately.

My shock at Morrison becoming Prime Minister was only made slightly easier by the fact it wasn't Peter Dutton.

chicken-choker6988 karma

Do you have a favourite beer?

RichardDiNatale183 karma

Furphy's. It's a Geelong beer - so from my neck of the woods. Got to support your local brewery!

Grunef146 karma

Furfy's is brewed by little Creatures Brewery, owned by Lion Nathan, who is owned by Kirin, a Japanese company.

Furfy's is brewed locally, from Victorian ingredients, but profits end up oveaeas. Maybe you should try some of the stuff from Blackmans brewery in Torquay, or Salt Brewery Co. In Aireys inlet, they are a good independent breweries from down your way.

RichardDiNatale150 karma

Thanks for the tip - I've actually tried them both, and they're a great drop!

downunderguy79 karma

Hi Richard.

What can the Greens do Federally to support and encourage harm minimisation tactics regarding drug usage?

RichardDiNatale227 karma

Thanks for this one. As a former drug and alcohol doctor it’s something I’m passionate about. The Greens are leading the national conversation on illicit drugs, just like we did with pill testing and our #justtestit campaign last year. We can introduce bills into parliament, like I did with the Australian Cannabis Agency bill late last year, and we can hold the major parties to account when they don’t take action. In the next parliament I’ll be reintroducing a bill to change how medicinal cannabis is regulated, and I hope Bill Shorten and Catherine King will get on board. I’ll also be pushing hard to get support for our plan to legalise cannabis for adult recreational use.

LadesSades74 karma

Hey Richard,

I fully support switching to 100% renewables but watching the news my father (an ardent labor supporter) felt that often the Greens just say they'll "make jobs" from switching to renewables without saying any specific projects that will help.

Could you give us a couple of examples of what specific projects the Greens will do that will create jobs in that area?

RichardDiNatale157 karma

I’d be happy to. Here’s our policy document detailing our roadmap to transition to 100% renewables by 2030, and here’s a snapshot:

  • Subsidies to install household battery storage will create jobs in the manufacture, sale, installation and maintenance of battery technology, and create 1,680 jobs
  • Sales, installation, maintenance of our 100% renewables asset creates 147,120 jobs
  • Creating solar fuel export hubs - so you can actually export renewable energy to the world, and take advantage of our natural advantages when it comes to sunlight, wind and hydro - creates an average of 660 jobs, and really ramps up over the decade beyond 2030.

The point is that you don’t have to choose between having jobs and having a clean economy, because you can have both. We’re in this climate emergency and we’ve got this enormous opportunity, but we’ve saddled with political leaders on both sides who refuse to engage with either.

stairwaytolevee64 karma

Hey Richard,

We all know that The Greens are struggling to break through the ~12% margin of votes based on mainstream anti-greens rhetoric. Murdoch's media monopoly definitely has an impact on this but what as supporters do you think we could do to help overcome this vilification, if I may use such a strong word?

Also, what's your favourite food to eat while on the campaign trail?

RichardDiNatale94 karma

Luckily, not many people trust the Murdoch media any more - so it's having less of an impact. Social media is where most people engage with politics. The best thing that you can do is talk with your friends and family about Greens policies, and why they're necessary now more than ever. We find that when people actually learn about Greens policies, without the conservative spin, they like them. Hearing it from a friend just makes that even easier.

As for my favourite food on the campaign trail? I'm partial to a bit of chocolate in all shapes and sizes.

epicpillowcase60 karma

Hi Richard.

How would you reform the punitive Job Active system? I see that you want to raise Newstart, which is much-needed, but the whole system needs a radical overhaul.

Currently, there is little nuance or understanding of people who don't qualify for DSP but have chronic health issues, being punished by the system for things outside of their control.

