9 February 2022

Gunning's Greg Baines puts up his hand as Labor's challenger to Angus Taylor

| Max O'Driscoll
Start the conversation
Greg Baines in his office.

Despite not yet being officially endorsed, Gunning’s Greg Baines is the only Labor candidate for the Federal seat of Hume so far. Photo: Gunning Arts Festival.

A teacher and artist, Gunning’s Greg Baines has been revealed as the most likely Labor candidate to contest the seat of Hume in the May Federal election.

While not yet formally endorsed by the party, Mr Baines is Labor’s sole candidate ahead of preselection and expects to be confirmed in the role shortly.

He will be tasked with unseating the Liberal Party’s Angus Taylor, who has held Hume since 2013. Labor has not been successful in Hume since 1974, and Mr Baines is well aware he needs a significant shift in voter support to reverse nearly 50 years of history.

Mr Baines has been a member of the Labor Party for more than five years. His passion for politics and Australia was sparked by his years living in China, where he realised the importance of things like Medicare and workplace rights.

“I worked overseas for a long time and when I came back to Australia, I became really passionate about defending all the things that I think make Australia great,” Mr Baines said.

READ ALSO Monaro Rail Trail agreement signed but fight for funding just beginning

“When I was in Asia, I saw how dreadful the environment was, and I thought it was possibly a glimpse into our future, so that’s what got me really passionate as well.”

Mr Baines believes issues like the environment could move the dial with voters, and he believes the Coalition Government currently has it all wrong.

“I think it (the environment) is critical,” he said. “I was living in China for 12 years, and obviously it’s filthy, and there are all sorts of issues with air pollution, water quality and food quality, but they’ve made the environment an economic opportunity.

“The issue I have with conservative governments is that at the last election, they talked about having to choose between environment and jobs, which I think is frightening and actually the reverse.

“If we can fix the economy, we can actually transform the environment at the same time. It’s an opportunity, and we should be leading.”

Mr Baines said he was also keen to be “more present” as a local member, connecting people with politics.

READ ALSO Thredbo basks in bronze glory after Tess Coady’s medal win

“Should I be elected, I’d like to be a local member that debates with his constituents, funnels their ideas and works with them to develop policy that I can take to Federal Parliament rather than imposing policies on the people of Hume,” he said.

“I think people really need to be a part of the political process because the local member really is there to serve the citizens of the electorate.

“From my point of view, I think we need change, but I also think we should keep the campaign positive. I don’t think it’s necessarily about the current member. I think it’s about integrity and competence in government.”

As well as teaching Chinese at Merici College, Mr Baines has had a novel, called The Nail House, published and is passionate about the arts, particularly in his local community of Gunning, where he helped organise the Gunning Arts Festival.

Once his selection is confirmed, Mr Baines will join independent Voices of Hume candidate Penny Ackery as the two currently registered to oppose Angus Taylor in the May Federal election.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Do you like to know what’s happening around your region? Every day the About Regional team packages up our most popular stories and sends them straight to your inbox for free. 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.