Hi and welcome to my personal blog. I'm looking forward to working with you and for you as Greens Senator for Victoria. I take my seat in July 2014.
Until then, I'm merely Senator-elect and without an office, staff or any resources! So in the meantime if you want to get in touch with what Greens are up to in Victoria and beyond , you are best to check out The Australian Greens , Greens MP's , Victorian Greens Senator Richard Di Natale or the Victorian Greens.
Climate campaigningSaturday 07 December 2013 at 7:07 pm
Photo courtesy of www.spiritofmawson.com
I'm off to Antarctica tomorrow! It seems appropriate that my last post here before I go is about campaigning for effective action on climate change.(more) Janet | ¶ | default | No comments
Creating a sustainable and just futureWednesday 04 December 2013 at 1:42 pm
Creating a sustainable and just future.
Achieving change in Australia
Speech to the AGM of the Kororoit Institute, 7 November 2013
1 Where do we want to go?
It’s useful to start thinking about achieving change by thinking about where we want to end up.
The Greens have a Charter that sets out what we are aiming to achieve and a policy platform that is based on four pillars: ecological sustainability, grassroots participatory democracy, social justice and peace and non violence.
When I was on Maribyrnong Council I coined a phrase that ended up in our vision statement – that we wanted people to have the opportunities to live happy healthy and productive lives. As a Green I would have liked to have seen added that we also wanted this for people beyond our community, beyond Australia; that we wanted all species to have the opportunities to flourish, and that we want this to continue on into the future – to bequeath happy healthy and productive lives to future generations too. But my fellow Councillors weren’t quite there with me – beyond the ambit of Maribyrnong!
A simple recipe for happiness is someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to. This is a quote ascribed to 18th century Scottish writer Alexander Chalmers, and apparently requoted by people such as Elvis and American feminist writer Rita Mae Brown. I first heard it on Life Matters on Radio National many years ago and it’s stuck with me ever since. It seems simple, but for a lot of people in the world having these three things is huge.(more) Janet | ¶ | default | One comment Wednesday 27 November 2013 at 5:22 pm
I gave this speech tonight at the Maribyrnong Council Small Worlds recycled art exhibition. I really enjoyed it and it got the best reception I think of any speech I've ever given - lots of people coming up to me afterwards and saying it really hit a chord with them. I'd love to know what you think.
I’m delighted to have been asked to speak tonight because passion about re-using stuff that would otherwise be thrown away is embedded deep in my psyche, and I think is fundamental to my politics.
Let me share some stories with you.
I visited my mother on Sunday to help her with a bit of a back yard clean up. I say ‘a bit of’ advisedly, because Mum’s backyard reflects a lifetime of my father and her keeping stuff, stuff that was too good to throw away, stuff that held memories, stuff that may come in handy one day. Think a garage, a shed, a potting shed all overflowing, the 40 year old axle and wheels of my father’s home built land yacht tucked away between the shed and the side fence, and the sculptural shape of the tower, soaring 30m high, built by my father for his radio aerials over fifty years ago.
My father grew up on a farm in the Mallee during the depression – nothing was thrown away. He was incredibly technically creative – he could make anything and fix anything!
Mum was a kindergarten teacher – you name it: cards, corks, shoe boxes, film containers, cotton reels, toilet rolls, magazines, scraps of material, wool, bike inner tubes… almost anything could have a second life in a kindergarten!
I grew up with the philosophy that if you could imagine a use for it, then it was worth keeping.(more) Janet | ¶ | default | One comment Used tags: art, climate_change, consumerism, recycling, waste
On my way to ParliamentTuesday 26 November 2013 at 1:37 pm
Six weeks post election! It’s been a long gap since I last posted here – plenty of stuff in the meantime on various Greens sites and blogs!
Yes I won! It still seems rather unreal , given its another 7 months till I take my seat next July. I had a fun couple of days in Canberra two weeks ago at the Opening of Parliament and my first day of Senate Orientation, where I got to spend the day with the other eleven Senators-elect.
Footscray 2020Saturday 02 February 2013 at 9:47 pm
Photo by Leon Rice-Whetton
I've just read a fabulous photo essay about Footscray which has inspired me to post a piece I wrote a year or so ago, giving my vision of Footscray 2020. I'd love your thoughts!
Footscray! Where else would anyone want to live! I’ve been here for 30 years, and I can now truly say that Footscray is finally realising its potential.
