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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Meet new Greens MLA Jo Clay, who’s ‘keeping an eye on the long game’

New ACT Greens MLA Jo Clay says while she’ll be on the ground in her electorate of Ginninderra, she’ll also be “keeping an eye on the long game” – climate change.

Ms Clay, the founder of office paper recycling company Send n Shred and the Carbon Diet, says that’s her biggest motivation for her new position as an MLA.

“I have a daughter … I think this has happened to a lot of us in the climate activist moment … once you have a child and you start going along to school strikes and listening to children beg for their lives in the streets, you realise you’ve got this overwhelming responsibility – we have to do something and we have to do it now,” she says.

“If we wait it will be too late.”

She says the ACT is nation-leading in its response to climate change, and she looks forward to leading the national conversation.

A lawyer by training and an artist by practice, Ms Clay says the ACT Greens will be using their six seats, four of them new, to work for the ACT to reduce its emissions from transport and to transition away from gas: “If we want to be off gas in 20 years, we need to start now.”

Ms Clay says she is “very excited to have so many women in the assembly with me” and put the Greens’ strong election result down to votes “for the climate”.

Having lived in Ginninderra for 35 years, Ms Clay says she’s promised her constituents she’ll keep focused on real action on climate change and will be in their corner for the other issues, too.

“We need action on climate change but there are obviously a lot of issues close to home,” she says.

“You become more and more conscious of that the second you start working in this field…. All that stuff is really important, too.

“I’ll certainly keep an eye on the day to day whilst keeping an eye on the long game.

“When you know why you’re doing something… I think it’s a lot easier to work that hard.”

This profile on ACT Greens MLA Jo Clay is part of a series Canberra Weekly is running on all of the ACT’s newly elected MLAs following the 2020 ACT election.

Johnathan Davis | Leanne Castley | Marisa Paterson | Andrew Braddock | Peter Cain | Rebecca Vassarotti | Emma Davidson

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