Diving in to clean up

By Grace Jones | posted on March 21, 2019

THE run to represent one of the largest electorates in the world has begun with Denmark resident Nelson Blake Gilmour stepping up as the Greens Party candidate for the Federal electorate of O’Connor.

There are two months to go before the federal election and Mr Gilmour has been door knocking and volunteering wherever he can to raise awareness of his first campaign.

Mr Gilmour has been involved with the Greens Party since 2016 during the last federal election volunteering in Launceston, Tasmania and then working in parliamentary services in New Zealand.

“Emersion in the Greens movement was just a starting point and I felt that a lot of work needed to be done,” he said.

“I’ve always had an interest in candidates and campaigns and I thought becoming the candidate for O’Connor could be a way I could help out.

“It’s not easy but it’s my contribution.”

Mr Gilmour graduated Murdoch University with a degree in Politics and International Studies and minored in Criminology and said he had always been politically minded, but this year was the first time he had put it to the test.

“O’Connor is historically very conservative with three very different zones with coast, wheatbelt and outback,” he said.

“My biggest hurdle are the wheatbelt and outback conservatives that view the Greens as the enemy of farming.

“We have a different way of doing things by being in harmony with the environment by promoting regenerative farming practices.”

Mr Gilmour said his biggest strength in the May election was being more relatable to people under 35 who were “inclined to view the Greens more favorably” but was also his biggest hurdle with O’Connor having an older age demographic.

Mr Gilmour said if he won the upcoming election it would be “one of the biggest swings in Australian history”.

“My first priority would be as the Greens slogan says to ‘clean up politics’ and for me that means getting corporate money out of government,” he said.

“Senator Jordan Steele-John always talks about how you can be in Canberra, you can see coal and lobbyists walking in and out of hallways buying policy influence.

“It needs to end. Corporate money should not have influence over public policy.”

Mr Gilmour said the biggest issue he wants to tackle is water security.

“Water is a sleeper issue that no one is talking about yet it’s on the front page of newspapers,” he said.

Seeing Borden waterless is shocking.

“It’s taken for granted that water comes out of the tap. The writing is on the wall and we’re running out of fresh drinking water.”

Mr Gilmour said the one thing he wanted to say to voters ahead of the election was that “we can do better”.

“If we know we can do better, then we should do better,” he said.

“We need to do what is in the best interest of all of us and the environment.”

Nelson Blake Gilmour and Western Australian Senator Jordon Steele-John will be at a public Greens meeting at the Albany PCYC on March 23 from 7pm to 8.30pm.