David Risstrom 2007 Senate Nomination
About this site David Risstrom's Senate Watch 100 Green Achievements David Risstrom's Progressive Internet Links
  2004 Victorian Greens Senate Candidate 100 More Green Achievements David Risstrom's Homepage

Email David Risstrom

David Risstrom News + Views Jan-Mar 08

100 Green Achievements

100 More Green Achievements

David's OnLine PhD - The Greens and the Planet's Future

David Risstrom's Articles, Essays and Speeches

David Risstrom's Media Releases

David Risstrom's Progressive Internet Links

Through Green Coloured Glasses 2004

Your Ideas and Priorities

Thinking Environment On Air


David Risstrom's Community Involvement

Victorian Local Government Elections 2008

Victorian Greens Homepage: Policies

Australian Greens Charter

Sustainability Game

Dave's Thoughts

Thank You To The Beautiful People

It's Not Easy Being Green


David Risstrom - Victorian Greens No. 1 Senate Candidate

Rosa the Policy Watchdog drives policy!

David Risstrom News + Views Oct:-Dec 07: Jul-Sep 07: Apr-Jun 07: Jan-Mar 07

David Risstrom News + Views: Oct-Dec 06: Jul-Sep 06: Apr-Jun 06: Jan-Mar 06

Rosa and Dave's News + Views: Oct-Dec 05: Jul-Sep 05; Apr-Jun 05; Jan-Mar 05

Rosa and Dave's News + Views Oct-Dec 2004: Jul-Sep 2004; Apr-Jun 2004; Jan-Mar 2004

Rosa and Dave's News + Views Oct-Dec 2003; Jul-Sep 2003; Apr-Jun 2003; Jan-Mar 2003

Rosa and Dave's News + Views 2002

Through Green Coloured Glasses 2003; 2002

David Risstrom's Community Involvement 2004-2001; 2001-1999; Pre-1999

Did Cr. Risstrom Deliver on His Promises for 2001-2004?; 1999-2001?

Victorian Local Government Elections 2005: 2004



Thank you for visiting my Senate nomination webpage.

As Victoria's first elected Green I have always believed it is important that elected Greens keep contact with members and the community we serve.

With your support and that of the more than a quarter of a million Victorians voters who supported me in the 2004 federal election, once elected, I pledge to continue to work for and with you to give Victorians the Green voice needed to deal with the democratic, social and environmental challenges we face. I look forward to seeing you soon and to planning a better, long term future.

Yours sincerely, David Risstrom.

View David Risstrom's profile on LinkedIn


David at the Melbourne Meet the Candidates Meeting (5 min. YouTube)

Click to download David's Nomination flyer! (710Kb pdf)

David Risstrom was Victoria’s first elected Green. As a Melbourne City Councillor from 1999 to 2004 he implemented over 130 progressive Green policies. David was the 2004 Victorian Greens Senate candidate, where despite polling a record 8.8% primary vote, was not elected due to ALP and Democrats preferences electing a Family First Senator with 1.9% of the primary vote.

David successfully lobbied the Victorian Parliament in 1989 to create the Victorian Alpine National Park and to recognise wilderness as a land use. He has worked as a researcher for the Australian Centre for Environmental Law, consultant to the Commonwealth EPA, teacher for the Australian Electoral Commission and Senior Researcher to the Senate Select Superannuation Committee. David's other roles have included:

  • Vice President - International Council for Local Environment Initiatives
  • Chair - Melbourne City Council Environment, Arts, Sustainability + Indigenous Affairs Committees
  • Chair - Melbourne Affordable Housing Company
  • Convener - Metropolitan Environment Forum and Metropolitan Transport Forums
  • Director - Yarra-Melbourne Regional Library and Western Regional Waste Management Boards
  • Australian Conservation Foundation Councillor
  • Mental Health Review Board Member

David has completed law, arts and science degrees and has been practising as a barrister since 1997.

Wikipedia entry for David Risstrom

  Contact David by Skype or: Call me!  
  • Email: david@davidrisstrom.org
  • Post: David Risstrom, Room 406, Equity Chambers West, 472 Bourke St Melbourne 3000.
  • Mobile: 0418 502 713

David Risstrom's 2004 Senate Candidate Thank You


David Risstrom has nominated for 2007 Victorian Senate preselection with the Victorian Greens.

