Can Max ‘do a Bradbury’ in Griffith?

When I first moved to Griffith in 1996 it was still a safe labor seat with working class suburbs of Camp Hill, Carina, Norman Park, and Coorparoo more dominant than the more middle class areas like Bulimba (though not always posh), Morningside, Carindale and Hill End. 1996 was the election when Howard won government defeating the tired Labor administration of Paul Keating.

how to vote in Griffith
Jackie Hu’s How-to-Vote card endorsing Max for the seat of Griffith

Nowhere in the election trenches in 2019 will you hear what may happen in Kevin Rudd’s old seat. Griffith is a seat that was held by the Liberals for years until it was won in 1977 by Labor’s Ben Humphries who served as Minister for Veterans’ Affairs in the Hawke and Keating governments. They introduced neoliberalism and sold every public asset that was not bolted down – the airports, the commonwealth bank, prepared the first tranche of Telstra for sale by Howard, and so on.

Rudd managed to run the seat of Griffith down to a marginal seat, then passed the chalice to Labor’s Terri Butler who only won 33% of the primary vote in the 2016 election against 41% by the Liberals in Griffith. Last time Terri won with Greens preferences what if the shoe is on the other foot this time? Unlikely you say.

One of Max’s signs

Now, along comes Max Chandler-Mather who was the manager of the successful campaign by Jonno Sri to take the Gabba from Labor in the Brisbane City Council. Max has two main things going for him – he is the only candidate who does not support mandatory detention for refugees and is an outspoken critic of Big Coal.

The trend is against Scott Morrison and Shorten who have sold out their own constituents. Both refuse to come out against Adani. Where will the swinging voters go? To Max? If he gets above Labor he has a chance to win on Labor preferences. Quite a numerical feat.

On Saturday, 27 April 2019 with the federal election campaign in full swing I attended a tree planting organised in Woolloongabba by Jonno Sri. Not surprisingly his former campaign manager, Max, turned up to help out. So did the Brisbane City Council tree and anti-litter workers. Together with volunteers they set about planting trees in the residential area between the Deshon and the railway line. It is on this railway line that Aurizon and Pacific National cart coal to the port of Brisbane. Max told me that he had challenged the sitting member Terri Butler to a debate on climate change. Terri pleaded that she was to appear on the ABCs QNA and could not debate Max. The Labor appointee made no arrangement for an alternative date. Never mind.

A few hundred metres down the track, Team Terri is fixing the rail crossing at Coorparoo Station. Coorparoo is an aboriginal word meaning ‘home of wild ducks’. However this is disputed and ma mean home of mosquitoes.  Federal Shadow Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, is throwing in an election promise of $107M towards the $320M cost of upgrading the rail crossing so that coal trains can get to the port on time … and, of course, solve the traffic congestion on Cavendish Road which backs up to Stanley Street most mornings and afternoons. This may put an end to the ducks because part of Bridgewater Creek flows under the rail line near there. Damien a local volunteer land carer is worried about what the construction of an overpass will do to the creek

Labor’s Terri Butler has an advantage over the Green’s Max Chandler-Mather, she is a high profile candidate against someone not known in the Federal arena. Her preference is for QNA over a local debate. This is the Lib/Lab cartel Max is up against in parliamentary politics, at least at the federal level.

Albo & Terri are determined to fix the coal train traffic
Support for Terri Butler in working class section of Coorparoo

To beat Terri Butler Max would have to get about 28 – 30% of the primary vote with Terri only getting 25% or 26% of the vote and her preferences taking him across the line.

If Max gets more than 20% of the vote he will have done very well against such a high profile candidate. But who is backing Max in Griffith? Politically savvy young people on the Left is the answer. For example Liam Flenady ran against Kevin Rudd for the Socialist Alliance in 2013. He challenged Rudd on the question of refugees. Rudd as PM declared that Asylum seekers coming by boat would never be settled in Australia. Flenady ran on a ticket that came from the ‘Refugee’s are welcome here’ movement … rallies of 500 people in King George Square supporting asylum seekers are a regular occurrence in Brisbane.

Max’s crew
The Nazis hate Max
Tree Planting organised by councillor Jonno Sri in Sword Street the Gabba

Oh, and Fraser Anning’s mob don’t like Max either, that has got to be a plus for the Green from Griffith!

If you live in Griffith and want to find out more go to

Ian Curr
27 April 2019
*Coorparoo is an aboriginal word meaning ‘home of wild ducks’.

Coal rail corridor to the Port of Brisbane on Digger Street overpass in the Gabba

6 thoughts on “Can Max ‘do a Bradbury’ in Griffith?

  1. Yesterday over 1,000 people in Griffith cast their votes. This marks the start of the final stretch of our incredible campaign. Every day from now until May 18, more and more people will be voting – can you help us reach them before they do?
    I’ve been spending time chatting to voters at the early voting booth in Coorparoo. From this, two things are really clear to me: that there are so many undecided voters still out there in Griffith, and that our message is just so effective at shifting their votes.
    I can help
    People are sick and tired of politics as usual. They are ready for change. Our hopeful message is incredibly powerful at a time like this.
    Our movement has a rare opportunity to make a significant political breakthrough here in Griffith. But we need your help to seize it. Can you help us reach as many undecided voters as possible with our powerful message?
    We need more people out knocking on doors, handing out how-to-votes on early voting booths, delivering flyers and rostering supporters on election booths.
    The next 18 days are make or break.
    We can win Griffith – but only if we all come together.
    P.S. If you’re already helping out, but reckon you could spare some more time to help out – sign up here.

