Adam Paul Bandt (born 11 March 1972) is an Australian politician and former industrial lawyer who is the leader of the Australian Greens and federal MP for Melbourne. Previously, he served as co-deputy leader of the Greens from 2012 to 2015 and 2017 to 2020. He was elected leader after the resignation of Richard Di Natale in February 2020.
Bandt in 2020
|Leader of the Australian Greens|
|Assumed office |
4 February 2020
|Preceded by||Richard Di Natale|
|Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens|
21 July 2017 – 4 February 2020
Serving with Larissa Waters
|Leader||Richard Di Natale|
|Preceded by||Scott Ludlam and|
|Succeeded by||Nick McKim and|
13 April 2012 – 6 May 2015
|Preceded by||Christine Milne|
|Succeeded by||Scott Ludlam and|
|Member of Parliament |
|Assumed office |
21 August 2010
|Preceded by||Lindsay Tanner|
Adam Paul Bandt
11 March 1972
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
|Political party||Greens (since 2004)|
|Labor (until 1989)|
|Residence||Flemington, Victoria, Australia|
|Education||Hollywood Senior High School|
|Alma mater||Murdoch University (BA Hons)|
Monash University (PhD)
(Slater & Gordon)
Bandt won his seat in the 2010 federal election, becoming the first member of the Greens elected to the House of Representatives at a federal election, and the second overall after Michael Organ, who was elected at a by-election. Bandt first contested the seat in 2007 and narrowly lost to the Australian Labor Party's Lindsay Tanner. Following his successful 2010 election, Bandt retained the seat in 2013, 2016, and 2019 elections, increasing his majority each time. As of 2019, he holds the seat by the third largest margin of any Australian MP, receiving 72% of votes after preferences.
Early life and educationEdit
Bandt was born in Adelaide, South Australia—a descendant of German immigrants who emigrated to the Hahndorf and Barossa Valley regions in the 1800s. When he was a child, his family moved to Perth, Western Australia where he attended high school and Murdoch University. He graduated in 1996 with Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees, and was awarded the Sir Ronald Wilson Prize for Academic Achievement, "which is given to the graduate who best combines distinguished academic performance in law units with qualities of character, leadership and all-round contribution to the life of the university".
Early political activityEdit
While in high school, Bandt went to his first demonstration, protesting against a visit of a nuclear-powered ship to Fremantle. From 1987 to 1989, Bandt was a member of the Labor Party. Bandt later stated he had left the party because of the removal of free university under Hawke and Keating, and blamed the Higher Education Contributions Scheme. Bandt stated the change "started making education so expensive and putting people in debt".
At Murdoch University, Bandt was a student activist and member of the Left Alliance. During university, Bandt stated he was inspired by the works and thought of Leon Trotsky. He was president of the student union and an active campaigner for higher living allowances for students, and for free education. While he was a student in 1995, Bandt described the Greens as a "bourgeois" party, but that supporting them might be the most effective strategy, saying that "Communists can’t fetishise alternative political parties, but should always make some kind of materially based assessment about the effectiveness of any given strategy come election time".
Prior to his election to parliament in 2010, Bandt lived in Parkville, Victoria and worked as an industrial and public interest lawyer, becoming a partner at Slater & Gordon. He had articles published on links between anti-terror legislation and labour laws and worked on issues facing outworkers in the textiles industry. Bandt says he also represented firefighters and coal workers confronting the threat of privatisation.
In 2008, Bandt completed a PhD at Monash University, supervised by cultural theorist Andrew Milner, with his thesis titled "Work to Rule: Rethinking Marx, Pashukanis and Law". In 2012, he described his thesis as looking "at the connection between globalisation and the trend of governments to take away peoples' rights by suspending the rule of law", saying he "reviewed authors who write about the connection between the economy and the law from across the political spectrum", ultimately arguing "that governments increasingly don't accept that people have inalienable rights". He has said that he had the thesis suppressed for three years in the hopes of having it published as a book.
Election to parliamentEdit
Bandt was preselected to stand as the Greens candidate for the federal Division of Melbourne at the 2007 election against Labor's Lindsay Tanner, the then Shadow Minister for Finance. Bandt finished with 22.8 percent of the primary vote, an increase of 3.8 percent, and 45.3 percent of the two-candidate preferred vote after out-polling the Liberal party's Andrea Del Ciotto after preferences. Nationally he was the most successful candidate from any minor party contesting a House of Representatives seat.
2010 Labor minority government supportEdit
Following the 2007 federal election Melbourne had become Australia's only Labor/Greens marginal seat. Bandt was preselected as Greens candidate for the second time, and ran successfully against a new Labor candidate, Cath Bowtell, following Lindsay Tanner's retirement. Bandt received a primary vote of 36.2 percent and a two-party-preferred vote of 56 percent against Labor, a swing to him of 13.4 and 10.8 points, respectively. He was elected on the ninth count after over three-quarters of Liberal preferences flowed to him, enabling him to overtake Bowtell and become the first Green candidate to win a seat in a general election.
