David Risstrom 2009 Senate Nomination
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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. Unfortunately, I will not have the privilege of representing Victoria in the Australian Senate. Following a postal ballot of Victorian Greens members, Richard di Natale has been chosen to be the Lead Senate candidate for the next Federal election.

My focus remains on how we can avoid the catastrophic effects of human induced cliamte change and I need now to consider how we can make the significant and urgent changes needed to chart a better course than the one we appear to be set upon.

Thank you to all of you who have given so much over recent years. My time with the Greens has been very productive, particularly as Victoria's first elected Green on Melbourne City Council and as Vice President of the International Council For Local Environment Initiatives, when with your help, we implemented more than 130 policies and in a very real sense, made Melbourne Green.

While it will now not be as your Senator, I look forward to continuing 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.



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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, 472 Bourke St Melbourne 3000.
  • Mobile: 0418 502 713

Click to download David's Nomination flyer! (168Kb pdf)

David Risstrom's 2004 Senate Candidate Thank You


David Risstrom has nominated for 2009 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.



We Greens have the opportunity, belief and experience to build a better world. A fairer society. A healthier environment. An optimism about the future that we as Greens can build.

The 2009/10 campaign will be crucial. The planet and its inhabitants need urgent action. The environment, the planet, canÕt wait any longer. We need Greens with proven experience in public office. With the proven ability to make a difference, to give the planet the chance it needs in the face of climate change and the myriad of environmental and social challenges ahead. We need to elect people who have a clear Green vision and who can inspire others to share that vision.

Why am I the person to represent the Greens and Victoria in the Senate?

Having been elected as a Green six times, including twice to Melbourne City Council and twice in international elections, I have extensive local and international experience. I was very proud to be VictoriaÕs first elected Green. Elected to Melbourne City Council in 1999 I served for 5 years, until 2004 when I stood for the Senate. While elected our Greens vote more than doubled, proving we can put Green policy into action.

As Melbourne City Greens Councillor, I worked in challenging circumstances with councillors of disparate political and social beliefs, gaining support to implement over 130 initiatives, including:

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

Further, as International Vice President of the International Council for Local Environment Initiatives, I enjoyed great opportunities across the globe to further Green ideals.

I was proud to be Lead Senate Candidate in 2004.

Together we and thousands of supporters achieved a 30% increase in our Senate primary vote. We did that by hard work. Travelling thousands of kilometres and visiting many communities never visited by a Green Senate Candidate before. I committed myself 100% from preselection to election day and will do the same again.

As 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.

In addition, I know the Parliament, having worked in the Senate as Senior Researcher on Superannuation for Women and Same Sex Couples, working on changes that recently became law. I was also an Electoral Educator and Environmental Consultant to the Commonwealth Environment Protection Authority in Canberra.

I have the ethical commitment and integrity to represent the Greens

I have a strong commitment to the environment, social justice and ethics, having devoted my life as a Green, activist and volunteer as a means of contributing to a fairer society.

With a personal charter to work for disadvantaged people, I provided extensive free 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. I am a long-standing member of over twenty environment and community groups.

I am currently President of Friends of the ABC (Victoria). I am also a Vincent Fairfax Ethics Fellow, completing an 18-month ethics and leadership fellowship, travelling in Burma and promoting ethics in Australia.

I have the experience, skills and qualifications required to be an effective elected representative

In 1989, after successfully campaigning in Parliament to create the Victorian Alpine National Park and recognise wilderness, I completed a first class Science honours degree in climate change, first class Arts degree in politics and social theory and law degree focussing on environmental law.

My forte is my integrity and failing overwork. Since being the Greens Senate Candidate, I have worked as a barrister of 12 years experience, as Victorian Greens 2004 and 2005 Local Government Campaign Coordinator, as Monash University Law and Business examiner, as Lighthouse Experts Bureau Speaker, taught environmental law and am a Legal Member of the Mental Health Review Board.

Over my 15 years as a Green, I have served on Greens Executive and Council, in various local government capacities, in local, state and federal policy development and as mentor to Green members and the Future Environment Leaders Program.

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 Convener.
  • MCC Aboriginal Consultative Committee Chairperson.
  • ICLEI International Executive and Management Committee Member.
  • Director: Yarra-Melbourne Library Board, MAPS Ltd. and the Western Regional Waste Management Group.

