Lowe considers Pesutto his main rival and has targeted his environmental credentials and distributed flyers this week that Tell Hawthorn voters: “A vote for the Liberal Party is a vote to clear forests”.
Lowe was a member of the Labor Party for five years but left the party in the 1990s.
“I was a union organizer employed by the ACTU,” Lowe said The age in August.
“It didn’t end very well for me. I got pregnant and was fired while I was on maternity leave.”
As Labor targets the Liberals in marginal seats, independents hope to win, the big bank of blue-green candidates, Climate 200, has released polls on forestry.
Simon Holmes, a court-founded fundraising vehicle, commissioned the vote in the seats of Hawthorn, Kew and Mornington. Climate 200 backs candidates in these seats, as well as Nomi Kaltmann in Caulfield.
The poll by consultants Redbridge asked 642 voters about millions of dollars for the Victorian Government spent last year on state-owned logging company VicForests.
Fifty-two per cent of voters asked if they approved of the government continuing to “prop up” natural logging said they strongly disapprove or disapprove, while 51 per cent disapprove or strongly disapprove of VicForest’s native logging.
Pesutto was the Member of Parliament for the area from 2014 to 2018 and has been campaigning hard to win back the seat since last December. Lowe said he needed to “break his silence” on when the Liberal Party would end native logging.
Pesutto declined to comment when contacted for a response to the vote.
But at a candidate’s environmental debate earlier in November, Pesutto said he expected logging of native forests to end by 2024.
“We have to get out of that and under the current political settings, which will happen very soon, within the next few years,” Pesutto told the forum.
Pesutto, when the discussion turns to the environment, has focused on his party’s emissions reduction target of 50 percent by 2030 and the Liberal policy of rebates for installing solar panels and batteries of up to $4400 for homeowners.
Both Lowe and teal independent in Kew Sophie Torney have campaigned against their Liberal opponents on environmental issues.
But unlike the successful teal tactics of May’s federal election, the move has been somewhat blunted because, unlike the previous Morrison government, the Liberals are not in power at the state level.
The morning edition’s newsletter is our guide to today’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. sign up here.