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Di Natale elected Greens’ leader after Milne resigns

Greens’ leader Christine Milne has resigned, after 25 years in politics. AAP/Lukas Coch

Victorian Senator Richard Di Natale has been elected Greens leader unopposed. Queensland Senator Larissa Waters and West Australian Senator Scott Ludlam were elected unopposed as co-deputy leaders.


Greens leader Christine Milne has quit the leadership of her party, telling colleagues on Wednesday morning that she will not contest the next federal election.

The party is electing a new leader immediately.

Milne took over from the highly popular Bob Brown in 2012, and the Greens increased their federal parliamentary representation at the 2013 election. But Milne’s leadership has been under some question within the party at various times during this term.

Milne said in a statement that “after 25 years in politics, I am looking forward to spending more time in my beautiful home state of Tasmania, with friends and family, and especially as I am soon to be a grandmother,” she said.

“It is with a mix of optimism, pride, excitement and sadness that I am resigning the leadership and leaving the Senate.”

Under Milne, the Greens have taken a hard line on most issues. She has been especially reluctant to give any “wins” to Prime Minister Tony Abbott by negotiating deals.

One issue that she refused to negotiate on was the government’s decision to reintroduce fuel excise indexation, a measure that the Greens had supported. This brought her under some fire in the party.

Milne has been especially strong on climate change. She promised in her statement to continue her activism on this issue “standing shoulder to shoulder with the community here, and all over the world, for climate justice”.

She has served 25 years in politics. She was elected to the Tasmanian parliament in 1989, and became the first woman to lead a political party in Tasmania in 1993. She was elected to the Senate in 2004 and served as deputy before becoming leader.

Milne said in her statement: “I have achieved what I set out to achieve when I took over the leadership. The Greens have gone from strength to strength with solid election results and a growing, engaged party membership. I promised a more cabinet-style, collaborative approach to leadership. I am so proud of the way my colleagues have responded. We are a strong, capable, visionary Greens team.

"We have stood strongly for a safe climate and an end to wealth inequality. We have stood with the community against the cruelty of the Abbott Government, with their first budget resoundingly rejected by the people, and the Senate.”

In this week’s Newspoll the Greens were polling 12%.

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