RichardDiNatale81 karma

Thanks for your question. We agree that the whole system needs a radical overhaul. Jobactive isn’t fit for purpose and it’s failing unemployed workers. We think it further entrenches economic disadvantage. Quite frankly, the evidence shows that mutual obligations don’t help people to find paid work. In fact, they can lead to increased poverty and poorer health outcomes.

Fundamentally, the Greens don’t think that mutual obligations have a place in our social security system. We’ll immediately abolish the Targeted Compliance Framework from all employment related programs, including Jobactive, and we’ll make sure that our employment services help people find work and also treat people with dignity and respect.

dylabolical200059 karma

Richard - given streaming is taking over from TV, have the Greens considered introducing legislation imposing a local content quota on the streaming services (like TV has) to help promote the Aussie screen industry & save local jobs?

RichardDiNatale119 karma

Right with you on that. My brilliant colleague from South Australia Senator Sarah Hanson-Young is all over this one. Check out our policy on what we’re doing for artists and creators with this write-up here. In a nutshell - yes to quotas, yes to supporting local screen producers, and we’re going further. Did you know that 98% of Australian artists were on Newstart between 2010 and 2015? Something’s broken when the arts produces over $100b in value for the Australian economy and the people producing it are living on $40 a day. We’ve got a policy that will bring up to 54,000 artists out of poverty, permanently, and invest in Aussie stories.

Parakeelia54 karma

Hi Richard,

Will your policy on the Federal Anti-Corruption Commission be retrospective?


RichardDiNatale125 karma

Absolutely. The Greens have been pushing for a federal ICAC since 2010, and back then it was opposed by everybody. Nine years later and after lots of campaigning we’ve got every party on board. That’s a good thing. We’ll push to make sure it’s retrospective and they’ll be pretty busy with the Murray Darling Basin Plan, the half a billion given to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and the dodgy contracts to detention centre operators.

420throwaw4y50 karma

Hey, how long do you think we are away realistically from cannabis legalization country wide?

RichardDiNatale89 karma

I'd like to think we could make progress within the next term of parliament, but we really need to push Bill Shorten over the line.

MediocreStream45 karma

Hey Richard. I work with Jason Ball's campaign. I can really feel the good vibes in Higgins at the minute. Just a question, how is the introduction of the Cannabis bill going, and will you be pushing this harder after you're re-elected ?

RichardDiNatale54 karma

Welcome! Thanks for helping out mate, great to have you on the ground with in Higgins. Jason Ball will be a great MP, and it will be a great change for the people of Higgins if we can make it happen. On the bill - it was introduced last year, and I’m looking forward to picking it up again when parliament resumes. At the moment it’s ready to be debated, and we’ll be looking for more allies and opportunities to get that conversation going again when parliament returns.

Bluebird234568044 karma

Hi Richard,

Massive fan of your work! For the sake of the Australian people and the climate, please keep up the great work. I had two questions:

  1. The recent reports issued by authoritative bodies on the challenges we face regarding climate change are incredibly scary. I’m trying to channel fear into action and retain hope that way, but I was just wondering how hopeful you feel about Australia taking effective action in the very near future?

  2. It has saddened me recently to see the likes of Teena McQueen and even members of parliament spewing rubbish about how the Greens perpetuate hate speech and are the “leftist equivalent” of Frasier Anning. Would you ever consider publicly asking for a written apology from these people, so that members of the public do not begin to perceive such claims as valid?

Thanks so much again!

RichardDiNatale71 karma

I hear you. The reports on imminent mass extinctions, melting ice-sheets, tassie bushfires and a Murray darling system collapsing before our eyes are bloody scary but we have to channel that into positive action. Volunteer, research, donate, talk to people, contact your local mp. Take to the streets and march with the student strikers. That’s how we’ll change things. The coal, oil and gas industry have deep pockets and donate to the Liberals and Labor, but we have a mass movement and it’s building.

