Feature

Cate for change

Green Lifestyle magazine

A strong, passionate and progressive voice for choice and freedom, NSW Greens MP Cate Faehrmann, who is standing for the Senate this election, says that real change starts from within.

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Since she was seven years old, when she successfully petitioned against Canadian seal hunting, Cate Faehrmann has lived to make a difference and empower others. Her rural Queensland upbringing has given her a passion for the environment, and seeing her hometown in the Lockyer Valley hit by ‘once-in-a-hundred-year’ floods twice in three years, she reasons that such extreme weather events can no longer be denied as the reality of climate change. “Taking action on climate change is one of the reasons I am doing what I am doing,” Cate says.

This NSW Greens Member of Parliament in the Legislative Council has developed a thriving career in environmental law and activism. It is second nature to her to speak up for the voiceless. “It’s a sense of fairness and justice,” she asserts. “If a group in the community is being discriminated against, I will speak out.” She believes that all people should be able to make their own choices. “It’s an abuse of power and privilege when people in the community actively campaign against the rights of others, and marriage equality is a perfect example.”

Individual sustainability is Cate’s philosophy. “I don’t think we can make change in the world unless we make change personally,” she says. Cate shops at local farmers’ markets and refuses to use plastic packaging or toxic and unethical products. She also advocated a recycling system for NSW Parliament House and supports cycling as a key to a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

Cate feels the community’s frustration with current politics in Australia. “We continue to see our politicians with their heads in the sand,” she says, referring to coal mining in regional Australia. “We have grandfathers and grandmothers sitting in protest refusing to move and being arrested across the country because they can’t believe the coal and gas companies are about to come and wreck their lands they’ve farmed on for generations. It’s most frustrating that our political leaders, with the exception of the Greens, don’t have the guts to stand up to the big miners and say ‘enough is enough’.”

Regardless, Cate has high hopes for Australia’s future, and is running for a Senate seat in September’s federal election. “We have to transition away from coal... from fossil fuels,” she emphasises. “I would love to play a part in shaping Australia’s renewable energy future.” She has faith that people will make the right choice and politicians eventually will listen. “I think the majority of Australians get it.”

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To connect with Cate Faehrmann visit www.catefaehrmann.org.