    1. I’m getting in touch because we have a huge opportunity to lock in thousands of crucial votes in the next two weeks. But we only have until 5pm Friday.

      Every day this week I’ve been out doorknocking and on prepoll chatting to undecided voters. Two messages are winning votes more than anything else: that the Greens will bring dental into Medicare, and that we’ll raise $98.5 billion by taxing big corporations and the super rich.

      We currently have two billboards up broadcasting these messages, but they’ll have to go down this Sunday unless we raise $3,800 by 5pm Friday. Can you chip in to help us keep them up until Election Day?

      Together we’ve done an amazing job of reaching people over the last year – but these last two weeks are so critical. Almost 1 in 4 people in Griffith still haven’t decided who they are going to vote for this election.

      People are responding to our message in a way that I just couldn’t imagine when we started the campaign 12 months ago. This week it’s becoming increasingly clear that we have a genuine shot to win Griffith and make history.

      Keeping these billboards up means reaching another 45,000 voters in the most critical period with our most impactful message. Can you chip in to lock in these undecided voters?

      Together we can win.

      Liam Flenady
      Campaign Manager


      P.S. Yesterday at prepoll I spoke to a taxi driver in his 60s who voted Greens for the first time because I told him about our plan to bring dental under Medicare. Help us reach more undecided voters like him with this powerful message – chip in now

      Max Chandler-Mather – Greens for Griffith

      P: 0420 494 136 • E:
      Authorised by K.Carra, The Greens, 102 McDonald Road, Windsor 4030.

  2. QCU needs a policy on Climate Change says:

    The Qld Council of Unions needs to adopt a plan for unions to transition from a coal economy in Queensland. All types of mining in Queensland contribute 10% of the State’s Gross Product. This industry needs to be directed away from coal to socially productive enterprise.

    Coal Miners and construction and electrical workers need to have alternative jobs from this deadly economy. Climate Change and Black Lung disease make the Adani mine untenable.

    Predictably Morrison and Shorten will not come out against it and will continue to back profit over people. In this context is the principled stance taken by Bob Carnegie State Secretary QLD & NT MUA division of the CFMMEU to oppose the mining of thermal coal in Queensland at Carmichael. Peter Ong from the Electrical Trades Union in Queensland challenges how alternative jobs in renewables are being disrupted by the push for the Adani Mine.

    Head of the MUA division in Queensland and the Northern Territory, Bob Carnegie, made the following call on the Labour movement:

    Labor’s focus should be on “long-term, good paying union jobs” rather than “a 20-year coal mine” and stressed mine workers and the people of Clermont “have to be given every single possibility of a just transition from thermal coal to renewables and other industries”.

    Yet still no plan by the architects of Change the Rules campaign to find alternative jobs in socially beneficial industries like solar energy and regional development. The Qld ALP government backs the arms industry in economically depressed Maryborough with incentives for companies to build armoured cars and munitions. Why back a war economy like Trump? Why not commit to building a fast train between Brisbane – Sydney – Melbourne? Bill Shorten backed electric vehicles without any real plan for its adoption in a country obsessed by petrol and diesel Utes and SUVs.

    The architects of the change-the-rules campaign on the first floor of QCU building in Peel Street have given mainstream press has a field day on division in the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union. Yet silence on a planned exit from the coal economy by the Qld Council of Unions. Why?

    Nowhere in the full MUA climate change and renewable energy policy is there an attempt to stop Adani and proposals for more coal mines in the Galilee basin. [See

    The following article appeared in the Financial Review when Bob Brown’s anti-Adani convoy hit Clermont this week in the conservative heartland of coal in central Queensland.

    Ian Curr
    1 May 2019


    AFR article about MUA opposition to Adani

    Labor left union leaders have split from the mining union and urged Bill Shorten not to support the controversial Adani coal mine if he is elected.

    Maritime Union of Australia Queensland secretary Bob Carnegie broke his silence within the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union on Monday to publicly oppose the Adani mine on grounds it would worsen climate change, while Electrical Trades Union state secretary Peter Ong warned the mine would worsen the conditions of other mine workers.

    The comments follow protests in the Queensland town of Clermont over the weekend where pro-coal protesters, some with CFMEU T-shirts and flags, clashed with anti-Adani campaigners led by Greens founder Bob Brown.

    Pro-coal protestors wearing CFMEU shirts shout at the Stop Adani convoy driving through Clermont on Saturday. Pauline Hollywood

    Mr Shorten has been under pressure over Adani from both sides, with the CFMEU’s Queensland mining division urging Labor candidates in marginal seats to sign a pledge to “support coal mining jobs” and “developments” despite strong opposition to Adani in NSW and Victoria.

