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Friday, 21st December, 2018

By Craig Brealey

Staunch Darling River advocate, NSW Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham, has quit the party and will stand as an independent at the state election in March.

Mr Buckingham has been an effective advocate for the river and the Menindee Lakes over many years during which he visited Broken Hill and Menindee several times and addressed public meetings.

 Last year he flew a drone over cotton irrigators’ dams on the NSW-Queensland border and posted the footage on the internet to show the nation how just much water was being taken from the tributaries of the Darling.

 Yesterday he said he would contest the election for the Legislative Council as an “Independent Real Green”.

 “I aim to put climate change, coal and the corruption in the management of our rivers firmly on the election agenda. 

 “I will roll out policies that will challenge the NSW Greens’ Marxist agenda and represent a more genuine green platform aimed at real results rather than posturing.”

 Mr Buckingham said voters appreciated his record of challenging conventions to bring environmental threats to the public’s attention.

“I’m not afraid to go rogue. I’ve set rivers on fire to highlight the dangers of fracking, I was arrested blockading the Adani site, and I’ve been ejected from the parliamentary chamber for fighting for the Darling River.

 “Parliament needs some rogue MPs like me to shake up the establishment, an establishment that serves the big end of town and has forgotten about real people and the real issues that matter.”

 Mr Buckingham had been under pressure from factional rivals to leave the NSW Greens over a 2011 sexual harassment allegation, even though an independent investigation recommended no adverse findings.

 He told AAP in Sydney yesterday that the party had forgotten that its original purpose was fighting for the natural environment.

 “The NSW Greens is a party that has abandoned the important principles of justice and democracy, is dominated by an extreme left faction and has lost its focus on the environment.

 “They’re a revolutionary socialist party that don’t reflect mainstream Australian values.”

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