25 January 2023

Greens candidate Ray Goodlass has entered the chat but who else will stand?

| Chris Roe
Start the conversation
Ray Goodlass

Ray Goodlass will stand for the Greens in the Wagga in the NSW state election in March. Photo: Chris Roe.

The fact that Ray Goodlass will be standing for the Greens in Wagga in the NSW election in March is not a secret, but until today it wasn’t official.

“I was asked late last year whether I would be running and, while it wasn’t announced, I thought, Well, I am, so I said yes,” Ray explained over a chai latte at The Curious Rabbit.

“So for those who haven’t cottoned on yet, I am now officially the Greens’ candidate and we will look to launch our campaign much nearer the election date.”

READ ALSO NSW political party calls for ban on kangaroo culling in flood-affected parts of state

The former drama teacher, CSU lecturer, activist and Wagga councillor is no stranger to Riverina politics and said he was standing because the major parties had failed to help those in need.

“I think the Coalition Government is a great help to the people who are wealthy but not to the people who really need it,” he said.

“And Labor’s not much better.”

Today’s confirmation expands the Wagga race to three as Ray joins the incumbent Independent Dr Joe McGirr and Nationals candidate Andrianna Benjamin on the ballot.

Dr Joe and Ms Benjamin

Independent MP Dr McGirr and Nationals candidate Andrianna Benjamin will also contest the March election. Photo: Supplied.

With just two months to go until the poll, the state’s biggest parties are yet to name their contenders.

The Liberals have been quiet since opening nominations for Wagga just before Christmas and Labor had indicated that an announcement would be made after the summer holidays.

“The Nats have announced their candidate and we’re very keen to get in there also to be a conservative representative for the people of Wagga,” explained Wagga Liberal branch president Rob Sinclair.

“We’re just going to make sure that we do everything by the book and the way that the Liberal Party wants to do it, and it can’t be rushed.”

READ ALSO Riverina Joint Organisation to cease operations by midyear

Councillor Dan Hayes has become an unofficial voice for Labor in Wagga after standing for the party in the past and said an announcement was imminent.

“It should be announced in the next week,” he confirmed.

“Now we’re getting out of the holiday break, people will start focusing on the March election.”

Whether they run or not, the now-official Greens candidate said voters should cast their ballot for someone serious about making a difference.

“I want people to think about more than just tinkering around the edges,” Ray said.

“Because that’s what tends to happen with the major parties, they just make minor adjustments without really addressing the issue.”

He pointed to gambling reforms as a key issue that he would push through his campaign and scoffed at plans by the Coalition and Labor to cap daily limits at between $500 and $1500 a day.

“That won’t stop problem gamblers from taking their families into poverty,” he said with a shake of the head.

“It’s just a minor adjustment. Getting them out of pubs and clubs is the big thing and then a serious limit and maybe a week before you can do it again.”

Ray Goodlass

Greens candidate Ray Goodlass says gambling reform is high on his agenda. Photo: Supplied.

Ray also promised to advocate for improved wages for public servants, infrastructure spending on projects such as the Gobba Bridge duplication, a crackdown on ”pork-barrelling”, and a state response to the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

“Voice. Treaty. Truth,” he said, reciting the mantra of the First Nations document.

“The hot topic is the ‘voice’ for Federal Parliament, but we need one for State Parliament as well.

“And then whether it’s a matter of treaty, or treaties, that needs to be examined through a consultation process.”

The NSW state election will be held on 25 March, 2023.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.