Human rights lawyer, engineer and businessman Kingsley Liu has been announced as the Greens candidate for the state seat of Blue Mountains.
The Katoomba grandfather said that human rights and the rights of nature are his two great passions. “We need to look after one another and the rest of the natural world.”
Mr Liu is the principal of The People’s Solicitors, representing the survivors of the 2010 Christmas Island boat tragedy in which 48 of the 89 asylum seekers died. Their lengthy class action against the Australian Government for negligence in the events prior to the disaster is on its way up to the High Court.
Mr Liu also represented the residents of Badgerys Creek who were forcibly evicted by the state government for the construction of the Western Sydney Airport.
He is a community advocate for the Rights of Nature, the international movement to change the legal status of nature from human property to living communities that exist in their own right.
In 2008, Ecuador was the first nation to enshrine Rights of Nature in its constitution and, in 2017, New Zealand has recognised the legal personhood of a river and national park. In India, the Ganges and its main tributary are now considered legal persons.
“I believe this is very relevant to the Blue Mountains. Most residents would agree that these Mountains and the web of life within them have the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate their vital cycles. That is the principle of Rights of Nature.
“When we object to Warragamba Dam being raised or an airport on our doorstep we are not only objecting to the risks to human life and amenity, we are objecting to the damage and suffering it will cause nature.”
Mr Liu is an organiser and investor in wind farms to be built across the Coolah district. “We are in the planning stage at the moment but our total target exceeds 500 turbines as the largest community-driven renewable energy provider in the country,” he said.
“Renewable energy is the future whether governments like it or not. Investment will continue to grow. Banks are not lending to new coal power projects.
“The Greens policy for 100 per cent renewables by 2030 and urgency for action around the CO 2 emissions are our most important messages.”
A third-generation Chinese-Australian, Mr Liu’s career path has been in power engineering and investment banking from Melbourne to Canada and Asia, before focusing on his law practice and community interests. He spent a number of years driving taxis while studying.
CAPTION: Kingsley Liu with Australian Greens leader Richard Di Natale at the Springwood Hub last November.