Jenny Leong thanks the Newtown community for her re-election to the NSW Parliament

Jenny Leong thanks the Newtown community for her re-election to the NSW Parliament, on 11 May 2023:


Ms JENNY LEONG: For the past eight years it has been an honour to represent the people of the electorate of Newtown, and I am humbled and excited to have the privilege of doing so again for the next four years. Our community is one of the most proudly diverse and fiercely progressive in the State. Newtown electorate locals have been instrumental in mobilising and organising campaigns for First Nations justice, decriminalising abortion, marriage equality, protecting public housing and securing better protection for renters. I am committed to ensuring that our community's values, expectations and priorities drive the work that we do in this place for another four years.

My electorate is home to staunch community groups and activists—from public housing tenants mobilising to defend their homes, to students and unionists taking to the streets for climate action, workers' rights and First Nations justice, demanding an end to deaths in custody. We know that change happens both in this place and well beyond its walls. We know that change is only won because communities come together to fight for it. By striking, by locking on, by protesting, by breaking bad laws and by engaging in non‑violent direct action, we see change happen. As the member for Newtown, I am proud to represent a passionate community that is not afraid to take direct action in the face of injustice and inequality, to step up and speak out when they see that something is broken and needs fixing, to speak up for those who cannot do so for themselves and to give support to a friend, neighbour or community member who is struggling.

Over the next four years The Greens will continue to deliver positive change not just for people within the Newtown electorate but far beyond its boundaries because, after all, we have always been a bit nonchalant about the concept of borders. Our priorities for the coming years are clear. At the ballot box our community told us they want us to go hard to champion and strengthen renters' rights. From working constructively with the Government to finally end unfair no-grounds evictions to pushing for rent controls, we will do everything we can to fix the blatant power imbalance that so many renters face. We make no apologies for putting the rights of renters to have a safe, secure and affordable home above those of property investors and big developers to make profits. We will continue to provide direct support to public housing tenants in our community who are forced to live with mould, leaks and other unacceptable maintenance issues, and we will push for massive investment in maintaining public housing properties across the State and ensure that they are never sold off.

The Greens will continue to push for much, much more public and social housing so that everyone has a place to call home without having to wait 10 years on the public housing waiting list or deal with the stress and trauma of the private rental market. We will continue to stand against coalmines and native forest logging to stop species extinction and end land clearing, and to be bold and relentless in our calls for meaningful action for climate. We in the electorate of Newtown know that climate justice is inseparable from the struggles of First Nations people and racial justice, and that communities that are being disproportionately impacted by the onset of the climate crisis have already faced discrimination and injustice.

To everyone who handed out leaflets for us at the many train stations throughout the electorate of Newtown in the early mornings or made phone calls, sent endless text messages or had conversations on doorsteps with the people of Newtown to keep Newtown Green, I say thank you. We would not be back here without you and we certainly would not have achieved the overwhelming and impressive goal, on behalf of all of you, of being the first Green seat in the country to secure a win on primary votes. To the left activists and community organisers, those at the forefront of demanding change, thank you for everything you do and know that The Greens will always stand with you in your struggle for a more just and equitable world. Whether you live in the electorate of Newtown or you are a left activist living somewhere else in the State, the country or around the globe, know that I will be your voice in this place, for justice, for equality and for social and environmental change.

To the Newtown community who put their trust in me, I can say nothing more than thank you. It is a true honour to have the privilege of having moved to the electorate of Newtown at the age of 19, had my education as an activist come from its people and suburbs, and to now be here representing our community. I will always challenge and raise expectations for what is possible through politics while I am in this place. I look forward to spending the next four years pushing the boundaries and making the impossible feel possible—for renters, for climate justice, for housing justice, for people and for our planet.

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