Jonathan Sri is a Queensland Greens councillor for the Brisbane City Council, representing The Gabba Ward.[1]


Jonathan Sri
Jonathan Sri.jpg
Member of the Brisbane City Council
Assumed office
12 April 2016
Preceded byHelen Abrahams
ConstituencyThe Gabba Ward
Personal details
BornBrisbane, Queensland, Australia
Political partyQueensland Greens
Alma materUniversity of Queensland
(LLB, BA)

PoliticsEdit

2015 State ElectionEdit

Sri stood as the Greens candidate for South Brisbane at the 2015 Queensland state election, where he received 21.8% of the primary vote.[2] He was defeated by current Labor MP Jackie Trad, and placed third after the Liberal National Party.

2016 Brisbane City Council ElectionEdit

Sri stood as a candidate for The Gabba Ward at the 2016 Brisbane City Council election, held on 19 March, where he received 31.7% of the primary vote.[3] Preferences from the Labor candidate, Nicole Lessio, gave Sri 55% of the two-party-preferred vote, and he declared victory on 23 March after receiving a concession call from Lessio.[3][4][5]

He was sworn in on 12 April 2016,[6] becoming the first Greens councillor anywhere in Queensland, and the first of Sri Lankan Tamil heritage.[7]

Election CommitmentsEdit

At the 2016 election, Sri's ideas included:

  • Hold a plebiscite with local residents to determine if various neighbourhood plans in the Gabba Ward should be scrapped.
  • Introduce an online voting system for residents to inform him of issues.
  • Fix Stanley Street and Annerley Road intersection.
  • Install pedestrian crossings along Vulture Street, Stanley Street and Montague Road.
  • Make public transport cheaper.
  • Establish a network of home-owners with spare bedrooms to accommodate people who cannot find affordable housing.[8]

Political IdeologyEdit

Sri is a self-declared anarcho-communitarian. He is openly supportive of "public disobedience"[9] and has posted information to assist followers in avoiding being fined.[10]

 
Facebook Post by Jonathan Sri on political ideology
 
Sri at Rebellion Day, Brisbane

Sri also regularly discusses flaws in the current political system and advocates for its end.[11]

ControversiesEdit

Illegal sharehouseEdit

When elected in 2016, Sri was living in an illegal sharehouse with seven other adults. The LNP-dominated Brisbane City Council opted not to instigate any action.[12]

Protest against developmentEdit

In 2016 he organised human barricades and protests against the controversial West Village development in West End.[13] The development still went ahead.

Altercations with real estate agentsEdit

Sri has named and shamed real estate agents he believes were exploiting tenants to draw attention to the need to reform Queensland tenancy laws.[14] In October 2018, a local real estate agent accused Sri of harassing him, and the complaint was referred to a councillor conduct review panel.[15]

Criticism of the Queensland PoliceEdit

He has called the Queensland Police Service a "violent and racist" organisation. [16]

Hoax voicemailEdit

In October 2019, Sri was fined $1,300 for "inappropriate conduct" by the Councillor Conduct Review Panel, after "posing as a concerned resident in a hoax voicemail" left for state MP Jennifer Howard.[17]

Dornoch TerraceEdit

Sri believes that the future of transport in the Gabba Ward is "cycling, buses, trains and feet".[18]

In 2019, Sri specifically requested the Brisbane City Council redesign Dornoch Terrace to improve safety for cyclists[19]. The changes brought in by the LNP council prior to public consultation being thoroughly carried out included the elimination of 115 car parking spaces. Most of the changes were welcomed by Sri.[20]

No further plans have been put forward by Brisbane City Council. [21]

Protests with Extinction RebellionEdit

In August 2019 Sri led a peaceful march through Brisbane's CBD to protest a lack of action on climate change and the Government's attempt to suppress the right to peaceful assembly, which was attended by concerned citizens and members of various climate change advocacy groups (e.g., Extinction Rebellion, Grey Power Climate Protectors).