His main policy interests are environmental and human rights issues, having "nominat[ed] pushing for a price on carbon, the abolition of mandatory detention of asylum seekers and changing the law to recognise same-sex marriage as his top priorities in parliament."
2013-2019 federal electionsEdit
In 2013 Bandt was re-elected to the seat of Melbourne, despite an overall decrease in the Greens' vote and Liberal Party directing preferences to Labor ahead of The Greens. Bandt retained the seat with a 42.6 percent primary and 55.2 percent two-party-preferred vote, with his two-candidate majority almost untouched. Bandt sat on Christine Milne's frontbench.
In 2015, upon the change of Green leadership from Christine Milne to Richard Di Natale, Bandt did not re-contest the deputy leadership saying he had a baby due in the upcoming weeks. Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters were elected unopposed as co-deputies.
Bandt was re-elected as Member for Melbourne in the 2016 election for a third time, pushing Labor into third place, and the overwhelming preference for him over the Liberals from Labor voters allowed him to increase his two-candidate-preferred vote to 68.48%. In 2017, the Party's co-deputy leaders Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam were found to be ineligible to sit in Australia's Parliament owing to their status as dual citizens. Rachel Siewert and Bandt were made temporary co-deputy leaders. Bandt achieved national headlines in February 2018 for accusing new senator Jim Molan of war crimes after it was revealed that Molan had shared anti-Muslim content made by far-right party Britain First on their Facebook account. Bandt later apologised.
Bandt retained his seat of Melbourne at the 2019 election with a primary vote of 49.3%, the highest primary vote for the Greens in the history of the electorate. Bandt also received a 4.8% swing in his favour at the election, and his two-party preferred vote against the Liberals rose to 71.8%. The Greens' primary vote in Melbourne (49.3%) was larger than the combined Liberal and Labor vote, of 21.5% and 19.7% respectively, and almost twice as high as their second-highest primary vote (in Wills).
Leader of the GreensEdit
On 3 February 2020, Richard Di Natale announced his resignation as leader of the Greens and imminent retirement from politics, citing family reasons. Bandt announced his candidacy for the leadership shortly after. On 4 February, he was elected unopposed. Larissa Waters was elected unopposed as co-deputy, with Nick McKim defeating Sarah Hanson-Young and Mehreen Faruqi to become the second co-deputy. Bandt has been described by the political journalist Paddy Manning as the first Greens leader from the Left wing of the party.
Since taking on the leadership of the Greens, Bandt has refocused the party's energy towards campaigning for an Australian Green New Deal, to address what he refers to as a "climate and environment emergency." According to Bandt, it would involve the "government taking the lead to create new jobs and industries, and universal services to ensure no one is left behind." Bandt has also focused on relations between his party and regional communities with the intent of visiting mining townships and farmers across Australia, arguing that his party is "the only one" trying to stop climate change from "devastating agriculture". He has adopted a pro-mining message, but with a focus on expanding the lithium industry and other minerals necessary for a zero-carbon economy; rather than on coal. Under Bandt's vision, the party is aspiring to develop a power-sharing situation with a Labor government at the next election, similar to the Gillard era.
Whilst serving as party leader, Bandt also acts as the Greens' spokesperson for: the Climate Emergency, Energy, Employment & Workplace Relations, and the Public Sector.
Adam Bandt has been described as being aligned with the left wing of the Green Party, similar to the former senator Lee Rhiannon. Bandt's political beliefs have been categorised as being influenced by post-Marxism.
Bandt has been described as different to previous Greens leaders due to his emphasis on "public ownership, public wealth, and community-driven responses to the links between climate change and capitalism." Following Virgin Airlines Australia undergoing voluntary administration in 2020, Bandt called for the government to purchase the airline "at bargain basement prices".
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- Crowe, Shaun (2018). Whitlam's Children : Labor and the Greens in Australia. Melbourne University Press. ISBN 9780522874075.
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- Davis, Mark. "The tricky political topography of same-sex marriage". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
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- Australian Electoral Commission: Virtual Tally Room. Retrieved 12 October 2013
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- Election 2016: Greens MP Adam Bandt claims victory in Melbourne; Australian Broadcasting Corporation; 3 July 2016
- Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam: What do their resignations mean for the Senate?, Australian Broadcasting Corporation; 16 August 2017
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- "Parliamentarian Adam Bandt Talks Family". thedesignfiles.net. 31 August 2018. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
|Parliament of Australia|
| Member for Melbourne
|Party political offices|
Richard Di Natale
| Leader of the Australian Greens
Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters
| Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens
Served alongside: Larissa Waters
Nick McKim and Larissa Waters
| Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens
Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters