In the meeting room of Senator Lee Rhiannon’s office, a few minutes walk from Sydney’s Central Station, a second hand inches its way around a clock face with an insistent tick, tick, tick.

The room is adorned with prints of national parks and past rallies, while a flow-chart decorates another of the walls; boxes and arrows snake upwards to a final rectangle with green text heralding a doomed outcome: “winning a senate seat”.