Greens announce new portfolios to push Labor on inequality, forests and immigration

Australian Greens

The Australian Greens have announced new portfolio allocations to push the government on rising social inequality, the destruction of native forests, and the bipartisan race to the bottom on immigration.

Senator Penny Allman-Payne will fight for all Australians finding it tough to get by on a fixed income through the cost of living crisis, representing the Greens as Social Services spokesperson.

Senator David Shoebridge will expand his role stopping government overreach as Home Affairs, Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs spokesperson.

With his long advocacy for stopping old-growth logging in his home state of Tasmania, Senator Nick McKim will hold the role of Forests spokesperson. Along with NSW, Tasmania is one of only two states who still have not committed to ending their native forest logging industry.

These changes, the most significant of a minor reshuffle, have been triggered by the imminent retirement of Senator Janet Rice. Senator Rice, a fearless advocate for social justice, forests, and LGBTIQ+ Australians; will next month farewell the Senate after a decade of service representing Victoria.

Senator-Elect Steph Hodgins-May will take her portfolios when she is sworn into the Senate.

As stated by Adam Bandt MP, Leader of the Australian Greens:

“Throughout this term of government, the Greens have secured some significant wins pushing Labor to do more to help people than they said was possible, and held them to account when they fail to live up to their promises,” Mr Bandt said.

“This update to portfolios held by Australian Greens MPs will help us push Labor further and faster – especially in the important areas of social services, immigration, and protection of our native forests.

“Anthony Albanese is keeping hundreds of thousands of JobSeekers living below the poverty line, forcing them to choose between paying the rent or putting food on the table during a cost of living crisis.

“Labor has joined the Liberals in unfairly putting the blame for cost of living pressures on migration, and continues the race to the bottom in demonising refugees.

“Across the country, Labor still permits the logging of old-growth forests, permitting the destruction of ancient trees even as native species are being pushed to extinction.

“As Penny, David and Nick push Labor on these important issues, I look forward to the entire Greens team continuing our important work as a fierce parliamentary force, a proudly social democratic alternative as Labor calcifies as a centre-right party.

“As the government starts pushing urgently needed cost of living support, environmental protections, and housing construction out beyond the next election, the Greens are ready to push them to do more.”

/Public Release. View in full here.