As for the voices of hate, most people see them for what they are. Usually it’s best not to give them too much oxygen but occasionally it’s worth taking them on (like I did with Andrew Bolt).

sardonix233 karma

Hi Dr. Richard Di Natale,

Considering joining a political party for the first time. Wanting to feel enfranchised about the future of Australian Govt.

What would you say is the best / worst part about your Party that sets you apart from other micro-parties such as Reason, or Science, or even ON?


A (sometimes disillusioned) Registered Voter

RichardDiNatale72 karma

Best: Definitely that we're a grassroots, community based movement. We're the only ones with a platform that addresses the major challenges of our century: climate change and growing inequality. Not only that, but we've achieved a lot: marriage equality, a royal commission into the banks, and a federal anti-corruption watchdog.

Worst: You join to hand out a few How To Vote cards, and before you know it you're running as a candidate. Makes it difficult to plan your weekend!

CaitlinJohnstone32 karma

Hi Richard! What are the Greens doing to prevent Julian Assange's extradition to the US and get him out of the claws of the warmongers?

RichardDiNatale77 karma

Hi Caitlin, I’ve been on the record calling for the Australan Government to use our so-called “special relationship” with the US to make sure Julian Assange isn’t extradited to the US. We’ve got to do more than just provide basic consular assistance. The fact is Julian Assange is facing extradition because of his work to shine a light on potential war crimes. He’s been abandoned by the Coalition Government and the ALP, and his extradition would set a disastrous precedent for the free press.

ithinkimtim32 karma

Why are Australian Politics so uninspiring?

RichardDiNatale75 karma

Hi Tim, I hear you. It can be tough to get inspired when politicians just yell at each other and throw insults around. But what inspires me is the chance to build a better world that my kids will grow up in. The chance to take strong action on climate change or deliver life changing policies like free TAFE and Uni or building half a million new homes. That’s what keeps me going. And I’ve got an amazing team around me - our nine incredible Senators, along with Adam Bandt in the lower house, have already made huge strides in improving this country and repairing our broken politics. Getting them re-elected and getting some of our great candidates in there to join them - that inspires me and I hope it inspires you too.

MyDoppelganger30 karma

Hi Richard,

Thanks for doing this AMA.

What can the Greens do in order to apply pressure, enforcing a closure of tax loopholes and a greater share of tax being paid for by the wealthy?

I'm particularly concerned about the shifting burden of costs (budget-wise) being placed upon the lower and middle class. We are well overdue for a shift in the other direction.

PS. I have already voted -- Greens as 1 in the senate.

Take care.

RichardDiNatale59 karma

Thanks for already voting Greens in the Senate!

We have a bunch of plans to close tax loopholes and make sure that the wealthy pay more tax.
For starters, we’d reverse the Government’s proposed top end tax cuts and make the deficit levy permanent. We’d also introduce a Buffett Tax so that people earning more than $300,000 have to pay a minimum of 35% tax. We’d crack down on multinational tax avoidance by stopping companies from artificially shifting their debt around. We’d end fossil fuel subsidies to mining companies, introduce a mining super profits tax and fix the Petroleum Resources Rent Tax. These are just a few top-line examples, because I’m running out of time :)

Onehundredandsixteen28 karma

In your last AMA you said "yes to decriminalisation of all drugs", citing Portugal's system. Is that something you still stand for?

RichardDiNatale121 karma

Yep, we absolutely still stand behind removing criminal penalties for personal use. It should be a health issue, not a criminal one.

nagrom722 karma

Hi Richard. Which MPs/Senators from outside your party do you and your colleagues find it easiest to get along/work with?

RichardDiNatale34 karma

I've always found Kristina Keneally very pleasant and professional, and Marise Payne is very good to work with.

13159daysold19 karma

Hi Richard. Recently there has been a surge in complaints from Greens that appears to be attacking Labour more than usual. Are you worried that this will push more undecided voters back to the LNP?

