The Greens have announced their candidates for Sydney and Balmain at the NSW election.

Challenging Labor’s Verity Firth in Balmain is Leichhardt Mayor Jamie Parker, while communications consultant De Brierley Newton will go up against Clover Moore.

Brierley Newton told Sydney Star Observer voters in Sydney would benefit from a local member who was part of a team.

“The Greens can offer Sydney a lot more as a group of people working together than one single person in office can,” Brierley Newton said.

“I think that’s the greatest gift we can give Sydney and I’m really pleased to be representing them.”

Brierley Newton said as a supporter of GLBTI rights she was proud of the push for marriage equality and hoped increased representation by the Greens at a state level would add impetus to that campaign.

She was also concerned about loopholes in anti-discrim-ination laws that let religious businesses discriminate in employing GLBT people and religious schools expel gay students.

“In the 21st century you would have thought we would have evolved. I’m actually without words when I see this is still happening,” Brierley Newton said.

Parker, a Leichhardt councillor for 11 years, said he was committed to the Greens GLBTI rights agenda because it cut to the central issues of social justice and equality.

He hoped to push hard on anti-discrimination exemptions and remaining issues around parenting if elected, but was particularly hoping to bring homophobic bullying to the Lower House — an issue he said he’s already working on with Greens MLC Cate Faehrmann.

“I’ve spoken to Cate in a lot of detail about it and again it goes to the issue of fairness and equity in the community,” Parker said.

“It’s not only an issue of developing legislation to manage this, it’s also about educating people in the wider community about the terrible impact that this type of bullying can have.”

Parker said he was proud that Leichhardt Council had joined other councils to fly the rainbow flag during Mardi Gras this year.

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