Thursday, 19 January 2012


We Greens in Victoria are now in the process of choosing our lead senate candidate for the next federal election. It is an important step for our party, and for the values we uphold. I am standing for preselection and voting will commence at the end of this month. All Victorian Greens members are entitled to vote.

As you make your decision, please take into account these endorsements from people who know me.

Ben Oquist
Chief of Staff, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown 

Brian has been one of the great Greens in Australia. Working tirelessly behind the scenes as an adviser and legal expert for years and more recently as a star candidate at the state election. The Greens have been lucky to have his services.

Brian's demonstrated commitment to social justice and the environment through his work as a leading SC has been a great service to Australia. He would make an outstanding Senator for the Greens.

Matthew Wright
Executive Director, Beyond Zero Emissions.

Brian's demonstrated commitment to social justice and the environment through his work as a leading SC has been a great service to Australia. He would make an outstanding Senator for the Greens.

Brian Walters has shown a commitment to seriously addressing dangerous climate change and our energy security problems in Australia.  He demonstrates through his actions that he will work for the community to transition us from our 19th century fossil fuel based economy to a 21st century renewable emergy powered clean tech economy.

I support Brian Walters as he has a clear and unequivocal conviction to address the social justice and environmental problems that an addiction to fossil gas and fossil coal bring with them.

Brian understands and strongly supports the essential transition we need to make to a zero carbon clean energy future including solar and wind energy, and shifting our transport to mass electric transit and electric vehicles.

Pamela Curr
Greens member, former candidate, and asylum seeker advocate

Brian Walters SC is an outstanding candidate for the Senate. His role in environmental and human rights issues has earned him wide-spread respect. Brian’s position as a former President of Liberty Victoria and his role as a leading human rights lawyer along with his reputation for integrity and hard work both inside and outside the party gives the Greens our best chance of adding to the Greens Senate team.

Brian’s legal background in human rights provides the knowledge and expertise needed at a political level to initiate and examine legislation in this crucial area.

As a founding member of the Greens, Brian played an important role in taking the Greens from its minor party origins to the position the Greens now occupy on the political stage. 
I believe that Brian Walters has the reputation, communication skills, energy and ability to convince the people of Victoria of the value of Greens representation.  

Brian’s background and skills will strengthen the Green Senate team at a time when the community are looking to the Greens for political leadership on the things that matter.

Clive Hamilton

Brian Walters is exactly the sort of candidate the Greens need to make the next big leap as a political party. He is determined, savvy and passionate. He would be a candidate who is not only committed to the values of the Greens but has proven his capacity by rising to the top of his profession. Brian has gravitas as well as passion, and is the sort of candidate who would immediately be taken seriously in the politics of Canberra. I would feel proud and confident to welcome him to Canberra as Greens Senator for Victoria.

Michael Schilling 

convenor, Cardinia, Casey Dandenong Greens

My name is Michael Schilling. I am the convener of the Cardinia, Casey Dandenong Greens and am the endorsed Greens candidate for the Federal seat of LaTrobe. I am endorsing Brian Walters for senate pre-selection. I believe Brian is the person who can take the party to the next level by increasing our vote. Brian is a master of communication and has the ability to inspire. This quality, in conjunction with his extensive and diverse knowledge base, puts him in good stead to join Richard in the senate. Brian has the particular ability to reach out to non-Green voters and to inspire them to vote Green, which is critical for the future longevity of the party.

Terry Lane
Broadcaster, writer and former secretary of Free Speech Victoria

BRIAN WALTERS and I first met when he was representing Alan Gray in the infamous Forest Friendly Building Timbers case when the timber industry was threatening to use the Trade Practices Act to bankrupt Alan by having his book banned. We won, thanks in no small part to Brian’s total commitment to the cause. From that point we became collaborators in the organisation Free Speech Victoria. I always admired Brian’s integrity and intellect and I hoped that he would be elected to parliament, either state or federal, where he would be an adornment to the legislature. As a Greens voter it would give me immense pleasure and confidence to vote for him in the next Senate election.

Julian Burnside

I have known Brian Walters for over 25 years. We have worked together in several cases, including defending the Gunns 20 case. We also share a concern for human rights issues. Brian was president of Liberty Victoria immediately before my term as president, and we both continue on the committee. We have shared platforms speaking about human rights issues on many occasions. I have found Brian to be dedicated and courageous in defence of the issues he supports. Brian brings great experience as an advocate, tactical skill, and a commitment to causes that matter for Australia today. I am happy to endorse his bid for the Senate.

Anne O'Rourke
Greens member, Monash lecturer, former Greens State executive 
My experience of Brian, his character and principles, and his fearless advocacy of civil liberties and human rights, comes through our mutual involvement with Liberty Victoria.

