Bob Brown, Senator Larissa Waters, Christine Milne and candidate Andrew Bartlett pressed the flesh at a Brisbane pre-poll on Tuesday. Photo: Robert Shakespeare
The Greens’ most venerated elder statesman has targeted the lower house seat of Brisbane as “inevitably Green”, but Bob Brown conceded it could take an election or two.
Former Greens leader Mr Brown and his successor, Christine Milne, were campaigning in Brisbane on Tuesday to boost the party’s chances of picking up a second Queensland Senate seat.
But Dr Brown, who was basking in poll results that showed a possible win in the Melbourne seat of Batman, said the Greens also had eyes on a lower house Queensland seat in the long term.
“Brisbane is inevitably going to become a Green seat in the Federal Parliament, if not this time then further down the line,” he said.
“People said Melbourne would never be and then Batman – one of the strongest Labor seats in the country – according to the poll this morning is headed to be the second Greens seat in the federal House of Representatives.
“These are very exciting times and I just want to live a little bit longer to see more of it.”
Ms Milne said the Greens’ field campaign in Queensland was the second largest in Australia, behind central Melbourne.
“A lot of that comes from the momentum of Jonno (Sri) having won at the Brisbane City Council election and Larissa (Waters) being in the Senate,” she said.
“There’s this momentum building that things are changing in Queensland and people want to get on board.”
Dr Brown said “another sleeper” for the Greens was just over the border, in the northern New South Wales seat of Richmond.
“That (electorate) has two Green mayors, a Green upper house member in the State Parliament and a Green lower house member in the State Parliament,” he said.
“That’s another one that can be a surprise packet in this election.”
But the main game for the Greens in Queensland remained the Senate, where former Democrats senator Andrew Bartlett hoped to join Senator Waters in the upper house.
Senator Waters said she expected the 12th and final Queensland Senate seat to come down to a race between Mr Bartlett, perennially unsuccessful political candidate Pauline Hanson and LNP Senator Joanna Lindgren.
“The final Senate seat will come down to Andrew, or Pauline Hanson or the sixth Liberal (National),” she said.
“Now there couldn’t be a more stark choice in terms of values than between two conservative candidates or Andrew, who’s always stood up for the rights of people in need.”
Ms Milne she expected many people to still just vote 1 above the line and have their votes exhausted early.
“It’s highly likely that the 12th senator in Queensland will be elected without a quota, so it’ll be the person who has the most votes, closest to a quota but without a quota, who actually picks it up,” she said.