Adam Bandt

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Adam Bandt

Bandt in 2010
Leader of the Australian Greens
Assumed office
4 February 2020
DeputyLarissa Waters
Nick McKim
Preceded byRichard Di Natale
Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens
In office
21 July 2017 – 4 February 2020
Serving with Larissa Waters
LeaderRichard Di Natale
Preceded byScott Ludlam and
Larissa Waters
Succeeded byNick McKim and
Larissa Waters
In office
13 April 2012 – 6 May 2015
LeaderChristine Milne
Preceded byChristine Milne
Succeeded byScott Ludlam and
Larissa Waters
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Melbourne
Assumed office
21 August 2010
Preceded byLindsay Tanner
Personal details
Adam Paul Bandt

(1972-03-11) 11 March 1972 (age 47)
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Political partyGreen (since 2004)
Other political
Labor (until 1989)
Claudia Perkins (m. 2013)
ResidenceFlemington, Victoria, Australia
EducationHollywood Senior High School
Alma materMurdoch University
Monash University
OccupationIndustrial lawyer
(Slater & Gordon)
WebsiteOfficial website

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.[1]

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 education[edit]

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.[2] He graduated in 1996 with Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees, and was awarded the Sir Ronald Wilson Prize for Academic Achievement, 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.[3]

Early political activity[edit]

While in high school, Bandt went to his first demonstration, protesting against a visit of a nuclear-powered ship to Fremantle.[4] From 1987 to 1989, Bandt was a member of the Labor Party.[5] Bandt later said he had left the party because it "started making education so expensive and putting people in debt".[6]

At Murdoch University, Bandt was a student activist and member of the Left Alliance.[7] He was president of the student union and an active campaigner for higher living allowances for students, and for free education.[8] 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. "Communists can't fetishise alternative political parties”, he said.[9]

Pre-parliamentary career[edit]

Prior to his election to parliament, 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[10] and worked on issues facing outworkers in the textiles industry.[11] Bandt says he also represented firefighters and coal workers confronting the threat of privatisation.[6]

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.[12]

Parliamentary career[edit]

2007 federal election[edit]

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.[13][14]

2010 federal election[edit]

Following the 2007 federal election Melbourne had become Australia's only Labor/Greens marginal seat.[15] Bandt was preselected as Greens candidate for the second time, and ran successfully[16] against a new Labor candidate, Cath Bowtell,[17] 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.[18] He was elected on the ninth count after over three-quarters of Liberal preferences flowed to him.[19]

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."[20][21][22]

2013 federal election[edit]

In 2013 Bandt was re-elected to the seat of Melbourne, despite this time the Liberal Party directing preferences to Labor ahead of The Greens.[23] Bandt retained the seat with a 42.6 percent primary and 55.2 percent two-party-preferred vote.[24] 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.[25]

2016 federal election[edit]

Bandt was re-elected as Member for Melbourne in the 2016 election for a third time, pushing Labor into third place.[26] 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.[27] Rachel Siewert and Bandt were made temporary co-deputy leaders.[28] Bandt achieved national headlines in February 2018 for attacking new senator Jim Molan.

2019 federal election[edit]

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.[29] Bandt also received a 4.8% swing in his favour at the election, and his two-party preferred vote against the Liberals sat at 71.8%.[29] The Greens' primary vote in Melbourne (49.3%) was larger than the combined Liberal and Labor vote, of 21.5% and 19.7% respectively.[29]

Leader of the Greens[edit]

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.[30] 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.[31]

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."[6] 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."[6] 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".[32] 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.[33]

Personal life[edit]

Bandt's partner is former Labor staffer Claudia Perkins,[34] who now works as a part-time yoga teacher.[35] Bandt and Perkins have two daughters together.[36]