Brian is a Senior Counsel, and as President of Liberty, was always on call, speaking on issues ranging from the treatment of refugees, anti-terror legislation, government accountability, and the right to free speech and assembly.  

As Vice-President of Liberty Victoria, I was able to closely observe Brian in a leadership role. He displayed strong leadership skills, marked by good humour, consultation with, and respect for, the other members of the Liberty committee.  Under fire from conservatives, Brian always remained calm and eloquent in his demeanour.  

Brian’s green credentials are as impressive as his human rights achievements.  He is author of ‘Slapping on the Writs’, on the use of litigation to silence community groups.  He co-founded ‘Wild’ magazine and instituted the ‘Wild Environmentalist of the Year’ award.  He successfully defended Bob Brown on charges of obstructing logging in Gippsland in 1997-8 and rafted down the Franklin to join the blockade in 1982-3.

Tim Costello

I have known Brian Walters for most of my life from school days at Carey and then Monash University  Law school to his career as a Barrister. I know Brian to be an extraordinary mind matched by an exemplary character. He has a passionate commitment to both the issues of justice and the environment. For me he is exactly the sort of policy driven politician that this nation needs in Parliament. I  write this not as one who is a member of any political party but as a personal reference. I have written similar references in the past for Liberal and Labor candidates for preselection whom I respect.

Barry Heard
Vietnam veteran and author of Well Done, Those Men and other books

I have known Brian Walters for several years. He is a fine family man and highly respected in his own profession. I supported him in his unsuccessful attempt into State election. His loss was due to the politics, not the quality his candidature.

He will bring many skills and knowledge of the game of politics as a potential candidate. Brian can see through the banter. His work background is perfect for the position. Verbally precise, astute, and clear: politics needs this today. He is a supporter of many good causes, on one of which I have had the privilege to work with him. 

As a man of principle, there is no other field in politics suitable for Brian Walters. He is Green to the core. 

Vanessa Bleyer
Solicitor in the Brown Mountain and other logging cases

My name is Vanessa Bleyer. I started practising as a lawyer 10 years ago, following a number of years working as a law clerk with Brian Walters SC. Brian introduced me to the law relating to protecting native forests. Since then, I became an environmental lawyer, using the law to protect native forest such as Brown Mountain in East Gippsland. Brian’s guidance and support moved me to do this work. I have worked with Brian on cases such as the Gunns 20 case. Brian is a highly skilled, respected and effective lawyer. Our environment will greatly benefit from Brian being in the Senate.

I strongly endorse him and am honoured to do so.

Alan Gray
Editor, Earth Garden magazine

My name is Alan Gray, and I’ve been the editor of ‘Earth Garden’ magazine for the past 25 years. Throughout most of those 25 years I’ve also worked closely on various environmental campaigns with Brian Walters. Without the legal and moral support of someone as committed to Greens values as Brian, it would not have been possible for me — or many other activists — to conduct some of our vital campaign activities. Brian’s support over these years has been immeasurable.  He has the intellect, the skills and the compassion to make a wonderful Greens Senator for Victoria. I am delighted to endorse his candidature, and I urge you to get on board the Brian Walters campaign.  We Greens will be very lucky indeed if we can secure Brian as our Senate candidate.

Melanie Sharp
Performer, activist, post-graduate student and mother

Brian is one of the most inspiring public speakers I’ve seen. When he’s spoken at forest fundraisers I’ve organised, we’ve had packed houses, largely due to Brian’s reputation, knowledge of environmental issues, and charismatic delivery. Our audiences were always spellbound. Brian’s dedication to environmental issues over many years, and his personal qualities and legal skills, would make him an exemplary Greens senator.

Paul Collins
Paul Collins, writer and broadcaster and member of the ACT Greens

Brian Walters is precisely the type of man The Greens need to have in the Australian Senate. He is a very long-term and committed member of the party who has already had experience standing for election on behalf of The Greens. He has excellent environmental credentials, is an experienced bush-walker, is one of the founders of the magazine Wild and has had long-term community involvement in a wide range of areas including Liberty Victoria, The Wilderness Society, the Victorian National Parks Association, the Protectors of Public Lands and Free Speech Victoria. He has had a lot of experience in dealing with the media and is very media savvy. 
He is an experienced barrister and senior counsel who has worked on many environmental cases, including acting for Senator Bob Brown in the Goolengook case which led to forestry operations in East Gippsland being found to be illegal with 300 other protestors having their cases dismissed. Brian’s broad experience, maturity, community involvement and above all his long-lasting and passionate concern for the natural world make him an ideal candidate for The Greens in the Senate. I support and endorse him.

Rod Quantock

Brian has a life-long passion for, and commitment to social and environmental issues. He is an experienced advocate and negotiator. Parliament would be a better place with his ^@# on one its plush seats. He also has a very nice suit. (That's very important in politics.)

