GREENS hero Bob Brown has given his blessing to Cathy Oke's byelection campaign, saying state parliament needs a "Greens voice".
Mr Brown joined the campaign trail in Docklands last week, fresh from a campaign in the Yarra Ranges to help save the Leadbeaters possum.
Together with Ms Oke, he spruiked Greens policies to keep Melbourne liveable.
Mr Brown said it was a "pivotal" byelection for Melbourne. "This is an opportunity to get a strong voice for the city of Melbourne into the [lower] house of parliament," he said.
He said the Liberal Party's decision not to run a candidate was a "real insult to voters".
KANIS PANS TEACHER PROPOSAL
Labor candidate Jennifer Kanis has slammed a proposal that could see the worst five per cent of Victoria's teachers sacked. The proposal comes from an education discussion paper put out by the state government last week.
Ms Kanis said it was a disappointing proposal, designed to distract from the Premier's promise to make the state's highest performing teachers the best paid in Australia. "We should be looking at individual teachers – not an arbitrary number like five percent," she said.
Ms Kanis took leave from her duties as a Melbourne City councillor while campaigning.
LIBERALS OUT OF THE RACE
Sixteen candidates will vie for the Melbourne state seat, but none from the Victorian Liberal Party. Nominations for the Melbourne byelection closed last Friday.
Fiona Patten will stand for the Australian Sex Party, Ashley Fenn is the Family First candidate and Maria Bengtsson will stand for the Australian Christians.
Independent Berhan Ahmed, head of the African Think Tank and former Victorian of the Year, won the ballot draw; his name will appear first. Other independents running include Kate Borland, and Adrian Whitehead, and serial campaigner Gerrit Hendrik Schorel-Hlavka. The Liberal Party confirmed it would not run a candidate in the byelection. Labor's Jennifer Kanis will appear sixth on the ballot, the Greens' Cathy Oke 15th and independent candidate Stephen Mayne 11th.