  1. ^ Karp, Paul (4 February 2020). "Adam Bandt pledges to push for Australian Green New Deal after being elected Greens leader". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  2. ^ Attard, Monica: Adam Bandt, Greens MP for Melbourne Archived 6 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Sunday Profile (ABC Local Radio), 27 August 2010.
  3. ^ Murdoch University News. "Greens party appoint Murdoch alumnus as their leader". Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  4. ^ Ireland, Judith (9 February 2020). "'A leader for the times': Will voters get on the Bandtwagon?". Sydney Morning Herald.
  5. ^ Legge, Kate (6–7 November 2010). "Greener Pastures". The Weekend Australian Magazine. The Australian. p. 22.
  6. ^ a b c d Bandt, Adam (4 February 2020). "Change is possible: Australia needs a Green New Deal | Adam Bandt". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  7. ^ Wilson, Lauren (28 August 2010). "Greens too bourgeois for Adam Bandt when he was a uni student". Australian. News Limited. Archived from the original on 9 October 2010. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
  8. ^ "Adam Bandt for Lord Mayor". Make Melbourne Green. Archived from the original on 17 February 2009. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  9. ^ Wilson, Lauren (28 August 2010). "Greens too bourgeois for Adam Bandt when he was a uni student". Australian. News Limited. Archived from the original on 9 October 2010. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
  10. ^ Bandt, Adam (4 April 2006). "State waxes, rights wane – Opinion". Age. Fairfax. Retrieved 19 August 2010.
  11. ^ "The Law Report: 15 April 2003 – Outworkers – Out in the Cold". Australia: ABC. 15 April 2003. Archived from the original on 2 February 2008. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
  12. ^ Maiden, Samantha (23 September 2012). "How Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt hid his PhD thesis". Herald Sun. News Limited. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  13. ^ "House of Representatives Division First Preferences". 20 December 2007. Archived from the original on 29 June 2010. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
  14. ^ "Mr Adam Bandt MP". Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  15. ^ Raue, Ben (July 2009). "Greens pick Adam Bandt for Melbourne". The Tally Room. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
  16. ^ Le Grand, Chip (21 August 2010). "Greens celebrate historic lower house victory". The Australian. News Limited. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  17. ^ Gordon, Josh (15 August 2010). "Bandt says he will 'side with Labor'". Age. Fairfax. Archived from the original on 16 August 2010. Retrieved 15 August 2010.
  18. ^ "Division of Melbourne, 2010 federal election: AEC". Archived from the original on 9 September 2010. Retrieved 12 September 2010.
  19. ^ [1]
  20. ^ Sharp, Ari; Arup, Tom (23 August 2010). "Profile: Adam Bandt". Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 26 August 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
  21. ^ Shaw, Andrew (12 July 2010). "Will Adam Bandt be the first Greens man?". Gay News Network. Evolution Publishing. Archived from the original on 15 March 2011. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  22. ^ Davis, Mark. "The tricky political topography of same-sex marriage". Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  23. ^ Milman, Oliver: "Adam Bandt wins re-election in Melbourne for Greens" in The Guardian, 7 September 2013
  24. ^ Australian Electoral Commission: Virtual Tally Room, retrieved 12 October 2013
  25. ^ "Christine Milne resigns as Greens leader". Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  26. ^ Election 2016: Greens MP Adam Bandt claims victory in Melbourne;; 3 Jul 2016
  27. ^ Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam: What do their resignations mean for the Senate?,; 16 Aug 2017
  28. ^ Richard Di Natale's monthus horribilis: where to now for the Greens?;; 22 Jul 2017
  29. ^ a b c "Melbourne - Federal Election 2019 Electorate, Candidates, Results | Australia Votes - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". ABC News. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  30. ^ "Richard Di Natale resigns as Greens leader and plans to quit federal politics". ABC News. 3 February 2020.
  31. ^ "Adam Bandt elected unopposed as federal Greens leader; Larissa Waters and Nick McKim as deputies". ABC News. 4 February 2020.
  32. ^ Welburn, Alan (19 February 2020). "MP happy to guide Greens leader on mines tour". Queensland Country Life. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  33. ^ Grattan, Michelle. "Politics with Michelle Grattan: Adam Bandt on Greens' hopes for future power sharing". The Conversation. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  34. ^ Le Grand, Chip (1 September 2010). "Bandt slept with the enemy in campaign". The Australian. News Limited. Archived from the original on 9 October 2010. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
  35. ^ Ireland, Judith (8 February 2020). "'I'm doing it for them': Bandt says family inspired him to seek Greens leadership". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  36. ^ "Parliamentarian Adam Bandt Talks Family". 31 August 2018. Retrieved 11 September 2018.

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Lindsay Tanner
Member for Melbourne
Party political offices
Preceded by
Richard Di Natale
Leader of the Australian Greens
Preceded by
Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters
Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens
Served alongside: Larissa Waters
Succeeded by
Nick McKim and Larissa Waters
Preceded by
Christine Milne
Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens
Succeeded by
Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters