Victorian Greens elect new leader, issue election challenge on housing

Australian Greens

The Victorian Greens have elected Ellen Sandell as their new leader and challenged Labor to fix the worsening housing crisis or risk losing more lower house seats at the next election.

The Greens say both major parties will continue to haemorrhage votes while they ignore the thousands of Victorians in housing stress and unable to find an affordable home.

As a scientist and climate activist, Ms Sandell was the first lower house Greens MP to be elected in Victoria (in 2014, alongside Sam Hibbins in Prahran).

Ms Sandell entered politics because she was disappointed at how Labor and the Liberals continued to give in to fossil fuel companies and big corporations, and how they let people down by not taking strong action on the climate crisis.

Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell, said that people continued to be let down by Labor and the Liberals who now refused to fix the housing and cost-of-living crises that their own policies had created.

Ms Sandell said recent Greens’ successes in Brisbane and Tasmania showed how the Greens are on the rise as people are turning away from the Labor and Liberal duopoly and looking to alternatives like the Greens.

Under the new leadership of Ms Sandell, the Greens have announced their first priority in the coming weeks will be to push Labor to make unlimited rent increases illegal, and to push Labor to properly regulate investment-properties on Airbnb, to free up thousands of homes for people to actually live in long-term.

Ms Sandell is the first Millennial leader of a major political party in Victoria at a time when Millennials and Gen Z are bearing the brunt of the housing and cost-of-living crises, and becoming a political force.

Ms Sandell was unanimously elected as leader by consensus. Sam Hibbins, MP for Prahan and the first Greens MP to win a seat from the Liberals, and Sarah Mansfield, the Greens’ regional MP for Western Victoria in the Upper House, were appointed as co-deputy leaders.

It follows former leader Samantha Ratnam’s decision to step down as leader ahead of her campaign to win the federal seat of Wills for the Greens for the first time.

As stated by Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell MP:

“If you’re struggling to pay the rent, or worried you or your kids will never be able to buy a home, you’re not alone.

“Millions of people are struggling with the cost of rent, mortgages and groceries, and are being let down by politicians who refuse to do anything about it.

“The Greens are here to shake things up, win more seats, and put pressure on Labor in Victoria to deliver the things people need – like secure housing, affordable food and a safe and healthy climate.

“I’m honoured to lead the Greens and fight every day to give voice to a whole generation locked out of the housing market, to give voice to those who feel let down by Labor and Liberal politicians, and to give voice to those who want to see some vision back in our politics.”

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