Lidia Thorpe makes history after Northcote win
Lidia Thorpe of Australia’s Greens party has won the Northcote by election which was left vacant by the death of government minister Fiona Richardson in August taking the seat from Labor for the first time since it was formed 90 years ago. Those of us who widely knowledgeable about state of Victoria political history knows that Labor has held Northcote since 1927 and despite the party campaigning vigorously to defend its turf, The Greens have triumphed over Labor’s Clare Burns.Thorpe has also made history as the first Indigenous woman elected to the Victorian Parliament and her election means The Greens will hold three lower house seats in Victoria assembly. Greens federal MP for Melbourne Adam Bandt celebrated the victory by tweeting, “Yes!!! Welcome the next MP for Northcote, Greens’ Lidia Thorpe! You just made history, Northcote Greens are growing in the house of government. Next stop, Queensland election #Northcote” while Leader of the Australian Greens and Victorian Senator Richard Di Natale tweeted, “Congratulations to Lidia Thorpe and the amazing Vic Greens members who have just seen us secure an historic victory in the seat of Northcote! So fantastic! Welcome Lidia and bring on the 2018 election!” while Member for Eastern Metropolitan Samantha Dunn couldn’t hide her joy tweeting “Awesome news, Greens win #NorthcoteVotes welcome to our party room.” Victorian Greens leader Samantha Ratnam said the victory showed voters cared about climate change action, creating a Great Forest National Park and a stop to public housing sell offs. “Tonight is just the beginning,” Ratnam said.The Greens will now focus on winning Richmond and Brunswick at next year’s election, Ratnam said.”All I can say is David Feeney watch out.”
Lidia Thorpe who’s a businesswoman, Victorian NAIDOC Committee member and Treaty campaigner deserves the win and this indicates Victoria is changing both in terms of politics and politicians they elect.Turning a Labor stronghold to Green, Thorpe’s win in Northcote Green means she will join the two Lower House seats party won at the last election.Not even the racist turn of events recently when posters featuring Thorpe’s photograph were vandalised with racial slurs could stop Northcote residents from voting her in. What those racists folks don’t know is that racism has no space in the state’s politics. Am sure it made Thorpe much more tougher and helped her get through the rough campaign. She’s a resilient lady and has had good team that has supported her all along.The Green party’s volunteers and staff members have also been photographed dancing, embracing each other while a video published online shows the members cheering at the Thornbury after party as the results trickled in.Lidia Thorpe revealed that she had received messages of support from Aboriginal people throughout Australia saying “Little old Northcote has hit the map across the country.” “For a kid that left school at 14 I just want to send a message to every kid out there that anything is possible.” It is the first time Labor has lost a Victorian by-election since 1948 but their $500,000 plus spending couldn’t match up to the Lidia Thorpe campaign that focused more on local issues like public transport overcrowding and plans to cap rent hikes.Thorpe also focused on the Greens party’s wider environmental policies such as the creation of the Great Forest National park in the central highlands and after her victory she said “People do care about the Great Forest National Park.” Thorpe thanked all the Greens volunteers and campaigners saying voters were sick of overcrowded public transport, and wanted a transition away from coal and action on poker machines.