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  • Writer's pictureLeonardo Puglisi

Cairns councillor quits Socialist Alliance to join Greens

Updated: Jun 18

Rob Pyne was re-elected in March and previously served as a Labor MP in the Queensland parliament.

Cairns councillor Rob Pyne appears to have quietly quit Socialist Alliance (SA) to join the Greens, only a month after he was re-elected to council.

Pyne's official register of interests dated 29 April 2024 has "Australian Greens" listed in a box for membership of political parties. The move to the Greens appears to have gone unnoticed, indicating Pyne will now be sitting as an Independent Greens councillor rather than a fully-endorsed Greens councillor.

At the local elections in March, he was elected to Division 5 after not re-contesting Division 2. His candidate nomination listed him as a member of Socialist Alliance since 7 February 2021, although he was reported by Green Left to have joined SA on 23 September 2020.

"Socialist Alliance’s policies and practice is the perfect fit for me," Pyne said at the time.

"There’s a real hum about Socialist Alliance and it’s important to grow the branches so that we can have a real impact. It’s not all about electoral politics, of course, but it would be great to have more Socialist Alliance candidates on the ballot."


Click HERE to see the political party memberships of every candidate in the 2024 Queensland local and mayoral elections


It's not yet clear why Pyne chose to leave SA, although he has never been officially endorsed by the party, having run as an Independent Socialist Alliance candidate at the 2024 elections. He previously served in parliament as the member for Cairns in the Queensland Legislative Assembly, serving as a member of the Labor Party until he left in 2016.

It's also not clear if this move means the Greens will endorse candidates for Cairns Regional Council at the 2028 elections. The Greens are the largest party in Queensland to currently endorse local government candidates outside of Brisbane City Council, extending as far north as Townsville, where Benjamin Tiley ran for the party in Division 9 at the most recent election.

Pyne's move leaves Socialist Alliance with three councillors nationwide, all of whom are in Victoria − two in Merri-bek and one in Greater Geelong. Sam Wainwright previously represented the party in Western Australia's Fremantle City Council.

The next Queensland local elections will be held on 25 March 2028.


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