Giving Green Ideas A Strong Voice

I have always believed it is important that elected Greens keep contact with members and the community we serve.

I established and maintain this 300 page website promoting the Greens, receiving over 1,300,000 hits and nearly 500,000 visits. The website at www.davidrisstrom.org hosts news, commentary, 200 Green policies, 760 progressive internet links and a ŌSenate WatchÕ on current inquiries.

I ask you to consider not what I promise to do, but that I have proven as VictoriaÕs first elected Green, I can and will do. I ask you to support me in continuing that work as your next Green Senator.

David Risstrom

  Call me anytime: 0418 502 713.

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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.



I have known David since 2002. I know David to be a passionate, caring, optimistic, and defiant person. He strives for peace, democracy and lives for everything that us Greens believe in.

We are forward thinking people, we are a progressive movement, and we need strong leaders with clear principles and ethics representing us - I believe that David is this person. He possesses all the right skills, and is a person I greatly admire for showing that in the face of adversity he stands tall. David deserves to win this nomination, he deserves a seat in the Senate, he needs to take his rightful place and represent the people of Victoria.

David has been involved in a myriad of interesting, challenging and difficult projects, he is always ready to take on any task, because he is adaptable, creative, vibrant, and above all - dedicated to the cause.

David has a range of skills worthy of representing the Greens, and the ability to communicate our beliefs to the rest of the country with a rare creative talent that comes from within. I encourage you to join me in voting for David as the No.1 Victorian Greens Senate Candidate.

Pat Mackle:

Managing Director, Avant Card Free Postcards. I joined the Victorian Greens in 2002. Positions held in local Darebin branch: Fundraising Officer: 2004/05, Co-convenor: 2005/06, Fundraising Officer: 2006/7. Pat moved to Melbourne from Sydney in 2002, and was a member of Port Jackson Greens Sydney since 1998.

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Federal Senate Nomination statement

Submitted by: Marcus Ward For David Risstrom

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

I believe he has the background, demonstrated experience and professional expertise needed to be a successful Victorian Greens 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.

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 again perform brilliantly and work well with the Victorian Greens campaign team.

IÕm confident David will skillfully use his position in the Federal Parliament and the community to implement Greens policies. His five year track record in the bear pit of he Melbourne City Council give me great confidence that he has the strategic ability, energy and perseverance to succeed in the Federal Senate.

NominatorÕs 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.

From 2002 to 2006 was the Victorian Greens spokesperson on various issues including forests, water and animal welfare.

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Supporting Statement for David Risstrom as Senate Lead Candidate by Chris Mardon

I would like to nominate David Risstrom as Senate lead candidate because he is an experienced candidate and capable of the hard work that will be needed to win. He is also a barrister with good knowledge of how the Senate works. Through his previous efforts in promoting zero net greenhouse gas emission targets while a councillor at the City of Melbourne, he is well placed to assist Christine Milne in pushing the federal government to adopt more ambitious targets at the national level.

I have known David for at least seven years and consider that he would be an excellent candidate for the Senate. I am a founding member of the Victorian Greens and a member of Port Phillip Branch (formerly St. Kilda Branch). For the past three years, I have been Branch Treasurer and Returning Officer. I am also a member of State Council for the Southern Suburbs & Bayside Region. I was a candidate for Glen Eira Council in 2003. Since 1999, I have been active in policy work for the Greens at both the national and state level.

Chris Mardon

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Statement in support of David RisstromÕs pre-selection as Greens Senate candidate

By 2010 after two years of recession with higher unemployment the political advantage of voting Green over Labor will be drawn into sharp relief. While Labor has opted for short-term defensive policies trying to stem the tide of unemployment it has failed to come to grips with urgent action on climate change in the mistaken belief that such action will fuel unemployment.

In that context the Greens electoral campaign will need to emphasise that economic recovery based on a combination of urgent short-term green house gas reduction projects together with long term green infrastructure development as a pragmatic plan to deal with the current economic malaise.

That is a strategy that will continue to draw current Labor voters to the Greens and bring us close to winning the formerly safe Labor seats in the inner city areas. With a strong campaign with an appropriate preference strategy to continue to draw worried Labor voters towards us, the Labor leaders will find it increasingly difficult to marginalise us.

David is committed to such a strategy and would be a worthy flag bearer for the Greens as a Senate candidate.

Mark Carey

Barrister, former convenor of Yarra Greens, North Fitzroy.

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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.

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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.