Richard Di Natale
Richard Di Natale
|Senator for Victoria|
1 July 2011
6 June 1970 |
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Political party||Australian Greens|
Richard Di Natale (born 6 June 1970) is an Australian politician and member of the Victorian Greens. Di Natale was elected to the Australian Senate in the 2010 Australian federal election. He was the lead Senate Candidate in the 2007 federal election but was narrowly defeated, despite achieving a primary vote above 10 percent.
Di Natale was born to Italian immigrant parents and grew up in Melbourne. Prior to entering parliament Di Natale was a general practitioner and public health specialist. He worked in Aboriginal health in the Northern Territory, on HIV prevention in India and in the drug and alcohol sector. He lives in the Otway Ranges with partner Lucy and two children.
In both 2002 and 2006, Di Natale was narrowly defeated in the seat of Melbourne in the Victorian Legislative Assembly, almost de-seating the Labor health minister Bronwyn Pike. Richard received 48% of the two party preferred vote in both elections, missing out on a win. Di Natale has acted as health spokesperson for the Greens in Victoria and in 2002 spoke about the Greens support for harm reduction policies to manage illicit drug use.
Dr Di Natale was nominated as the Australian Greens lead senate candidate for Victoria for the 2010 federal election. Greens leader Senator Bob Brown described Dr Di Natale as the Greens "next strongest hope" at this election.
At the 2010 Australian Federal Election held on 21 August 2010, Dr. Di Natale won a Senate seat representing Victoria. His term began on 1 July 2011. Upon taking up his seat in the Senate Di Natale became the Greens' Federal spokesperson for Health, including preventive; Dental Health; Sport; Gambling; Multiculturalism; East Timor; and West Papua.
In the 2010 Australian Federal Election, the Greens Party achieved balance of power in the House of Representatives and the Senate. This placed the Party in a unique position to pursue its progressive legislative agenda.
As a Senator, Dr Di Natale successfully negotiated a $4 billion dental funding agreement with the government which he described as “laying the foundations for Denticare” the Greens policy of universally available medicare-funded dentistry. Senator Di Natale also campaigned against the Australian government Future Fund's holdings in tobacco funds, a campaign that was ultimately successful with the Fund divesting the entirety of its tobacco holdings (approximately AUD $250 million) in 2012. Senator Di Natale has also secured and spearheaded Senate inquiries into many issues of public significance such as the emergence of "superbugs", hospital funding, air pollution, pharmaceutical transparency, sports science and gambling reform. Senator Di Natale conducts ongoing campaigns for improved human rights in West Papua, timely access to cost-effective drugs through Australia's Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, and science-based public health policies in areas such as wind farms and vaccination policy.
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