David was the Victorian Greens No. 1 Senate Candidate for the 2004 Federal election, where the Victorian Greens Senate vote increased by 45%, with David receiving the highest personal vote of any Victorian Senate candidate.

The ALP's preferencing of Family First, with one fifth of the Greens vote was the only thing that stopped Victorian's electing David as their first Victorian Green Senator.

Since 2004 David has kept extremely busy as a practising barrister, Greens Local Government Campaign Co-ordinator in 2004 and 2005, teaching environmental law and marking law and business and economic exams for Monash University, serving as an ACF Councillor and even featuring a mention in Andrew BoltÕs latest book.

Candidacy is currently being decided by a postal ballot of all Victorian Greens members.



Most of you will know me.  I was the person we worked so hard to get elected to the Senate in 2004.  But for Family First I would be your Senator, and we would be electing another Green to join me in this election.

That was not to be, but it doesnÕt mean that we ran a bad campaign.  We were cheated by the backroom deals of the ALP and the Democrats.  Together you and I and thousands of others achieved a 30% increase in our Senate primary vote.  We did that by hard work.  I drove thousands of kilometres, and visited many communities that had never been visited by a Green Senate Candidate before, in working for that increase.  I committed myself 100% for the year leading up to election day, and will do the same again, if I gain the support of people like yourself to go for it again. 

We have unfinished business in this campaign.  We must ensure that never again do the parties on our side of politics cheat both us and the people of Victoria who believe in our vision of a better world out of a Senator they voted for.

Why am I the person to represent you?

I have a strong commitment to the environment, social justice and ethics, having devoted my life to them as a way of contributing to a fairer society.

A member since 1993, I was VictoriaÕs first elected Green.  Elected to Melbourne City Council in 1999 I served for 5 years, until I resigned in 2004 to campaign for the Senate.  While elected, my Greens vote more than doubled.

As International Vice President of the International Council for Local Environment Initiatives and Greens Melbourne City Councillor, I have local and international experience as an elected Green, chairperson, director and activist.

After successfully campaigning in Parliament to create the Victorian Alpine National Park, I completed a first class Science honours degree in climate change, first class Arts degree in politics and social theory and a law degree focussing on environmental regulation.

My forte is my integrity, and failing overwork.  As Melbourne City Greens Councillor, I worked with councillors of disparate political and social beliefs, gaining support to implement over 130 initiatives, including:

  • AustraliaÕs most ambitious water (40%) and greenhouse gas (30%) reductions targets.
  • A 2020 Zero Net Greenhouse Gas Emissions Target, personally gaining endorsement from APEC to provide this to Asia Pacific cities (comprising half the worldÕs population).
  • A $5M Sustainable Melbourne Fund.
  • Triple Bottom Line governance, factoring environmental, social and economics into government decisions.
  • MelbourneÕs ŌGrowing GreenÕ 50 year open space program.
  • A $1M social housing trust and Melbourne Affordable Housing Company.
  • An Australia wide government green purchasing program.
  • Securing Council policy welcoming refugees and opposing mandatory detention.
  • Overseeing the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit Local Government Conference.
  • Delivering a City Centre Lending Library.
  • Negotiating for Melbourne City to enter a treaty and indigenous land use agreement.

I have worked in the Australian Senate as Senior Researcher on Superannuation for Women and Same Sex Couples, as Electoral Educator in Canberra, Environmental Consultant to the Commonwealth EPA and run my own small business.

With a personal charter to work for disadvantaged people, I have provided extensive pro bono legal services to the Environment Defenders Office, Fitzroy and Eastern Suburbs Legal Services and Springvale Domestic Violence Service.

I am respected within the environment movement, being elected twice as ACF Councillor, and am a member of over 20 environment and community groups.  I am also a Vincent Fairfax Ethics Fellow, completing an 18 month ethics and leadership fellowship, travelling in Burma and promoting ethics in Australia.

Since last election, I have worked as a barrister, as 2004 and 2005 Victorian Greens Local Government Campaign Coordinator, as Monash University Law and Business examiner, as Lighthouse Experts Bureau Speaker, taught environmental law and accepted a post on the Mental Health Review Board.

