The past few months have made everyone aware of the power of independents to stand up for issues and values the community cares about, free from party politics. Independents, including Alex Greenwich and Justin Field have made a positive impact in the NSW parliament. At a federal level, we’ve seen the power of community independents first hand with Dr Sophie Scamps work as the new member for Mackellar and the other new 'teal' MPs.
Independents bring a different kind of politics, characterised by consultation, collaboration and working constructively across party lines to get things done. It’s about being true to your community and your values, rather than complying with party policy or coalition partners. Independent MPs are only answerable to their community.
An independent MP can:
- Genuinely represent their community in parliament and vote in their interest each and every time, unlike major party MPs who are instructed how to vote on every issue.
- Negotiate across party lines and work collaboratively to develop policies and legislation providing the power of balance no matter which party forms government.
- Introduce new legislation into parliament and advocate on important issues in need of reform which the major parties put in the too hard basket. For example, Alex Greenwich, the Independent MP for Sydney introduced the Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation that passed into law in NSW in May 2022.
- Vote independently and speak freely on the issues that are important to the people of NSW. Independents are not constrained by party policies, internal party factions or a coalition partner. For example, Justin Field, Independent MLC, frequently raises issues around poker machines and the way they are regulated by the Liberal/National Coalition government in NSW.
- Hold members of the government of the day to account to ensure they are acting in the best interests of the people of NSW and for future generations. Independents are free to challenge government decisions and ensure our taxes are spent fairly and responsibly. Independents are not beholden to a party or corporate interests and are only accountable to their communities.