    The Labor leader has told reporters on the campaign trail that he has no plans to review the mine’s approvals but has not ruled out doing so.

    Mr Carnegie, whose union recently merged with the CFMEU, said “in my opinion, Labor’s position should be made clear”.

    “This has all the capacity of being another Franklin Dam protest,” he said.

    “We stand by our mining brothers and sisters in the CFMEU mining division but as Queensland state branch secretary I do not stand by the fact that another coal mine is going to be built to further enrich the world’s CO2 emissions. The world doesn’t need another thermal coal mine.”

    He said Labor’s focus should be on “long-term, good paying union jobs” rather than “a 20-year coal mine” and stressed mine workers and the people of Clermont “have to be given every single possibility of a just transition from thermal coal to renewables and other industries”.

    He urged the union movement to follow in the steps of “the finest living trade unionist”, Builders Labourers Federation NSW secretary Jack Mundey, who led the union’s Green Bans in the 1970s.

    “That cost his members thousands of jobs in the development of The Rocks in NSW. He stopped that because there was a greater good, that the saving of The Rocks was more important due to a unifying principle that those areas shouldn’t be destroyed.”

    Despite Mr Carnegie’s opinions, CFMEU national secretary Michael O’Connor said “the union has a single position regarding proposed coal mine developments”.

    “If they meet the appropriate economic, social and environmental approvals and offer secure, well-paid employment, then we support them.

    “People are welcome to express a personal opinion regarding Adani, however the union’s position is the same on Adani as for any other coal mine development – if it stacks up we support it.”
    Adani ‘not going to provide decent jobs’

    Adani’s billion-dollar Carmichael mine is expected to create an average of 1464 full-time equivalent jobs a year, including 1206 in Queensland. The job forecasts were made before Adani scaled back its plans for the mine, including dropping production from 60 million tonnes a year to 15 million.

    However, Mr Ong, whose ETU branch represents electricians, said Adani had refused to engage with his union and warned the mine was unlikely to provide decent wages or conditions.

    “The CFMEU have got to do what’s right for them I guess but certainly in the construction phase it’s not going to provide any decent jobs for our members,” he said.

    “You open up another coal mine and all it’s going to do is put further downward pressure on the price of coal – and it’s basically flat at the moment – and it’s going to put pressure on the already operating coal mines.”

    He said the mine should not get the go-ahead on that basis and Labor should focus on ensuring decent jobs in renewable industries such as solar.

    “As a Labor government they should be saying this is the way of the future. We should be looking to transition, not opening up more coal mines, especially not in this current climate.”

    MUA leader declares opposition to Adani
    David Marin-Guzman
    David Marin-GuzmanWorkplace Editor
    Apr 30, 2019 — 5.00am

  3. We’ve been blown away by everyone’s generosity – in a little over 24 hours we’ve raised $3,325. Thanks so much to everyone who has chipped in so far.

    Now we’re only $475 away from being able to tell Goa by 5pm today to keep our billboards up all the way until May 18.

    Earlier this week I answered a call on our campaign phone from a Coorparoo resident. She was really impressed with our plan to bring dental into Medicare and introduce free childcare but was concerned about how we were going to pay for this.

    All it took was me explaining that we’d pay for it by raising $98.5 billion from big corporations and the super rich, and she committed to voting for the Greens for the first time.

    We know that these messages shift votes – but we just won’t be able to talk to every undecided voter over the phone, at the door or at prepoll before the election.

    Can you chip in before 5pm today to help us reach 45,000 voters with our powerful messages?

    We’ve got two critical weeks to go – let’s win this thing.


    P.S. This first week of voting has felt really good – we are winning an unprecedented amount of votes at the doors and at prepoll. A win feels more within reach than ever before if we all dig deep and nail these last two weeks – chip in what you can.

    Max Chandler-Mather – Greens for Griffith

    P: 0420 494 136 • E:
    4/412 Logan Road, Greenslopes 4120 •

  4. This weekend something huge happened. We hit the big 10,000. Our volunteers have now spoken with 10,243 voters at doors in Griffith – that’s more than double the biggest ever campaign in Queensland Greens history.

    Griffith is going to be close – it’s looking like it could come down to just a couple hundred votes.

    There are thousands of voters still making up their minds whether to vote Green for the first time. Being greeted by a sea of green on Election Day this Saturday will lock in crucial votes.

    5pm this Wednesday is the deadline for ordering Election Day materials. If we raise another $5,800 before then, we’ll be able to eclipse the other parties this Saturday

    We are closer than ever before to this historic breakthrough in Australian politics.

    If we all chip in by 5pm Wednesday, every single person voting in Griffith on Election Day will see our amazing signs and will have a Greens how-to-vote put in their hands. Every booth in the electorate will be turned green.

    Let’s give our movement the best possible shot for Saturday.

    Together we can actually do this – we can win Griffith.


    P.S. We already have 100s more Election Day volunteers signed up than we’ve ever had before – help us maximise their impact

    Max Chandler-Mather – Greens for Griffith

    P: 0420 494 136 • E:
    4/412 Logan Road, Greenslopes 4120 •

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