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Statement By Senator Brian Grieg, Interim Leader, Australian Democrats

August 23, 2002

Senator Greig has been appointed Interim Leader of the Australian Democrats to replace Senator Natasha Stott Despoja until the national ballot is declared on October 5, 2002.

I thank the members of the National Executive for their confidence and recognise the responsibility involved in being elected interim leader at this time.

I consider this position to be one of a caretaker with responsibility to steer the party into a more harmonious environment. I encourage my parliamentary colleagues to put recent troubles behind us and work together with the mutual respect we have shown each other in the past.

The Democrats are founded on honesty, tolerance and compassion and I extend these values to my colleagues during this interim period. For twenty five years we have entrusted the members to choose our parliamentary leaders.

It is important to acknowledge that this vote was for interim leader, and that a ballot of all members is required to establish who will be the Leader to take the Australian Democrats into the next Federal election and beyond.

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