Everything Local: New Farm, Teneriffe, Newstead, Fortitude Valley, Bowen Hills, Spring Hill, Petrie Bight, and Kangaroo Point
Ascot, Hamilton, Albion, Clayfield, Northshore, Eagle Farm, Hendra, Wooloowin, and Kalinga.

The Greens’ grassroots approach

By Kate Lockyer

Wendy Aghdam has spent the last ten months knocking on doors, talking to strangers about their patch of the city.

Ms Aghdam is the Greens candidate for Central Ward, and said she was drawn to the Greens because they provide a progressive “third voice” that refuses corporate donations and can cut through the arguments between the two major parties. 

A nurse who has worked in the youth mental health sector for 17 years, she now hopes to make a difference in people’s lives in a different way as councillor.

“I never would have thought a nurse would go into politics, but… a lot of my experience puts me in a good place to advocate for and understand the community,” she said.

Village Voice spent a day with Ms Aghdam, which included doorknocking, a visit to the office of the Queensland Greens, and a community barbeque held at Roma Street Parklands with federal member for Brisbane Stephen Bates and Lord Mayoral candidate Jonathan Sriranganathan. 

Their model of developing policy through participatory democracy, where residents’ voices are heard and materially considered, is supported by their doorknocking data.

Walking through Spring Hill with Ms Aghdam, she said one of the biggest issues people have raised is street safety, and so they want to ensure pedestrians, cyclists and people with mobility devices all feel safe on the street.

On this particular day, those who answered the door talked to us about the issues with footpaths, parking and traffic residents face, the need to modernise our transport system and its ticket costs, and the over-commercialisation and need for maintenance of the city’s parks, among other things. 

One resident, a property investor themselves, said they did not like the Greens’ policy of rent freezes.

Listening intently, Ms Aghdam noted down this criticism and agreed that reasonable development can be positive for an area, responding that at a local government level, council “can do a whole lot more about housing”, including looking at residential zoning of areas. 

Another issue she wants to address is revitalising Fortitude Valley’s rundown buildings and empty tenancies via a vacancy levy for properties left empty for more than six months without good reason, which would also apply to residential properties.

Later on at the community barbeque, Ms Aghdam emphasised that the power of local government has been underestimated. “Local government has more power than we give them credit for,” she said

Wendy Aghdam in Spring Hill after a morning doorknocking
Scroll to Top