|Member of the South Australian Legislative Council|
18 March 2006
|Born||9 September 1959|
|Political party||SA Greens|
Mark Parnell (born 9 September 1959) is an Australian politician and the first SA Greens representative in the South Australian Legislative Council, having won a seat in the 2006 state election. His term will expire in March 2014. Since his election, the Greens' position in state political opinion polls has approximately doubled. Mark Parnell is the Parliamentary Leader of the SA Greens.
Parnell holds a Bachelor of Laws and Commerce from the University of Melbourne, and a Master of Regional and Urban Planning from the University of South Australia. He is admitted as Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Courts of Victoria and South Australia.
Parnell was a founding member of the South Australian Greens and, prior to being elected, was a solicitor with the Environmental Defender's Office, a free community legal centre specialising in public interest environmental law. In ten years with the Environmental Defenders Office, Mark helped many hundreds of clients on a wide range of state and national planning, pollution, biodiversity or resource matters. In 1999, he successfully represented the Conservation Council of South Australia in the State's longest ever environment trial, over tuna feedlots in Louth Bay. He also represented the Whyalla Red Dust Action Group Inc in its long-running campaign for environmental justice over OneSteel (formerly BHP) dust emissions from the Whyalla Steelworks.
Prior to his 10 years with the Environmental Defenders Office, Parnell was a campaign co-ordinator with The Wilderness Society (2 years) and the Australian Conservation Foundation (4 years). Parnell also spent 4 years working as a solicitor in private practice in country Victoria in the mid-1980s.
On 8 May 2008 Parnell delivered a record-breaking filibuster of more than 8 hours in the Legislative Council. His speech, and that of No Pokies MLC Ann Bressington which followed, were designed to highlight the lack of opposition by either major party to a bill changing the workers compensation scheme known as WorkCover. Parnell denied his speech deserved the label of "filibuster" as he considered himself and Bressington responsible for presenting the entire opposing case. See: 2008 Parnell–Bressington filibuster
In February 2011 Parnell condemned recent policy decisions by the state Labor government such as approval of the Mount Barker redevelopment and the renewal of the uranium exploration company Marathon Resources's right to drill in Arkaroola sanctuary. He said "The left-right stuff doesn't really work for me anymore, there's fewer and fewer things to distinguish them [and] members are carefully watching the performance of the major parties". Local media reported that the Greens were considering preferencing the Liberal Party in some Labor-held House of Assembly seats in exchange for Legislative Council preferences at the 2014 state election.
- 2008 Parnell–Bressington filibuster
- South Australian state election, 2006
- South Australian state election, 2010
- Greens gain from protest over climate: The Advertiser 18 December 2009
- "Liberals eyeing a Greens deal". The Advertiser (News Limited). 19 February 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
- Parnell, Mark. "Mark Parnell - Background". MarkParnell.org.au. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
- Fenton, Andrew (25 June 2011). "Greens duo putting family first". The Advertiser (AdelaideNow.com.au) (News Corporation). Retrieved 26 June 2011.
- MarkParnell.org.au - inaugural speech
- MarkParnell.org.au - images
- Parliament Profile
- Mark Parnell on Facebook
- Mark Parnell on Twitter