The Greens are hoping to mobilise voter dissatisfaction over the Government’s policy on same-sex marriage at the next federal election in their campaign for the seat of Sydney.
Local gay man and teacher Tony Hickey will stand against current Rudd frontbencher Tanya Plibersek for the seat at the next federal election.
“Most people in Sydney, if they’re not part of a same-sex couple themselves, have neighbours or close friends who are,” Hickey said.
“They expect their local member to be working strongly for the rights of same-sex couples, and the current member for Sydney has disappointed a lot of people in that respect as a member of the Labor Party.
“We want full equality for the LGBTI community in any area we can identify, but the big issue that people are talking about is marriage equality. We’ll be campaigning on that because people feel really strongly about it — not just in the LGBTI but in the wider community as well.”
Hickey said federal anti-discrimination legislation covering sexuality was also a priority for the party.
“We’re definitely in favour of a federal act which would give greater protection to people from discrimination on the basis of sexuality or gender identity,” he told Sydney Star Observer.
“Anti-discrimination is something we’re working on federally and it’s been a big issue for many years with the Greens state parties, especially in New South Wales, campaigning to remove the exemptions in state anti-discrimination acts.”
Currently people are only protected from discrimination on grounds of sexuality in the area of employment at a federal level.
Hickey said climate change was another big priority.
“Under the current Government we have seen a shameful lack of initiative at the Copenhagen conference and continuing support for the coal industry,” he said.
“We have Greens senators ready to genuinely negotiate with the Government on the urgent task of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, the Government insists on promoting an emissions trading scheme that pays off the polluters.”
Hickey said public transport, affordable housing, homelessness and disadvantage among Indigenous Australians were other issues he would look to tackle in the Parliament if elected.
At the 2007 federal election the Greens took more than 20 percent of the vote in the seat of Sydney.

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