Greens go for uni student in Monash

Newly-endorsed Greens candidate for Monash William Hornstra. photograph hayley mills
Newly-endorsed Greens candidate for Monash William Hornstra. photograph hayley mills

A recent high school graduate and former Trafalgar young citizen of the year has been officially endorsed as the Greens candidate for the federal seat of Monash.

Eighteen-year-old William Hornstra will face incumbent Liberal member Russell Broadbent in the Coalition-held seat at the next federal election.

The Liberal Party holds the seat by a two party preferred margin of almost 12 per cent.

The Greens are in the midst of pre-selecting candidates for this year's state election and it is likely Mr Hornstra will also be named candidate for the Victorian seat of Narracan.

The Moe resident joined the party two years ago.

He was active in student leadership as vice-captain at Trafalgar High School and on the student representative council.

"I agree with most of the Greens' values. They are forward-thinking and are talking about the issues no one else is talking about such as housing and public transport," Mr Hornstra said.

He said the Hazelwood mine fire sparked him to join the Greens after being dismayed by the two major parties.

Mr Hornstra cited local issues such as transitioning away from coal-fired power and community concerns about logging in Mirboo North as things to focus on.

"We need to give workers options to transition into other work. The Latrobe Valley is primed for renewable energy and giving everyone access to solar panels would put less demand on the grid," he said.

The Federation University criminal justice student said keeping young people in the Latrobe Valley through job security and community engagement was also vital to regional economies.

"There is a lack of job security at the moment and I find it frustrating that a lot of young people are in the same boat with casualisation of the workforce," he said.

"Most of my university lecturers are casual – they can't plan and it's frustrating and wrong that they don't have job security anymore."

Mr Hornstra was raised by same-sex parents with two mothers and said he was drawn to politics from a young age.

He said he does not believe his age was a factor in his candidacy and he would listen to the experience of others to help guide him.