Over 13 years, I have served on Greens Executive and Council, in various local government capacities, in local, state and federal policy development and as mentor.

Other offices I have served as an elected Green include:

  • MCC Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee Chairperson.
  • Metropolitan Transport Forum Chairperson.
  • Metropolitan Environment Forum Convenor.
  • MCC Aboriginal Consultative Committee Chairperson.
  • ICLEI International Executive and Management Committee Member.
  • Director: Yarra-Melbourne Library, MAPS and Western Regional Waste Management Group.

I established and maintain an ~300 page website promoting the Greens, receiving over half a million hits and nearly two hundred thousand visits.  The website at www.davidrisstrom.org hosts news, commentary, 200 policies, 760 progressive internet links and Senate Watch on current inquiries.

As 2004 Senate candidate, I established a regional and metropolitan profile, an important attribute for future campaigns.  Unscathed by other partiesÕ campaign tricks to tarnish their opponents, I have recognition and support across our organisation and within the Victorian community.

The 2007 campaign will be crucial.  We need Greens with the skills and experience in public office to deliver the policies the planet desperately needs. 

With nine years experience as a barrister, election twice by international ballot to ICLEI, and dedication to the Greens, my elected and academic experience will prove useful for the climate change focus sure to be central to the 2007 Federal election.

Whatever its other roles, the Senate is a law-making body.  The first business of parliamentarians is to draft, debate, amend, reject and pass legislation.  The Victorian Greens need Senators in 2007 and beyond with the skills, knowledge and experience to influence the legislative process.

Having dedicated my life to the environment, social justice, and honing the legal and political skills needed to make a difference, I am asking for your support to use that experience as a member of our Greens parliamentary team.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and for your support.

Please visit www.davidrisstrom.org, email david@davidrisstrom.org or call 0418 502 713 if you want to know more.  

David Risstrom

  Barrister-at-law, LLB, BA, BSc(Hons)

Return To The Top Of The Page



Candidate nominations are supported by four members who have nominated them for preselection. Below are the 200 word statements provided by David Risstrom's nominators supporting his candidacy.



ItÕs difficult to believe that one person could achieve as much as David has over the past twenty years. He has an exceptional range of skills, knowledge and ability that allows him to be enormously productive. WhatÕs more, he thrives on work.

I first met David in East Gippsland at a forest camp in the early 90s. I believe a good history of activism is fundamental to party political work. DavidÕs long history of activism spans a vast array of issues from education to East Timor, from S11 to legal Aid, climate change and many others.

His achievements as a Greens Councillor for the City of Melbourne could fill a small book. Thanks to DavidÕs work and persistence, it is regarded as the most advanced local government in Victoria, and some believe nationally and internationally. The CouncilÕs triple bottom line governance, green purchasing policy, sustainable water management, greenhouse gas reduction and open space planning, are all thanks to DavidÕs work.

David knows electoral and political systems backwards. He has great media and speaking skills, coupled with his work as a Barrister, means that he has the ability to outmanoeuvre the wiliest political opponent. 

David would be an extraordinary senator.

Jill Redwood - has been a Greens member for 13 years, was a candidate for the UH in Eastern Victoria 2006, has been campaigning for forest protection for 22 years, is a writer, cartoonist, organic farmer and manages an eco-tourism accommodation business.

Return To The Top Of The Page



David Risstrom has made an outstanding contribution to local government, a wide variety of Australian and international social justice and environment organisations and been a persistent and persuasive representative of the Australian Greens.

As a representative on the Victorian senate pre-selection panel for the 2004 Federal election, I developed a high regard for DavidÕs achievements, self awareness, knowledge and abilities to undertake campaigns and demonstrate the discipline necessary to consistently perform the roles of elected office.  

I have known David as a Victorian Greens State Council representative, local government Councillor for the City of Melbourne and local government campaign coordinator. I have personally appreciated his support and guidance to candidates and newly elected local government Councillors.

His achievements are an undeniable testament to his vision, leadership, application and ability as a team player. I believe he models the principles and policies of the Australian Greens Party and would make an excellent Victorian Senator.

