Marxist faction sabotages North Coast Greens' successor
FORMER Federal Greens candidate for the North Coast seat of Richmond, Dawn Walker, has won a pre-selection to take the NSW Upper House seat vacated by outgoing MLC Jan Barham.
However, elements of an extreme left faction of the NSW Greens have slowed Ms Walker's ascension by filing an avalanche of complaints over the pre-selection process, in favour of runner-up candidate Kelly Marks.
Ms Marks is aligned with the newly formed "Left Renewal" faction, The Australian newspaper has reported.
The faction's Facebook page espouses extreme left principles, including describing capitalism as a "violent and antagonistic relation between workers, and those who exploit them" and espousing a "rejection of the state's legitimacy and the right of it, and its apparatuses, to impose oppression upon the working class".
The principles also claim the Greens' fight for social justice brings it into "irreconcilable conflict with the capitalist mode of production".
The faction, in a party which claims it has none, is seen as an unwelcome development those more aligned with the party's environmental roots.
Under the NSW Greens pre-selection rules any complaints against Ms Walker need to be investigated, but a source supportive to Ms Walker said there was "nothing substantial" in them.
The complaints were described as "sore losers jumping up and down".
"(Dawn) hasn't done anything out of pre-selection processes but they're having a red hot go.
Federal Greens Leader, Senator Richard Di Natale has called on the faction to find a new political home.
Greens founder, former Senator Bob Brown, also told the ABC's 7.30 after the last Federal election that it was time for one of the leading lights of Left Renewal's revolutionary principles, Senator Lee Rhiannon, to stand down.
In a statement, Dawn Walker said she was "humbled and excited" by her selection to the NSW Upper House through "an amazing grassroots process involving thousands of Greens members".
"I'm honoured to be replacing Jan Barham who has been a tireless campaigner for NSW, especially the North Coast."
Ms Barham said she was delighted Ms Walker was her successor, saying she was a strong campaigner who "stands up for nature and community with great passion and integrity".
Ballina Greens MP Tamara Smith described Ms Walker as having "grit and determination" who "follows through on every endeavour she puts her considerable passion behind".
The preselection followed two high-profile campaigns for the federal seat of Richmond in 2013 and 2016 where Ms Walker increased the Greens vote at both.
It is expected that she will take her seat in late February 2017.