DAVID RISSTROM - No. 1 VICTORIAN GREENS SENATE CANDIDATE
David Risstrom was the Victorian Greens No. 1 Senate Candidate for the 2004 Federal election. This page provides some of the information, commentary and issues we raised during the campaign.
David stood down after five and a half years as Melbourne City Councillor to nominate as a candidate for the Senate. Despite not being elected to the Senate, David is looking forward to the opportunity to be selected again to represent the Greens and to continue the work this planet and its people desperately need.
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR YOUR SUPPORT
A strong campaign and good community support saw the Victorian Green Senate vote climb to 260,484, or 8.8%, an increase of more than 60% over our 2001 result.
Despite a Green primary vote across Victoria of more than four times that of Family First, grubby preference deals with the ALP and Democrats have delivered the sixth Senate seat to Family First, their sole Senator in the 2004 election
The Victorian Greens primary vote of more than 260,484, or 8.8%, was the third highest vote after the Liberals and ALP by a country mile. Steve Fielding, the Family First candidate, received a primary vote of 55,551 or 1.9% of the vote.
Despite Family First failing to receive the 4% primary vote required for return of their electoral deposit, ALP preferences secured Family First’s election. Exclusion of the third ALP candidate, Jacinta Collins, saw her votes elect Family First. David Risstrom’s votes remain undistributed.
Had the ALP preferenced to the Greens ahead of Family First, Greens No. 1 Senate candidate David Risstrom would have been elected.
Many people who voted 1 for the ALP, Liberals or Democrats in the Senate may have unwittingly had their votes elect Family First. Although less than one in 50 voters wanted Family First when they voted, the ALP’s failure to tell their voters that their grubby preference deals would favour Family First gave a huge leg up to Family First and was a betrayal of Labor heartland.
The Greens issued warnings ahead of the election that this very situation could occur, though it is clear from the outrage following polling day that many people felt misled when they voted. We have had reports of group voting tickets being unavailable on polling day and people calling the Australian Electoral Commission to ask for their vote to be withdrawn on finding their preferences unwittingly transferred to Family First.
The Senate election system needs to be reformed to allow people to vote with their preference above the line. This form of electoral fraud by parties who apply pragmatism before principle would then be much more difficult.
Victoria still needs a strong Green voice to stand up for Victoria. A strong voice for free education, stronger Medicare, truth in government, and care for people and our environment. I doubt that is what Victorians have got .
It is encouraging that a record Green vote has seen Christine Milne and Rachel Siewert joining Senators Bob Brown and Kerry Nettle to continue to speak for a better future. While I am very disappointed not to be serving Victoria as a Green Senator, I thank those 260,000 people who supported the Greens and have begun work forwards a further opportunity to represent the Greens in 2007.
DAVID RISSTROM'S BIOGRAPHY FROM THE GREENS 2004 ELECTION WEBSITE
David Risstrom is the lead Senate Candidate for The Australian Greens at the forthcoming Federal Election. He is set to become the first Victorian Green to be elected to Federal Parliament.
Accompanying David on the Australian Greens Senate ticket for Victoria are a group of five energetic and talented people who possess unique skills and diverse life experience. They are
Dr. Richard Di Natale, Pamela Curr, Dr. Liz Conor, Sue Pennicuik, and Dr. Berhan Ahmed. And for the very first time, the Australian Greens will also be represented at the coming election in all 37 Victorian Lower House seats.
Embarking on a campaign to restore the balance in federal politics, David and the Victorian Senate Team are committed to securing a healthier environment, fairer wages, better working conditions, improved public infrastructure and health care services, free education for all, along with a return to the public provision of social services and ethical governance driven by the common good.
In 1999 David became the first Australian Green to be elected to the Melbourne City Council. Five years on he has earned the reputation of being an innovative reformer, with an ability to deliver.
This is reflected by his record of achievement, implementing in excess of 100 policies and programs, including:
• Initiating Australia's most ambitious water and greenhouse reduction targets;
• Establishing the $1 million Social Housing Trust and Melbourne Affordable Housing Company;
• Securing Council policy that opposes mandatory sentencing and welcomes refugees;
• Delivering a multi-million dollar Melbourne City lending library;
• Allocating $5 million to the Melbourne Sustainability Fund;
• Developing Melbourne's 'Growing Green' 50 year open space plan; and
• Supporting Aboriginal self-determination, as well as the delivery of Indigenous Land Use Agreements and employment programs.
The Australian Greens provide a real alternative to the prevailing economic rationalist and inhumane agenda of both the major political parties. We are more than just an environment party.
We recognise the cultural diversity, language and customs of aboriginal people, refugees and asylum seekers. We respect the valuable contribution they make to our society. We stand for sustainability in practice, not merely in rhetoric, an end to privatisation of public services, and erosion of our civil liberties. The Australian Greens stand for social justice and basic human dignity.
Australia is fortunate to possess a robust parliamentary system, one that promises broad representation and the opportunity for everyone to 'have a say'. Yet for many Victorians this is not true. Every Victorian has the right to be represented in Australia's House of Review – the Senate.
The election of David Risstrom at the forthcoming Federal Election will not only set Australia on a more socially and environmentally sustainable path, but will ensure a voice for all Victorians.
David has a unique employment and life history, one that reveals a broad range of skills and experience, impressive academic credentials, and a record of achievement in social and environmental action.
David is highly respected within the environment movement, particularly for his involvement in the successful campaign to create the Victorian Alpine National Park. Indeed, it was this campaign that led him to complete First Class Degrees in Science and Arts, and Law.
In the seven years that followed graduating in Law, David worked as a Barrister representing the most disadvantaged people in society. In this time, he also served as a senior researcher with the Senate Superannuation Committee, an Electoral Educator, and Environmental Consultant.
His diverse employment experiences include operating a small business, teaching, carpentry, and truck driving.
David was elected to the Melbourne City Council in 1999 .
In his capacity as Councilor, David chairs the Melbourne Affordable Housing program, The Melbourne City Council Environment, Sustainability and Indigenous Affairs Committee, and the Aboriginal Consultative Committee.
He is Convenor of the Metropolitan Environment Forum, and is a Director of the Western Regional Waste Management Group and Municipal Purchasing Group (MAPS), which has now introduced strict national environmental guidelines for Council purchasing.
In the year 2000, David was elected by a world-wide ballot to the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), before becoming Vice President in 2002. In this role David is responsible for guiding the world's leading organisation in Local Government progress on climate change and water conservation.
David has twice been elected to the Australian Conservation Foundation Council, completed a Vincent Fairfax Ethics Fellowship and is a member of over twenty community organisations.
He is now set to take his wealth of life experience to Federal Parliament, and in doing so provide all Victorians with strong, effective and honest representation.
For more information, and links to sites with ideas on how to build a better Victoria and fairer world, please visit: www.davidrisstrom.org
INFORMATION FROM THE 2004 ELECTION
March 2005 submission to the joint Parliamentary Committee on the 2004 Election and Above the Line Senate Voting (48 kb word download)
Oct - Dec 2004 News and Views of David Risstrom: 2004 Victorian Greens No. 1 Senate Candidate
Jul - Sep 2004 News and Views of David Risstrom: 2004 Victorian Greens No. 1 Senate Candidate
David Risstrom's Media Releases
David Risstrom's Victorian Greens Senate Preselection