Above all what makes Footscray is its friendly and diverse people. People stop and chat on the streets, admire each other’s gardens, swap home grown fruit and vegetables, and look after each other’s kids and elderly parents. Street parties abound and are institutions – some have been going now every year for over 20 years.
I love the Footscray shopping centre with its range of shops catering for rich and poor from all corners of the world. We’ve got the Vietnamese, African, Middle Eastern and Indian shops and fresh food and bargains that Footscray has always been known for, and a range of other shopping has been added over the last decade, including bookshops, and shops to spend up big in. Footscray’s restaurants continue to impress, and there’s a great range of cafes and bars, some with live music, some just a great vibe. Some of the African bars and cafes keep on being ‘discovered’ by people from out of town. And anything you can’t get in Footscray, it’s just a short fast tram ride to Highpoint. Home delivery services are subsidised by Council too, which means there’s not a problem of needing a car to bring something home.
The long awaited redevelopment of the Grand Theatre in Paisley St is just amazing. It makes great use of its frontage onto Madden Square. The magnificent theatre space has been restored and we now have cinemas back in Footscray!(more) Janet | ¶ | default | No comments
Helping those who need our helpTuesday 11 December 2012 at 08:44 am
It was International Human Rights Day yesterday. The Refugee Action Collective in Melbourne held a forum which I spoke at, about the Pacific Solution Mark 2. They showed a harrowing documentary which had been made by the BBC in 2002 about the Howard refugee policies, including the Tampa and the inhumane conditions on Nauru. Well worth a watch - particularly to reflect on what the Gillard Government is doing today. Lucy Honan from RAC gave an excellent speech bringing us up to speed on the current conditions on Nauru, which underscored how we haven't moved on from the oppressive and racist policies of a decade ago. My speech is attached and below(more) Janet | ¶ | default | One comment
Let's go to a clean, green, caring, sharing economyFriday 26 October 2012 at 10:34 am
I'm speaking at the National LETS conference this weekend, about transitioning to a new economy, and the role that LETS (Local Energy Trading Systems) can have in that. Here's the speech, and the presentation
Hope you enjoy it. (Photo: A permablitz in Alexandria, Sydney, Image from milkwood.net)Janet | ¶ | default | No comments
Where the rubber hits the road: transport and planning in growth areasMonday 03 September 2012 at 7:01 pm
I had a most enjoyable evening last week giving a presentation to the Friends of Banyule about transport and planning in growth areas. We had lots of interesting discussion afterwards too, ranging from the transport needs of the elderly and people with disabiilities, the need to have a much greater use of public transport in the northern growth areas in order to reduce traffic through Banyule and reduce the pressure for the North East link, and the need for Melbourne wide campaigning on sustainable transport and planning.
My presentation is here - I'd love to hear your thoughts. What for example do you think about my proposal for a one third/ one third/ one third mode share between walking and cycling, public transport and private car travel?(more) Janet | ¶ | default | No comments Friday 10 August 2012 at 11:59 am
Building a positive, sustainable, equitable future.
Edited version of talk to the Fabian Society 8 August 2012
(Some wonderful young kids I met in Senegal in March this year- our Greens fair go extends across the world)
I’ve got a confession to make tonight. I want to share with you my initial inspiration for my years of dedication to The Greens. Thank you Graham Richardson.
I was a forest campaigner back in the 1980’s. You might remember forest protest actions in East Gippsland at Brown Mountain on the edge of the Errinundra Plateau in the lead up to the federal election due in early 1990. Labor was positioning itself as the greenest thing since Kermit, and having forest protesters making the headlines didn’t fit. Richo who was Federal Environment Minister got involved pretty quickly, and negotiations began to find a resolution between us, the state and federal governments to get us off the front page. After some long hot days of negotiations we struck a deal – there would be a moratorium on logging whilst a study was done to determine whether there were ‘prudent and feasible alternatives’ to the logging of these magnificent heritage forests.
We knew that any study which had sensible terms of reference would find that of course there were prudent and feasible alternatives. It all rested on the definition of prudent and feasible though, so that had to be clearly defined before we agreed to stop protesting. A letter from Richo to the Victorian Minister defined it in a way we were happy with, I remember the phone call from him telling me ‘Don’t worry Janet, those national estate forests will never be logged’. We pulled up stumps at the protests, sat back and waited for the March election.(more) Janet | ¶ | default | No comments
It's just not cricketTuesday 24 July 2012 at 12:36 pm
I've been pondering on the power of the resource industries around the world, including and particularly in Australia.