Nomination Statements

Marcus Ward
I joined the Victorian Greens in 1999. I have been a candidate for the Federal seat of Burke in 2000, the state seat of Macedon in 2002, and the lead Western Victoria candidate in 2006 and 2010. I have also assisted with campaigns for the federal seat of McEwen as well as local council elections.

I wish to nominate Brian Walters for the Victorian Greens lead Senate candidate for the coming federal election.

I first met Brian in 1999 when a logging company was threatening to sue me. Since that time I have worked with Brian on many campaigns. Under pressure he is uniquely cool, careful and decisive. 

Brian is a man of extraordinary capabilities. His professional and person contributions have earned him wide respect. He is a founding member of the Greens. He is past president of Liberty Victoria, past president of Protectors of Public Land.  His profile and wide appeal will draw new support to the Greens.

Brian is an accomplished barrister who has used his professional skills many times to come to the aid of people protesting in support of Greens ideals. He successfully defended Bob Brown after Bob had been arrested for protesting at Goolengook. Brian was also instrumental in having the “Gunns 20” case struck out.

Brian’s 2010 campaign for the state seat of Melbourne clearly demonstrates his electioneering skills and dedication.

I have no doubt Brian will make a very significant contribution for the Greens and for Australia as a candidate and as a federal senator.

Marcus Ward

David Jones

Founding member of the Bendigo Branch in 1996.
Convenor of Bendigo Branch on numerous occasions.
Federal candidate twice.
Local Government candidate three times, successful in 2004,
Mayor City of Greater Bendigo 2006 and 2008.
Lead Upper House candidate Northern Vic Region 2010.
Ex member of State Exec, Council, Regions Council.
Currently co-convenor of Bendigo Branch and member of VCECC.
Imagine you are a member of the Federal Parliamentary team, you expect all new senators to bring media ability, commitment, leadership skills, and a raft of other characteristics. Brian brings all of these things, but crucially he brings the unique ability to enter the Senate with the professional history of being one of Australia’s most respected SCs. This skill set would be of huge value to the Federal Parliamentary team. Brian also brings a long history of working with Bob Brown through his legal representation for and with Bob over a number of years across a wide range of issues and court cases. 

This ability to add great value to the Federal Parliamentary team is what for me singles Brian out from the other excellent and capable candidates. In Victoria we are now faced with the most important decision we have faced. We must be strategic and pragmatic in our choice of our next Senate Candidate and choose someone who adds to the team we have in an unambiguous and powerful way. Brian showed in the 2010 State election that he has the mettle to handle great pressure and stress. We need all of these skills in our next Senator.

David Jones

Wendy Radford

2005-2012 Convenor/Secretary Bendigo Greens
2006 Campaign Assistant, Northern Victorian electorate
2007 Foundation member Country Greens Network
2008-9 Convenor, Country Greens Network
2009-10 Convenor AGV Water Policy Working Group
2008-11 Convenor Central West Regional Council
2009 Greens Local Council Candidate
1986-1992 Foundation Chairperson, Wangaratta Family Planning Clinic
1997-2000 Environment Victoria, Forest Campaigner
2003-2012 Foundation member and Convenor Bushlinks
2004-2012 Community Representative, City of Greater Bendigo Natural Environment Advisory Committee
2004-2012 Convenor/Secretary Bendigo and District Environment Council

I nominate Brian Walters as a Senate candidate because he would represent both country and city Victorians with passionate, principled dedication and an unrivalled knowledge and experience of the law in defending and promoting our biodiversity, environment and human rights.   He has a proven capacity for leadership and an ability to communicate the heart of important Greens issues through the media, as shown in the last election campaign.  He remains unflustered and performs eloquently under pressure. Perhaps most importantly for me, he has a vision of a fair and environmentally sound future that he has worked hard to bring into being over the last 30 or so years: a founding member of the Victorian Greens, 'Wild' magazine, President of Liberty Victoria, defence of Bob Brown and advising him for many years.  He would strengthen our Senate team with his detailed knowledge of legislative practices and depth of understanding of how to get things done.

Wendy Radford

Steve Norwood

I have been a member of the AGV since 2004.
I have been active in both the Bendigo and Castlemaine branches and on the Central West Regional Council.
I am currently the treasurer of the Castlemaine branch. 

I am pleased to nominate Brian Walters SC as a Senate candidate in Victoria to contest the next Federal election. Brian’s commitment to the environment and to social justice issues over a considerable period of time is a matter of public record. Candidates with such a high public profile and reputation of integrity are what the Greens need in order to increase their Federal parliamentary numbers. The results in the seat of Melbourne at the 2010 Victorian State election show that Brian has the prerequisite media skills and profile to be able to potentially achieve a Senate quota despite the collusion of both old major parties to keep Greens out of elected office. The skill set he would take to Canberra would further enhance the already positive effect the Greens have on influencing legislation.

Steve Norwood

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