Greenwich remains coy on state parliament run
As rumours abound prominent marriage equality advocate Alex Greenwich is being groomed for a career in state politics, the Australian Marriage Equality national convener has insisted he remains focused only on the continuing campaign for marriage equality and helping Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore’s team at the upcoming local council elections.
The 32-year-old has been selected eighth and last on Moore’s ticket for the September 8 City of Sydney elections, with media reports late last week suggesting the move was designed to increase Greenwich’s profile in the wider community while also providing valuable political experience.
The Potts Point resident has been tipped to run as an Independent for the state seat of Sydney should Moore successfully hold onto her mayoral position.
City News reported a succession plan was first discussed between Greenwich and Moore in April, soon after the NSW Government pushed through laws that would prevent sitting state MPs from holding positions on local councils.
Moore has held the state seat of Sydney since 1988 but has indicated she will choose her role as mayor over her MP’s position should she be re-elected at the upcoming Council election.
In an interview with SX this week, Greenwich was adamant he had a good chance at being voted onto Council but remained coy when asked about the rumours of a possible run for state Parliament.
“My priorities at the moment are on the local Council elections,” he said.
“I’m hopeful that our ticket will be returned with a strong majority on the council, which is certainly needed to keep the plan for a safe and sustainable Sydney going.
“At the same time, I also am focusing on the marriage equality campaign both federally and Tasmania and working with South Australia.”
Greenwich said the community support for Moore meant he still had a great chance of winning a Council seat.
“I would say running as number eight on Clover’s ticket you’re just as likely to be elected as if you were number two on the Greens, Labor’s ticket, the Liberals ticket, or indeed probably number one on Living Sydney’s ticket,” he told SX.
With Labor’s mayoral candidate Linda Scott recently committing to a sizeable injection of funds for LGBTI projects should she win, Greenwich said the spotlight on queer issues at a local council level showed just how far the community had come over the past few decades.
“I mean Clover was there for us before anyone else in any parliament was. She’s been a strong and loyal advocate of the gay and lesbian community back when it wasn’t popular to do so,” he said.
“Now it is popular to do so and I guess it shows how accepting, tolerant and supported the gay community is. I think is a great sign of the times.”
Pressed on whether he would have the time or energy to continue running his own financial recruitment business as well as being a face for marriage equality were he to decide to contest state politics, Greenwich maintained such questions would only “become relevant” after the council elections early next month.
“It’s a bit premature to start talking about a by-election because the seat certainly isn’t vacant,” he said.
“Clover and I have had discussions about how important it is that the seat of Sydney stays an independent seat. Obviously, people see me in a political context and people have suggested it to me before but it is not something that is a priority of mine at the moment.”
Moore was also non-committal when approached for comment this week.
“While I’m really hoping there will be a strong Independent champion to continue working for Sydney electors and not just one more cog in the party machine, I’m focussed on the approaching Council election at this time,” she told SX.