CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Senator Lee Rhiannon and Greens candidate for Cowper Carol Vernon toured the electorate this week.
CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Senator Lee Rhiannon and Greens candidate for Cowper Carol Vernon toured the electorate this week. David Barwell

Political donations need clarity: Greens

REFORM on political donations is one of the ways Senator Lee Rhiannon believes more transparency can be introduced to Australian politics.

Ms Rhiannon touched down in Coffs Harbour on Thursday in support of Greens candidate for Cowper Carol Vernon's election campaign.

The Greens Senator is the first federal politician to visit the Coffs Coast since the election was called last week.

Ms Rhiannon said money from multi-million dollar campaigns spent by mainstream parties could be better spent on creating long-term policies.

"The National and Liberal parties are taking millions of dollars from tobacco, hotels and fossil fuels, and this is what they'll used to fund fancy ads and their attack campaigns," she said.

"We've been working for political donation reform because at a federal level we need national, uniform laws."

The Greens' major election issues includes effective climate action and increasing funding for tertiary education.

"Climate change is one of our top priorities and it links with so many issues in regional areas - jobs growth, protecting our environment and the health of people in the community," MsRhiannon said.

Youth unemployment was also high on the senator's agenda.

"If you look at the overall policies of the Coalition, for young people it is getting increasingly harder, and this area has record youth unemployment," she said.

Ms Vernon said the party's other priorities included action on developments within coastal flooding zones, improved social housing and more funds for Legal Aid.

She called on the Federal Government to reverse proposed cuts to Legal Aid on July 1 next year

"The Mid North Coast Community Legal Aid Centre... provides an invaluable service to many people doing it tough and we cannot afford to lose it," MsVernon said.

Ms Rhiannon said Senate voting reforms were "important" and would benefit minority parties.

"The change means it's the voters who will have their preferences, rather than the backroom deals," she said.

"People will be preferencing minority parties - to say it's going to wipe out minority parties is simply not the case."