Greens announce Cathy Griff as candidate to contest Eden-Monaro byelection

Greens candidate for Eden-Monaro Cathy Griff. Picture: Supplied
Greens candidate for Eden-Monaro Cathy Griff. Picture: Supplied

A second Bega Valley Shire councillor has joined the race to win the Eden-Monaro byelection.

The Greens on Monday announced Cathy Griff as their candidate to nab the federal seat, which, until recently, has been a "bellwether".

It comes after Labor named former Bega Valley Shire mayor Kristy McBain as its Eden-Monaro candidate. Ms McBain stepped down from the role to join the contest, but remains a councillor at the Bega Valley Shire. Fiona Kotvojs will contend for the Liberals.

In a statement on Monday, the Greens described Ms Griff as someone who "has been at the forefront of progressive issues including the climate emergency declaration and affordable housing".

Party leader Adam Bandt said Ms Griff had long been a "passionate advocate for social justice, environment, and the arts" in the Eden-Monaro region. The long-time NSW South Coast resident was elected to the Bega Valley Shire Council in 2016.

The Eden-Monaro byelection, triggered by Dr Mike Kelly's resignation after the former army colonel experienced months of ill health, will be held on July 4.

Ms Griff said, "Labor and Liberal candidates are finally acknowledging the role of humans in changing the climate.

"Sadly, their connections with and donations from the fossil fuel industry mean that neither party is willing to do what science has stressed is essential for a safe future.

"At this critical juncture, we need leaders to map a new approach, while building upon the successful social service programs of the pandemic response."

The Greens' statement said Eden-Monaro communities were still reeling from the bushfires, sustained drought, and the coronavirus pandemic, and a "growing chorus" of people were demanding immediate action on climate change and "the creation of a fairer society".

The Sustainable Australia Party also announced Joy Angel would stand for it at the byelection.

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