Greenwich signs into Parliament
Former Australian Marriage Equality national convener Alex Greenwich will now move into his new offices inside State Parliament after he put pen to paper on Thursday during the official declaration of his resounding win at last month’s by-election for the state seat of Sydney.
Though favoured to win, in what came as a surprise to many, the Independent managed to claim over 48 per cent of the primary vote.
A swing of over six per cent against the Liberal Party from the 2011 state election sealed the fate for its candidate, Shayne Mallard, with the popular former City of Sydney councillor ending up with just under 30 per cent.
In a small victory, The Greens’ Chris Harris saw a healthy five per cent swing his way to record just under 18 per cent.
Greens preferences saw Greenwich end up with a commanding 65 per cent of the vote after two-party preferred votes were taken into account.
The 32-year-old told SX this week that he was now looking forward to working with the community to complete the city’s cycleway network, improve public housing and animal welfare as well as promoting more opportunities for small businesses in the new digital environment.
He has also pledged to join his “political hero”, former Sydney MP and current Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, in opposing the Liberal and Labor support for plans by billionaire mogul James Packer to build a high-roller casino on Sydney’s foreshore at Barangaroo.
“I look forward to being a strong voice for the GLBTI community in State Parliament,” he said.
“If a casino can be fast tracked, so should much needed GLBTI law reform.”
Priorities for his first term, Greenwich explained to SX, will be working with the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby and fellow MPs to strengthen anti-discrimination laws so teachers and students can't be fired or expelled for being gay, as well as playing a role on the cross-party parliamentary team working on a marriage equality bill in coming months.
“I will also campaign for the end of the ‘gay panic’ defence,” he said.
Greenwich’s victory is made further historic as he will enter State Parliament as the first sitting MP at state or federal level to be in a same-sex marriage after getting married to partner Victor Hoeld in Argentina in May.
“In all relevant parliamentary documentation I have referred to myself as being married, with my next-of kin being my husband Victor,” he told SX.
“I will also investigate current protocols to see if it is possible to have the pride flag flown during the Mardi Gras festival.”
Image: New Sydney MP Alex Greenwich and predecessor Clover Moore with the electoral Returning Officer