The resource companies are on a very good wicket. They have no intention of retiring.
And our bowling isn’t troubling them at all. Every so often they face a tricky ball like the carbon tax, which
with a bit of fancy footwork they have been able to defend. OK, a few less fours in that over, but nothing to worry about.
We do a bit of sledging, telling them that this is just the beginning of a much more powerful attack that's going to start soon. They laugh.
They know the Government has ensured the wicket is as flat as it is, has set the rules of play, and is sitting back enjoying the game.(more) Janet | ¶ | default | No comments
Forests foreverFriday 20 July 2012 at 11:58 am
On the eve of the Melbourne by-election, I've just been reading some media articles from 1990 when I was Coordinator of the East Gippsland Coalition. These are from the time of the protest actions we held at Brown Mountain on the edge of the Errinundra Plateau. (This is the same area where the Supreme Court last year found that logging should stop because the area is home to the endangered Long Footed Potoroo.)
These articles are a great reminder of the rich history of the fight for our forests (which went back a long way prior to 1990 too).
Our protests in the lead up to the 1990 federal election were powerful enough to bring the federal and state Labor governments to the table to forge an agreement to stop logging for 3 years, to give the state government a chance to see if there were 'prudent and feasible alternatives' to logging. On this basis we stopped the protests. (There was $20 million of federal money given to the East Gippsland timber industry as part of this deal too by the way.)
Of course there were 'prudent and feasible alternatives', but a devious misinterpretation of what the terms 'prudent and feasible' meant lead to the consequent state government study finding that no, there were no alternatives, and that logging in these high conservation forests should be permitted. In short we were lied to and manipulated in order to get us out of the way in the lead up to the election.
The experience galvanised me into throwing myself into forming The Greens in Victoria, and the rest is the proverbial.(more) Janet | ¶ | default | No comments
Participatory Budgeting - An IntroductionFriday 29 June 2012 at 12:47 pm
Orcamento Participativo Assembly and mata drinking, Porto Alegre, Brazil 2008
I've just been reflecting on Participatory Budgeting. I've taken considerable interest in it for a number of years, including being very fortunate to join Deb Foskey on study trip prior to the Global Greens Congress in Sao Paolo in Brazil in 2008, looking at how Participatory Budgeting - Orcamento Participativo - worked in Porto Alegre, renowned as the birthplace for much modern practice of PB. I prepared a presentation at the time, outlining the basics of it which you can download here. There's heaps of stuff on the web if you want to know more, but this gives you a quick 5 minute overview of what it's all about.. Drop me a line if you'd like to know more.(more) Janet | ¶ | default | One comment
The four pillars of The GreensMonday 25 June 2012 at 12:03 pm
I had the privilege this morning of speaking to Year 10 students at Huntingtower School in Mt Waverley about The Greens. They are studying politics, and this morning had representatives from Labor, the Liberals, the Nationals as well as myself to speak to them. I met first with some of the students who are going to be representing The Greens in a student parliament later in the week. They were very tuned in and knowledgable, and I'm sure are going to do The Greens proud.
I was pleased to see state MP Gavin Jennings as one of the Labor speakers, as Gavin and I go back a long way, from when he was a Ministerial advisor to Joan Kirner, and I was a forest activist. In fact the pivotal East Gippsland forests campaigns, that directly led to me throwing my energy into forming The Greens in 1990, involved Gavin in that role. I spoke about those campaigns in my talk - I don't know whether Gavin had realised before today what a key role he played in the impetus to form The Greens in Victoria.(more) Janet | ¶ | default | No comments
Submission to Melbourne Bicycle PlanSunday 03 June 2012 at 7:05 pm
I've just written a submission to the City of Melbourne's draft Bicycle Plan. Here it is if you'd like to have a read, and maybe be inspired to write one yourself.Janet | ¶ | default | No comments
‘Overcoming the fear of the [urban] wild. Planners, politicians and the populace connecting with, exploring, and embracing nature.’Friday 18 May 2012 at 7:38 pm
I had the great pleasure today of talking at a ‘mini seminar’ organised by Victorian Child and Nature Connection at the Botanic Gardens in Melbourne. The theme of the seminar was ‘Nature, Cities and Urban Planning; How do our kids connect?’
