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Tamara Smith First Greens MP for Ballina

Tamara Smith First Greens MP for Ballina

Greens’ Member for Ballina, Tamara Smith MP, was elected at the March 2015 state election and made her inaugural speech to the NSW Legislative Assembly as the first Greens MP to hold a regional seat and is both the first Greens MP and first woman to hold the seat of Ballina.

Ms Smith described the Legislative Assembly as “a house for ‘everywoman’ and ‘everyman’, where a community can unite, agitate and vote for change.”

Ms Smith acknowledged the role community activism played in her election and sees the result as a reflection on the health of democracy in NSW.
“…our job is to be responsive to our constituents and their values and priorities and to put the collective interest ahead of vested interests. If I don’t live up to that ideal, I don’t deserve to be back here in four years’ time.”

Ms Smith commended the diversity of the community movement that “united against the industrialisation of our hinterland and [stood] up against the threat to our food and water security from unconventional gas mining.”

Ms Smith noted that while many see the Greens winning a seat off the National Party as surprising, there was a long history and hard work by many other Greens members including fellow Greens MPs, former MPs and councillors including Jan Barham, Simon Richardson and Ian Cohen.

Ms Smith also acknowledged the service of long-term Ballina MP Don Page.


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