Victorian Greens roles and tasks of Mayor Julie Rivendell

IÕve undertaken a variety of roles and tasks within the Victorian Greens including:

  • Being an active supporter since the establishment of Bendigo Branch in 1995
  • A member since 2001
  • Branch Convenor (Bendigo), Regional Council Convenor (Central West) and regional representative on State Council
  • Victorian Greens Strategic Plan Steering Committee, Party Administrator Recruitment Panel, Staffing Structure Review Panel Convenor, 2004 Senate Pre-Selection Panel, Barmah Green School presenter, Victorian local government delegate to National Conference etcÉ
  • Greens Candidate for Mallee in 2001 Federal election, Candidate for North West Province in 2002 State election and City of Greater Bendigo local government election 2004
  • I was elected as a Councillor for Flora Hill Ward, City of Greater Bendigo in November 2004 and will be the Mayor for the 2006-2007 year.

Return To The Top Of The Page



IÕve known David Risstrom for five years, as a Greens member, fellow activist and friend.  IÕve worked alongside David in a wide range of party and community activities, including on election campaigns and policy committees, as a State Councillor and delegate to national party conferences. 

VictoriaÕs first ever Green elected to public office, David is known as a person of great political integrity, with huge capacity for hard work.  Despite his heavy commitments as the public face of the party while a Melbourne City Councillor, David continued to contribute to the Greens in areas such as policy development and internal party organisation and decision-making. 

David is an experienced political tactician with a standout capacity for hard work, excellent knowledge of political and legislative systems and a clear, deeply held commitment to Greens values, essential qualities for our first Victorian Greens Senator. 

With his integrity and commitment to democratic values, expertise and experience across all four aspects of the Greens charter and knowledge of electoral and legislative systems, David is an outstanding candidate.  I believe that David deserves another chance at the lead Senate candidacy, having polled high in 2004 and missed out due to preference deals which favoured Family First.

Party positions held by Alex Bhatal

  • Joined AGV in 2001 Š member for five years. 
  • Positions held in the AGV:
    • State Councillor, 2002-3; 2003-4; 2004-5.
    • AGV Welfare Spokesperson, 2003 Š 2005.
    • Darebin Greens Co-Convenor, 2002-3; 2005-6
  • Positions held nationally: 
    • Convenor, Welfare Policy Working Group, 2003-4.
    • Delegate, National Policy Conference, 2004
    • Delegate, National Conference, 2004.   
  • Greens candidacies for public office:
    • Federal candidate for Batman, 2001 and 2004
    • State candidate for Jika Jika, 2002
    • State candidate for Northcote, 200

Return To The Top Of The Page



I am nominating David Risstrom for the Victorian Greens lead Senate candidate for the federal election.

I believe he has the background, demonstrated experience and professional expertise needed to be our Victorian Senator.

David Risstrom has been a very active member of the Greens, has served as a Melbourne City Councilor for over five years and was our lead Senate candidate at the 2004 Federal election.

He has clearly demonstrated the motivation to once again take on the near impossible task ahead. As he capably demonstrated at the last federal poll, he has the personal skills to knit together the party and further build a positive and powerful statewide Green campaign team.

His relationships built with campaign teams around Victoria - Melbourne, suburban and regional are strong assets that will work for him and the party at the coming election.

The expectations and pressure on the lead Senate candidate are immense. The Greens ask a lot of their lead candidates. David has been there before. He knows the time, emotional and intellectual commitments required. I have worked with David at times of great difficulty and stress, and have every confidence that he will perform as brilliantly as in the past.

Marcus Ward's Greens Involvement

I have been a candidate for the Federal seat of Burke in 2000, the state seat of Macedon in 2002, and Western Victoria in 2006. I have also assisted with campaigns for the federal seat of McEwen as well as local council elections.

Return To The Top Of The Page



David Risstrom was the Victorian Greens No. 1 Senate Candidate for the 2004 Federal election. The thank you reproduced below 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.


A strong campaign and good community support saw the Victorian Green Senate vote climb to 263,551, or 8.8%, an increase of more than 45% 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 263,551, 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 56,376 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.

Return To The Top Of This Page

Cool Green Tip Of The Week -

23 April 2017: Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918 -1956.

This site is written, authorised and maintained by David Risstrom , 377 Little Bourke St. Melbourne, Australiaand had more than 1,003,082 visitors and 3,052,017 hits when updated on Sun 23 April 2017.