My talk was entitled ‘Overcoming the fear of the [urban] wild. Planners, politicians and the populace connecting with, exploring, and embracing nature.’; and if you want to know more you’ll just have to have a look at my presentation and notes (in two parts here and here. It's almost as good as being there today! (No not quite, because you don’t get to meet an amazing array of great people, or to network in the sandpit!)(more) Janet | ¶ | default | No comments Used tags: nature
Letter to TedWednesday 21 March 2012 at 7:31 pm
I met our Premier Ted Baillieu a number of times when he was Opposition Leader. I have written to him today about the proposal to export billions of tonnes of brown coal from Victoria
I know I don't know you well, nor you me; but what I did know of you before you became Premier I liked. I know we have significant political differences, but I felt you were a man with an open and flexible mind, a willingness to listen and learn, and a passion and commitment to do the best for Victoria.
I am writing to you in that spirit tonight. There have been a number of actions that your government has taken that you won't be surprised to learn that I strongly disagree with, for example your positions on wind power and forestry.
However it was yesterday's news about the proposal to export billions of tonnes of brown coal that has prompted me to write to you today.
I urge you to not allow this to occur. Please, can I ask of you, as a man with an open mind, to ensure you are fully aware about the dangers of climate change. Avail yourself of the expertise available to you from world leading climate scientists at CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research right here in Melbourne. Read for example the OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050 report that was released today that outliend a conservative estimate of what is in store for our planet if we continue on the path we are on.
Janet RiceSunday 26 February 2012 at 7:19 pm
Janet Rice is The Greens Victoria Lead Senate Candidate for the next federal election. She was elected by a vote of all Victorian Greens members in February 2012. A biography of Janet can be found here. For more details see Janet's CVJanet | ¶ | default | No comments
Excited, humbled and proudSunday 26 February 2012 at 12:50 pm
I am so excited, and simultaneously humbled and proud about having been preselected as The Greens Victoria lead Senate candidate for the next federal election. It''s such a privilege to have been voted into this position and to now have the opportunity to work with you, campaigning for election and for a fairer and more sustainable world.
It was such a tightly contested preselection, with twelve incredibly talented candidates standing; a month of Meet the Canddaites meetings, and lots more getting out and about meeting members around the state. Over the last six months I travelled (mostly by train and bike) to Warrnambool and Werribee, Castlemaine, Ballarat, Beechworth, Berwick, Broadmeadows and beyond! And that was on top of a big campaign of email, blogs, facebook, twitter and old fashioned phone calls.
So to win the vote is exciting and just a bit daunting. I will be campaigning hard and long starting immediately to return the confidence the party has placed in me- and get elected! It's going to be a big job - no taking it for granted - of us working together to achieve great things! On top of the Senate seat, we have to re-elect Adam Bandt in Melbourne, and wouldn't it be wonderful to get a Green elected in Batman and maybe other seats too!
Lots of people deserve lots of thanks:
- thanks to the other candidates for putting themselves up before the members. It was a massive effort by everyone. It was so refreshing to be part of a respectful process, where all the candidates managed to get along and care about each other: doing politics differently, in stark contrast to the battles for power in the old parties. As so many people have said over the last month it's such a pity that we can't all be elected.
Standing for The SenateFriday 10 February 2012 at 3:56 pm
I'm currently standing for preselection as The Victorian Greens lead Senate Candidate. See
- my senate preselection blog here
- my nomination statement here
- the statements of my four nominators here, and
- statements from over twenty Greens members and others who are supporting me here
No Rob No!Friday 10 February 2012 at 3:13 pm
Tiger Quoll , increasingly rare in East Gippsland. Photo by Sean McClean
I've just written to Rob Oakeshott about his motion to allow the burning of wood from our native forest for energy to count as renewable energy.
My letter to Rob is below. Please join me in writing to him via GetUp
I feel I know you. I along with millions of other Australians watched and cheered when you decided to support the Gillard government after the last election. I thought - here's a man of integrity, who does what he knows is right, and stands up for what he believes in.
I can't believe the news I heard today that you plan to break your support of the multi party agreement on climate change in such a key way in support of burning our native forests for energy.
Rob, this is not renewable energy. This is trashing our forests - our carbon sinks , propping up an unsustainable industry that otherwise would have to face up to the news that its on its way out.(more) Janet | ¶ | default | No comments