RichardDiNatale41 karma

As a party, we’ve got a lot more in common with the ALP than we do with the LNP, and I’m on the record saying I’d much rather work with a Shorten Government than a Liberal Government (who can’t even agree among themselves)

But the Greens have our own policies, priorities and positions that don’t align with the majors. We’re free to actually develop policies in the interest of the country, because unlike the ALP or the LNP, we don’t take donations from corporations who are just trying to buy their way into power. I don’t employ coal lobbyists as my chief of staff, like Bill Shorten and Scott Morrison have both done.

While we would prefer to work with a Labor government, we’ll always call out bad policies. Neither party will stop the Adani coal mine. Labor wants to go even further and frack the Northern Territory. Both parties want mandatory data retention. Both parties want to keep Newstart at a rate so low it’s actually creating unemployment. Both parties want to keep giving away billions in fossil fuel donations to companies that mostly don’t even pay tax in the first place. Both parties support logging our native forests, draining our Murray-Darling. And we’re going to oppose those things, no matter which party forms government.

monte_au16 karma

With the benefit of hindsight; do you believe the decision of the Greens to effectively kill the ETS resulting in the election of Tony Abbott to leadership of the Liberal Party was a mistake?

RichardDiNatale43 karma

Couple of things. We were handed a policy written by and for big polluters, asked to take it or leave it, and we left it. Here’s why.

Treasury’s own modelling showed that if the CPRS passed, Australia’s domestic emissions would be the same in 2033 as they were in 2008 - achieving absolutely no emissions reduction at all.

We will never support a policy that locks in pollution, achieves zero carbon reduction for 25 years, doesn’t close a single coal fired power station and says the only way we’re going to get a more ambitious carbon reduction target is by first paying coal companies like Rio Tinto billions of your money for the privilege. This is the crux of it: Scott Morrison’s emissions reduction target is more ambitious than Labor’s CPRS was. And Scott Morrison’s emissions reduction target is a fig-leaf on a fig-leaf. Why the ALP thinks the CPRS was the path to preventing climate change is for them to explain, to be honest.

IonLogic16 karma

Hey Richard,

I've had quite a bit of interest in constitutional reform, and an indigenous voice to parliament in particular. Labor has pledged to hold referendums on a republic, and the indigenous voice to (in?) parliament. However, these have been very low-key and I don't see much of an effort from them to try and get the public on board and I think this dooms these proposals, which is really disappointing.

Are you planning to get on board with these ideas and to try and sell them to the public/get a wide public discussion going before committing to a referendum?

Additionally, there's a lot of commentary about whether there should be an indigenous voice in parliament (as in senate seats or a third chamber), or a voice to parliament (a seperate Nordic style indigenous parliament perhaps?). What are your thoughts on the best option in this case?

RichardDiNatale37 karma

The Greens support the establishment of a ‘voice to Parliament’, as called for in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. That statement calls for a referendum to be held to provide in the Australian Constitution for a representative body that gives First Nations a Voice to the Federal Parliament. enshrined in the Constitution to ensure that First Nations Peoples have a voice in decisions that affect them.That would include a wide ranging consultation - so yes, we’d definitely support a bigger public discussion - and a referendum process.

We’re also pledging $50 million for the establishment of a body, such as the suggested Makaratta commission, with the function of enabling agreement-making and facilitating a process of local and regional justice and truth telling. Agreement-making is seen as a vehicle for policies such as a truth and reconciliation commission, designated seats in Parliament, self-determination policies, and economic measures. Truth telling means that the true history of colonisation must be told: the genocides, the massacres, the wars and the ongoing injustices and discrimination.

For us, this emphasis on treaties, justice, healing and truth are fundamental, and we need to start there before making decisions about which constitutional set up would be best for creating that voice to Parliament.

atticusmurphy10 karma

Hi Richard!

Question from a friend who doesn't have a reddit account: “How does the Greens party plan to support at risk workers and communities who will be further economically and socially disadvantaged by restrictions or phase outs in mining and coal activities in remote regions? What plans of action have been drafted, and what funding or timeline do they indicate?”