Sri had previously tried to negotiate with council to hold the march in the Queen Street Mall so it would not block traffic, but Councillor Shrinner of the Brisbane City Council refused that option and subsequently initiated legal action in an attempt to prevent the protest.[22]

Sri has allowed local branches of Extinction Rebellion to hold their meetings in his Ward office[23].

EducationEdit

Sri has a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts with majors in Journalism and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies from The University of Queensland. He has previously worked in corporate law and community organising. Prior to being elected he was a musician and beat poet. [24]

Personal LifeEdit

Sri lives on a houseboat moored in the Brisbane River with his partner.[25]

He is a saxophonist and vocalist with Brisbane band The Mouldy Lovers.[26] He is known for his spoken word performances.[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The Gabba Ward". www.brisbane.qld.gov.au. 9 March 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  2. ^ "South Brisbane - Queensland Election 2015 - Qld Election 2015 (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". ABC News. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  3. ^ a b "The Gabba - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". ABC News. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Greens win first Queensland local government seat". ABC News. 23 March 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  5. ^ Robertson, Joshua (23 March 2016). "Queensland elects its first Greens councillor, Jonathan Sri". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  6. ^ Atfield, Cameron (12 April 2016). "Four new Brisbane councillors, representing three parties, with one aim". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  7. ^ a b Cooper, Nathanael (27 April 2016). "Sri lays down his roots in council with a rap". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Jonathan Sri - Greens Candidate for The Gabba Ward #bccvotes". Westender - West End 4101. 28 January 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  9. ^ Jul 23, About the author Jonathan Sri Facebook Twitter Website Published; 2019. "Can Roadblocks Help Change the Political Climate?". Jonathan Sri. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  10. ^ Sep 28, About the author Jonathan Sri Published; 2018. "Peaceful Assembly Act - Organising protests without getting fined". Jonathan Sri. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  11. ^ Mar 12, About the author Jonathan Sri Facebook Twitter Website Published; 2019. "Changing the system or is it changing us?". Jonathan Sri. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  12. ^ Atfield, Cameron (10 May 2016). "Greens councillor Jonathan Sri defends his illegal share house". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  13. ^ "West Village protest shut down". www.couriermail.com.au. 9 November 2016. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  14. ^ Sri, Jonathan. "Cr". Why I’ve Decided to Name and Shame Real Estate Agents. Retrieved 12 December 2019.
  15. ^ Swanston, Tim (31 October 2018). "Brisbane councillor investigated over 'harassment, stalking' claims by real estate agent". ABC News. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  16. ^ Stone, Lucy (15 October 2019). "Brisbane council condemns Jonathan Sri's comments on police violence". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  17. ^ "Greens councillor Jonathan Sri apologises over fake voicemail". ABC News. 18 October 2019. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  18. ^ "Know your Candidate - Jonathan Sri - #QLDVOTES2015". Westender - West End 4101. 18 January 2015. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  19. ^ Bowling, Mark (30 October 2019). "West End parishioners outraged at council plan to remove car parks across from church". The Catholic Leader. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  20. ^ Moore, Tony (3 October 2019). "Big changes planned for Brisbane cycling black spot". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  21. ^ "Couriermail.com.au | Subscribe to The Courier Mail for exclusive stories". www.couriermail.com.au. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  22. ^ "'Protesting is not an illegal activity': Brisbane Greens councillor leads CBD march". ABC News. 28 August 2019. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  23. ^ "Greens councillor targeted on social media over climate activist support". Brisbane Times. 31 July 2019. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  24. ^ "Jonathan Sri, Councillor for the Gabba Ward". The Australian Greens. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  25. ^ Malo, Jim. "Brisbane councillor Jonathan Sri lives on a houseboat so he can donate half his pay". Domain. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  26. ^ Snowdon, Tom (13 August 2017). "Brisbane Greens councillor Jonathan Sri on Japanese jaunt with his band". Courier Mail. Retrieved 24 October 2017.