Greens MP John Kaye remembered for tenacity and conviction
NSW Greens MP Dr John Kaye is being remembered as a politician of tireless conviction and committment following his death from cancer at 60.
The Greens announced Mr Kaye passed away last night surrounded by family and friends after a battle with an aggressive form of cancer.
He was first elected to the NSW Upper House in 2007, and among other things became a fearsome advocate for public education, especially TAFE.
John Kaye was a fierce advocate for all things Green but especially public education. His life was devoted to public service.— Christine Milne (@ChristineMilne) May 3, 2016
He was a regular visitor to the North Coast, attending numerous rallies and press conferences outside the Lismore TAFE to deliver eloquent and well-researched criticisms of the NSW Government's current policy on vocational education.
He was also a member of a NSW Upper House Inquiry into changes in vocational education under the State Government's Smart and Skilled reforms, which held its first hearing at Wollongbar TAFE late last year.
His other causes included slamming the influence of the alcohol, tobacco and gambling lobby on government - helping secure a ban on political donations from those industries - railing against the greyhound racing industry's treatment of dogs - and renewable energy.
Sorry to hear that our friend and comrade John Kaye has died. John was a tireless campaigner and advocate for TAFE. pic.twitter.com/xMDlq6HVU4— TAFECampaign (@TAFECampaign) May 3, 2016
The NSW Greens have posted a tribute to Dr Kaye on their Facebook page, praising him as a "tireless champion for public education, a pioneer on renewable energy... and a highly principled member of our party."
"John's death from cancer at 60 represents an enormous loss for our party - and for the goals that he championed. He will be sorely missed but his work will continue to inspire us.
Greens NSW MP David Shoebridge also released the following comments to the media:
"With John's death the Greens NSW and the NSW Parliament have lost an MP of enormous principle, energy and commitment. His colleagues have also lost a dear friend.
"John was a tireless champion of public education, leading the national debate on education funding with an unflagging commitment to TAFE and public schools.
"Public schools and TAFE colleges in this State are stronger, better resourced and more prominent in the national debate due to the work of Dr Kaye.
"A lifelong commitment to public endeavour and social justice saw John campaign across the state in opposition to the privatisation of the state's electricity sector.
Vale NSW Greens MP John Kaye: champion of public education, pursuer of the corrupt, friend of the poor and dispossessed. Bob Brown— Bob Brown (@BobBrownFndn) May 2, 2016
"The Greens NSW will continue to benefit from John's work in establishing a clear path to NSW becoming the first state with 100% renewable electricity.
"John has always taken to heart his role as a Greens MP for the whole of NSW."
In a statement reported by the Sydney Morning Herald NSW Premier Mike Baird said he was "deeply saddened to learn of the death of John Kaye".
"He was a formidable advocate of the causes in which he believed," Mr Baird said
"Despite our political differences I regarded him as a friend.
"My thoughts today are with Lynne and his family."