RichardDiNatale32 karma

Hey Atticus & friend, great question. I think the first place to start is by recognising that coal’s days are numbered whether or not we plan for it. The market is moving away from coal and towards renewables, and this is going to leave workers in the lurch. The question is whether we put a decent safety net underneath coal miners, or if we just hang them out to dry by telling them that they’ll have a job forever then having the company pull the plug without warning.

Our plan to move to 100% renewables puts in place a $1b transition fund to help with worker relocation, reskilling and, if a retrenched worker wants to, transition to retirement. We don’t want to leave anybody behind. Coal miners aren’t the problem - they’re doing honest work to put food on the table, pay the mortgage, cover the school fees. The problem is the industry, which makes billions out of causing climate change. Coal is the number one cause of climate change, and we’re the number one exporter of it. The world is starting to move away from coal so these workers’ jobs are on the line. Our responsibility it to look after them so no-one is left behind as we transition away from coal to renewables.

terminally_greg8 karma

Hi Richard, i am curious to know, what's your stance on the republic debate?

RichardDiNatale15 karma

Massive supporter - and the sooner the better.

waterdove6 karma

Hi Richard,

What will the Greens be doing to tackle mental health and family violence both as an issue, and raising awareness?

Do you think a national royal commission in mental health is needed?


RichardDiNatale13 karma

Hi Waterdove, thanks for the great question. Mental health and domestic violence are two really important issues that aren’t talked about or addressed enough. As a doctor I’ve seen a lot of people suffer through both of these, and trying to change the system is something I’m interested in.

In mental health, we have plans to:

  • Make services effective, transparent and accessible.
  • Fund prevention and early intervention.
  • Support people with severe mental ill health.
  • Build mentally healthy workplaces.
  • Increase the numbers of peer workers.
  • Reduce mental health stigma through funding an awareness campaign

You can read more about these plans here.

To tackle domestic violence, we will create a new ten-year, $5.3 billion National Partnership Agreement on Domestic Violence and Violence Against Women between state and federal governments. The Greens’ plan would provide 10- year funding certainty for frontline response services and radically boost their funding by investing $2.2 billion over four years as part of the 10 year commitment. You can read more about that here.

__jfree5 karma

Hey Richard,

While we're all on board with kicking out the Libs (and holding Labor to account), what do The Greens plan to do about combatting the rise of political fascism in Aus?

Alongside your usual suspects like PHON and ACNP, the existence of parties such as CEC and Sustainability Party may promote "left" or "liberal" policies at a face value, however their core promotes a "right" and Anglo-Saxon belief system.

In summary, what do the more marginal right parties mean for the decline of social liberties in Australia, as well as the right to live in Australia regardless of where you're born?

RichardDiNatale5 karma

I’m really concerned about the rising tide of white supremacy, white nationalism and far right extremism. We’ve seen over the last few years that these extremist views have driven violence around the world, including the tragic events in Christchurch. They often target people of faith, people of colour and people on the broad left of politics. For me, one of the most worrying aspects of this trend is the normalisation of far right ideologies in our media, on social media and in our politics. The Greens would introduce a code of conduct to ensure that politicians in the federal parliament conduct themselves in a way that doesn’t promote discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexuality or disability, and in a way that protects and supports multiculturalism. For over 40 years, politicians have argued over whether to introduce a mandatory code like we’re calling for. With the kind of appalling rhetoric we’ve seen from people like Fraser Anning lately, it’s well over time for this code to be adopted.

kaz0002214 karma

Pineapple on pizza. Yay or nay??

RichardDiNatale7 karma

Saw this one buried but needed to put it on the record - hell no!

That’s a crime against food and an affront to my Italian heritage. I have to confess that my kids love it, so I’ll make an exception if you’re under the age of 12