Michael Berkman

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Michael Berkman

Michael Berkman MP.jpg
Berkman in 2016
Leader of the Queensland Greens
Assumed office
25 November 2017
Preceded byRonan Lee
Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly
for Maiwar
Assumed office
25 November 2017
Preceded byNew seat
Personal details
Born (1981-03-13) 13 March 1981 (age 38)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Political partyGreens
Children2
Alma materGriffith University (BS, LLB)
OccupationPolitician, lawyer
Websitehttps://michaelberkman.com.au

Michael Craig Berkman (born 13 March 1981) is an Australian politician. He has been the Greens member for Maiwar, which is in Brisbane's inner-west, in the Queensland Legislative Assembly since 2017.[1] Berkman was the first Greens member to be elected to the Legislative Assembly of Queensland.[2] Berkman won the new seat after the Indooroopilly and Mt Coot-tha electorates were abolished at the 2017 state election to make way for the new seat of Maiwar, which had a notional LNP margin of 3%.

Early life[edit]

Berkman was born in Brisbane, Queensland. His father worked in the media and his mother had trained as a secondary school teacher. He grew up in Toowoomba, Queensland after the family moved there when Michael was 3 years old. Berkman attended Wilsonton State School and Toowoomba State High School.

Berkman first attended the University of Queensland to commence a Bachelor of Science before moving to Griffith University, attending the Nathan campus, where he graduated in 2009 with a double degree, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Laws.

Early career[edit]

Berkman began his legal career as a clerk with Freehills in Brisbane, and spent some time working there following his graduation. He left legal practice to work in the Queensland Government's office of climate change until this group was made redundant following the election of the Newman Government in 2012.

Berkman then accepted a position with the Environmental Defenders Office in Brisbane. In this role, he was involved in litigation with a particular specialisation in ground water in cases against Adani's Carmichael Coal Mine,[3] the Alpha Coal Mine [4] and the New Acland Coal Mine Stage 3 Expansion.[5]

Berkman has also been involved in the Not-for-profit sector, having previously been an Officeholder with Millen Farms.[6]

Political career[edit]

Berkman's political career began in the 2015 Queensland state election where he ran for the Greens in Ferny Grove, achieving a primary vote of 12.11%.[7]

In 2016, Berkman ran in the local government elections for Moreton Bay Region in District 10,[8] and then against Peter Dutton for the Dickson at the 2016 federal election.[9]

Berkman was the first Greens member to be elected to the Legislative Assembly of Queensland in the seat of Maiwar in Brisbane's inner-west. He achieved a 27.78% primary vote to defeat incumbent Scott Emerson in the 2017 Queensland state election.[2][10] This followed the removal of the Indooroopilly electorate at the 2017 state election to make way for the new seat of Maiwar which had a notional LNP margin of 3%. Prior to its abolition, the Indooroopilly electorate was briefly held by a Greens MP, Ronan Lee, after he defected from the Labor in 2008 in the middle of a parliamentary term.

Political positions[edit]

Political donations[edit]

In 2018, Berkman introduced a private member's bill to ban all political donations from businesses to state and local government politicians, candidates and parties, excluding charities and employee or employer organisations. Berkman said the community overwhelmingly supported reform to get big money out of politics. "People feel like Labor and the LNP are just not listening to them, and it's not hard to see why," Berkman said. "This is just more evidence that Labor and the LNP are completely wedded to their corporate donors." The Crime and Corruption Commission did not support the bill.[11]

Climate rally[edit]

In November 2018, Berkman said schools in Maiwar, Berkman's electorate, should let students skip lessons to attend a climate change rally. All school principals agreed, according to Mr. Berkman. The rally took place on November 30.[12] Over 400 students attended, demanding climate action.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Green, Antony. "Maiwar". Queensland Election 2017. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  2. ^ a b "Greens claim first ever seat win at a Queensland election citing nationwide swing". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 7 December 2017. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Green group responsible for Adani legal challenges granted $600,000 by State Government". Townsville Bulletin. Townsville Bulletin. 8 April 2017. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Greens' Mt Coot-tha candidate goes from courtroom to political arena". The Guardian. The Guardian. 12 November 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  5. ^ "New Acland Coal Pty Ltd v Ashman & Ors and Chief Executive, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (No. 4)". New Acland Coal Pty Ltd v Ashman & Ors and Chief Executive, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (No. 4). Supreme Court Library Queensland. 31 May 2017. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  6. ^ "ASIC Registry - MILLEN FARM LTD ACN 168 684 151". Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  7. ^ "2015 State General Election – Ferny Grove District Summary". Electoral Commission Queensland. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  8. ^ "2016 Moreton Bay Regional Council - Results for Division 10". Electoral Commission Queensland. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Dickson, QLD - AEC Tally Room". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  10. ^ "2017 Election - Maiwar, District Summary". Electoral Commission Queensland. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  11. ^ Caldwell, Felicity (19 November 2018). "Move to ban political donations from companies should not succeed: committee". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  12. ^ Brown, Alison (22 November 2018). "Greens MP wants kids to skip school for climate rally". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  13. ^ Lynch, Lydia (30 November 2018). "Hundreds ditch school for Brisbane rally to demand climate action". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 1 December 2018.

External links[edit]

Parliament of Queensland
New seat Member for Maiwar
2017–present
Incumbent