Senator Christine Milne has been re-elected unopposed as leader of the Australian Greens in the federal parliament.
At a party-room meeting this morning, the first since the federal election, Adam Bandt was also returned unopposed as deputy leader of the party.
On current figures, not yet finalised, the Greens polled 1,108,612 votes in the House of Representatives, or 8.63% of the primary vote, a loss of 3.13% from 2010.
In the Senate, the Greens polled 1,065,205 votes, or 8.50% of the primary vote, a loss of 4.61% from 2010.
Despite the decline in the Greens vote, Senators Peter Whish-Wilson (Tasmania), Sarah Hanson-Young (South Australia) and Scott Ludlam (Western Australia) have all been re-elected, although Ludlam’s position has not yet been finally confirmed.
UPDATE – 10pm: Antony Green now reports that Ludlam is likely to lose his Senate seat. Whereas it was expected the final positions would go to Ludlam and the Australian Sports Party candidate, Green says Labor’s Louise Pratt and the Palmer United Party candidate are likely to win.
The Greens also secured a new senator, Janet Rice, in Victoria. She will take up her position on July 1 next year.
The re-election of Adam Bandt in the House of Representatives electorate of Melbourne saw the Greens primary vote increase by 7.04% to 42.63%. Bandt won with 55.37% of the two-party-preferred vote, an increase of 0.54% over his 2010 result. The ALP’s primary vote fell 11.54% to 26.60%. The Liberal Party’s decision to preference the ALP ahead of the Greens was insufficient to overcome Bandt’s primary vote increase.
Milne and Bandt spoke to the media after the party-room meeting. Amongst other issues, they commented on the new government’s Operation Sovereign Borders policy on asylum seekers.
- Listen to Milne and Bandt (22m)
Media Releases from the Australian Greens.
Australian Greens leadership ballot re-elects Christine Milne and Adam Bandt
The Australian Greens held a leadership ballot this morning re-electing Senator Christine Milne and Adam Bandt MP as Leader and Deputy Leader unopposed.
The leadership ballot happens after every general election.
Senator Christine Milne said the Australian Greens return to parliament as a united team.
“The Australian Greens have held our seats and won one more despite the unprecedented attacks on our party in this year’s federal election,” Senator Milne said.
“Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd spent as much time attacking the Greens as they did each other, working together to shut us out, making secret preference deals or openly attacking us in the media.
“But we’re not surprised because they are the past and the Australian Greens are the future.
“The good news is that we have proved everyone wrong with Peter Whish-Wilson back in Tasmania and Sarah Hanson-Young holding onto her spot in South Australia. Scott Ludlam is also on track to win in Western Australia, while Simon Sheikh is still in the race in the ACT having run a very strong campaign.
“We’ll soon have Janet Rice joining us as a new Senator for Victoria increasing our numbers to record levels.
“One of the stand out stories of this year’s election was Adam Bandt, who made history for the second time increasing his vote in the seat of Melbourne by 6.73 per cent to 42.32 per cent.
“Adam and his team have proven that people power wins elections, with 584 active volunteers and 12,588 supporters door knocking on 42,219 doors across the electorate and phoning 23,273 people. Melbourne is now a beacon of hope for the rest of the nation.
“It is now more important than ever to have a strong Greens voice in the parliament to hold Tony Abbott to account and to stop his extreme agenda.
“I am looking forward to working with my team to stand up for issues that matter including compassion for refugees, taking real action to cut the pollution that drives global warming, campaigning for marriage equality, protecting public service jobs and supporting single parents and those in need.”
Hiding the boats from the Australian public won’t stop them arriving: Greens
The Australian Greens are calling on the Coalition government to be open with the Australian public on its border protection policy and to treat Indonesia with respect in enacting those policies.
“It is naïve of Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison to think Australians living on Christmas Island will stay quiet when a boatload of asylum seekers arrives with a military escort,” Greens immigration spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“Weekly media briefings on boat arrivals will only lead the public into taking up the minister’s role by informing the media themselves. Minister Morrison can refuse to confirm boat arrivals all he likes, but it doesn’t mean they’ll stop coming, as eight boats have done since the election.
“Indonesia seems to be the last to find out about the Government’s border protection plans. To Indonesia’s surprise, Tony Abbott intends to set up ‘transit ports’ to ensure that no-one makes it into Australian waters.
“This is a clear violation of international law and puts into question the country’s sovereignty. Sidelining the Indonesian Government does nothing to further relations and is quite simply disrespectful.
“Tony Abbot’s cruel and hard-line approach to refugees threatens ongoing relations with Indonesia. We need to work with Indonesia and other countries in our region, not against them.
“Whilst the Government tries to pull the wool over the public’s eyes, the Greens will continue to stand up for vulnerable refugees seeking Australia’s protection and work with our neighbours to find a humane, regional response.”
Stopping the boats or just keeping the public in the dark?
The Australian Greens have today slammed the Abbott Government for hiding the facts from the Australian people and keeping the media in the dark.
“The Coalition government has shown contempt and pure arrogance today in denying public scrutiny of how they plan to manage refugees,” Greens immigration spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“It seems their policy is more about ‘stopping the press releases’ than ‘stopping the boats’.
“Not releasing information even when boats are turned back and keeping the media locked out of the detention centres seems more like Mr Abbott’s plan is akin to the Emperor’s New Clothes.
“The Coalition’s desperation to dump children and families on Nauru and Manus Island as fast as possible is extremely dangerous and will lead to human suffering.
“The Greens will move to ban the removal of children to Manus and Nauru when Parliament returns next month.
“It is irresponsible to deport vulnerable people to island prison camps without assessing their health needs.
“How much money is this all costing the Australian taxpayer? When will Tony Abbott be upfront about how much his new cruel and secret regime is costing?”