A NSW Greens MP has resigned from the party and has declared his intention to sit as an independent, following what he characterised as “division and disloyalty” in the left-wing party’s state branch and “hyper partisanship” which keeps the Greens from working with other parties.
Justin Field today announced his intention to leave the Greens, saying tensions between various factions present in the party were hindering its ability to deliver on its goals.
“Good people, great community and environment campaigners, who have put decades into the movement have walked away,” Field said.
“This is not an environment conducive to developing and implementing a plan to address the most crucial challenges of our time.”
Field, who has long advocated against coal seam gas projects and called for further environmental protections for NSW marine life, said he will work from the cross bench to “build consensus within the next NSW Parliament for positive reforms”.
His announcement comes after an extended period of tension within the state branch of the party.
His arrival in the upper house in 2016 came after a preselection process which put members of the so-called left faction offside.
Field also barracked for ousted MP Jeremy Buckingham to remain in the party, after fellow Greens MP Jenny Leong said allegations of Buckingham’s sexual misconduct should see him removed.
A report on the Greens’ internal review found there was not enough evidence to confirm an incident of sexual harassment had occurred, and Buckingham asserted his innocence. The Greens issued a subsequent statement saying the complaint against him was never found to be “false or vexatious.”
Buckingham did leave the party to serve as an independent, but was not voted back in at last month’s state election.
The counts to determine the final spaces on the crossbench, which includes Mark Latham of all people, are still underway. Whether Field can deliver deals brokered with a representative from Pauline Hanson’s One Nation is yet to be seen.