The Greens’ new leader, Christine Milne during her first public address to Australians has said that she would like the Greens to connect with rural and regional australia. Traditionally, the Greens tend to attract support in the inner city suburbs while rural and regional Australia tends to go conservative (see map on the left).
The question is – can Christine Milne connect with rural and regional Australians and have them lean towards the Greens?
There is no doubt that there is room for a third force in Australian politics given the growing discontent among voters towards Labor and the Coalition. Many voters feel that neither side of politics truly represents their interests, that there is too much spin and point scoring going on and a real lack of policy substance. A third party would need to tap into this discontent and address these issues. Unfortunately, the Greens are not that party. The Greens are too far to the left to ever be a serious contender in the political arena.
In rural and regional Australia, the major industries are mining and agriculture. The Greens have policies which are detrimental to the mining industry and which would undoubtedly cost jobs in the regions. On agriculture, Milne seems to be a little more promising acknowledging that global food security is going to be an important issue. Unfortunately, the Greens have policies detrimental to water security and land clearing which would affect the agriculture industry.
Frankly, Milne might believe she can connect with rural and regional Australians but the reality is she won’t.