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  • Written by Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra
The Conversation

The Greens’ only House of Representatives member, Adam Bandt, is the party’s new leader, elected unanimously after Richard Di Natale’s decision to leave parliament.

Bandt, 47, has held the inner city seat of Melbourne since 2010, and most recently served as co-deputy of the parliamentary party. He is the Greens’ spokesman on climate change.

Queensland senator Larissa Waters was elected co-deputy leader and Senate leader. Tasmania’s Nick McKim was elected co-deputy leader and deputy Senate leader.

Senators Mehreen Faruqi and Sarah Hanson-Young also ran for the co-deputy position.

Rachel Siewert was elected whip and Janet Rice was elected to the new position of deputy whip.

Bandt’s challenge will be to manage from the lower house what is essentially a Senate party – the Greens have nine senators. Previous leaders Bob Brown, Christine Milne and Di Natale were senators.

Given the fact the government is in a minority in the upper house, tactics are important there and the play can move quickly.

Bandt said before the ballot he would talk to his colleagues “about how we share leadership across the House and the Senate as we fight the climate emergency and inequality”.

Di Natale defeated Bandt in 2015 when the leadership last came up.

Bandt, a former lawyer, lives in Melbourne with wife Claudia and daughters Wren and Elke. He was the first Greens MP elected to the lower house at a general election.

Di Natale announced his resignation on Monday, citing family reasons.

Read more: Richard Di Natale quits Greens leadership, as Barnaby Joyce seeks a tilt at Michael McCormack

Bandt, outlining his priorities, told a news conference Australia needed “a Green New Deal”. This involved the government taking the lead to create new jobs and industries, and universal services to ensure no one was left behind.

He would be fighting for three things as part of a “Green New Deal” - dental health being fully included in Medicare, education to be made totally free, and a manufacturing renaissance.

Authors: Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Read more https://theconversation.com/adam-bandt-elected-unopposed-as-new-greens-leader-131126

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