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Ward off Climate Change

About the author

Gary Warden was raised in the Perth Hills. After graduating from the University of Western Australia with a degree in Geology, Gary joined BHP Billiton where he spent 18 years working in a variety of roles in a number of locations around the world. Prior to leaving BHP Billiton in December 2006, Gary was Global Manager for the company's US$1Billion business improvement program.

While he was originally sceptical about the claims relating to climate change, he became convinced of the urgency of the issue in early 2006. He left BHP Billiton primarily to spend more time with his young family, but also to dedicate himself to creating a more sustainable life for himself and his family and to support others in making that change.

In September 2007 he was trained by Al Gore and has delivered the "Inconvenient Truth" lectures to thousands of west australians since then. In November 2007 Gary ran for the senate in the Federal Election representing the Climate Change Coalition.

In addition to his climate change lectures, he has facilitated Living Smart workshops across Perth. Between 2008 and 2009 he was on the Executive Committee of the Conservation Council of Western Australia including one year as Vice President.

Gary co-founded and is Executive Director of the very exciting Days of Change program, one of the largest sustainability programs in Australia and is now General Manager WA for Eco-Kinetics, one of the largest Solar PV companies in Australia and subsidiary of ASX-listed CBD Energy.

Federal Election Results

by Gary 2/12/2008 1:23:00 PM

Despite the fact that it is now almost three months since the election, I thought that, for the sake of completeness, I should provide a wrap on the federal election results, even though I will have spoken to most of my supporters about this before now.

We ended up receiving 3,461 first preferences, and after distribution of preferences, I was the eighth last candidate to be excluded.

While we all would have wished to have done better than this, it is a respectable result given that Climate Change Coalition didn't exist in Western Australia six weeks prior to the election.

While it was never really likely that we would win a senate seat the first time around (much rode on the distribution of preferences), I must admit that I would have liked to have received more primary votes. 3,461 votes represents just 0.3% of the votes cast. Given the importance of climate change, and the degree to which the topic was in the press during the election campaign, I had expected to receive more votes than this.

Unfortunately, my CCC colleagues in the other states didn't fare much better. In NSW, where they had a 12 month head start and two high profile candidates in Patrice Newell and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, the party received 0.9% of first preferences.

Unfortunately, it seems that people were not prepared to vote for a one issue party. Confusion about the role of the senate and the preferential voting system probably didn't help our cause.

The Party has been doing some soul searching since the election. I have been to Sydney twice to meet with the Party to determine the way forward. It is probably too early to comment about this publicly, however the AGM of the Party is coming up at the end of February, and I will be able to say more once that is behind us.

It was pleasing to see Kevin Rudd fulfill his election committment to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and to personally participate in the Bali Summit. While these are in themselves small steps, we are now moving to address climate change at a faster rate than what could be said before the election.

I wanted to take the opportunity to thank the many people who helped out during the election campaign. Sarah Bishop was my running mate and helped provide plenty of energy for the campaign as well as helping us feed into the young voters. Jacinta Goerke masterminded the "Ward Off Climate Change" campaign, the air ads and provided the most amazing advice. Claire and Ron Botman helped put this web site together and helped out in many other ways during the campaign. My family, particularly Margaret and Bob Hadlow spent many hours dropping pamphletts and letters. Also Steve Strutt who provided some great advice and hit the streets dropping letters. A number of people generously provided monetary support - you know who you are and I won't embarrass you by naming you publicly, however many thanks to all of you.

I'd also like to thank the many people who helped out by manning a booth on polling day. While we acheived just 0.3% of the vote statewide, at many of the booths where we had people handing out How to Vote cards we received upwards of 2% of the vote.

Lastly I'd like to thank my wife Toni for her love and support and my sons Adam and Ryan for not complaining too loudly about not having Dad around as much as they had become accustomed to.


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Election 2007

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