Ronan Lee, the ALP member for Indooroopilly in the Queensland Legislative Assembly, has quit the ALP and joined the Australian Greens.
Lee has been a Parliamentary Secretary in the Bligh government since last April. Born in Ireland, he was first elected in 2001.
At a press conference with Senator Bob Brown this afternoon, Lee expressed disappointment with the environmental policies of the Bligh government.
Click the Play button to listen to Ronan Lee and Senator Bob Brown:
A statement from the Greens says:
The Member for Indooroopilly, Ronan Lee, is Queensland’s first Greens MP. Mr Lee resigned from the Labor Party today.
Mr Lee, who won Indooroopilly from the Liberals in 2001 and then retained the seat in 2004 and 2006, says he will provide a strong, sensible response to the climate crisis for Queensland.
Mr Lee said, “Queensland needs to take advantage of its natural advantages to make our state the world’s leading solar power economy”.
“We also need to focus our infrastructure spending on building a world-class public transport system”
National Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown said, “Ronan Lee’s move will give the Queensland Parliament a strong and intelligent Greens advocate to lead debate on the best social and economic way forward in an age of environmental and economic crisis”.
“Now there will be a responsible voice free to challenge those old Labor and National-Liberal policies which, for example threaten the death of the Great Barrier Reef and tens of thousands of jobs dependent on it within a generation”.
Mr Lee said, “Climate change is the biggest challenge of our generation and now is not the time to sit back and hope that small policy changes will be enough to safeguard our community.”
“The type of old-fashioned thinking that got our society in this climate change mess is not the type of thinking that can get us out of trouble – we need a major shift in policy focus with a genuine commitment to renewable energy, public transport, protecting our state’s wilderness areas and a smarter water policy that reduces the need for major dams.”
“Queensland needs to refocus its attention on climate change and the environment.”
“The old political parties have for too long defined the debate about climate change as a choice between doing very little and doing almost nothing.”
“Our community deserves and expects much better from our decision-makers,” Mr Lee said.