Bob Brown quits!

I’m taking this one straight off the immediate press release as published in The Age:

Bob Brown has resigned as leader of the Australian Greens. He will also resign from the Senate.

Senator Brown made the shock announcement to his Greens Party colleagues this morning.

“I am sad to leave but happy to go. It is good knowing that the Greens have such a depth of talent and experience lined up for leadership – I could only dream about that a decade ago,” Senator Brown said in a statement.

“It is prime time to hand over the reins.”

Senator Brown has been a senator for 16 years. He has lead the Australian Greens since the party formed in 1992, seeing the party’s vote grow to double figures.

Senator Brown is due to address the media in Canberra at midday.

32 comments on “Bob Brown quits!

  1. He could have gone to prison for being a homosexual in Tasmania too! Right up until May, 1997!

    Strange isn’t it, looking at Bob there, with his partner Paul beside him, both such healthy, open hearted and fine people! How could any of us suggest there was something vicious and perverse in that relationship?

  2. A sad day to see Bob Brown resigning from the Senate. He’s been such an inspiration and made such a massive contribution to politics, society and environment. He’s one of the few politicians in the modern era that made it his business to articulate a clean, green, and fair vision for Australia and the world.

  3. Patricia, Bob Brown and his dignity have been an inspiration to many, gays and heteros alike. With regard to gay relationships and the turn around in attitude, I think of two people, Bob Brown and Justice Kirby.

  4. The PM is much more gracious than Mr. Abbott, in her reaction to Senator Brown resignation.

    Would one expect this to be any difference.

  5. Obviously he’s had enough and has the good sense and decency to make way for new blood.

    He has been an eloquent and courageous voice for gay rights and an example to all on how to conduct oneself with dignity, decency and honesty in public life. He will be sorely missed.

    I wish him and his partner all the best as they move on to the next phase of their lives.

  6. Ms Gillard said he had been a figure of integrity with a deep love for this country and its environment.

    “As a former director of the Tasmanian Wilderness Society, Bob’s career has been driven by a passion for our environment, having famously led a protest against the construction of the Franklin Dam,” the Prime Minister said in a statement.

    “It was this passion that saw him lead his party through historic negotiations with the Government and Independents Tony Windsor, Rob Oakeshott and Andrew Wilkie, to ensure the passage of our Clean Energy Future Package.

    “Bob has also been an active voice on the rights of same sex couples, having bravely used his own experiences to campaign for change. I wish him well for his life beyond politics.

  7. Jane, the integrity of Bob Brown is beyond Abbott’s comprehension.

    Bob Brown has earned himself a place in history – the Franklin Dam – Lake Pedder – but it wasn’t just environmental issues, but was cultural issues such as that early ’81 Aboriginal caves were discovered in the area which would be flooded if the dam were to be built. (Wiki) The area contained important Aboriginal hand stencils as well as remnants of campfires and stone tools that were between 8,000 and 24,000 years old.

    Here is the comparison: Bob Brown and these such important issues and Tony Abbott Toddlers & Tiaras..the great dumbing down of Australia and its culture.

  8. Min @3.08pm, how right you are. There is absolutely no comparison between Liealot and Bob Brown. Liealot is everything Bob Brown is not.

    We all know whose memory will be honoured for his integrity, honesty, humour and dignity.

    CU, I suppose it makes sense for the Greens leader to be a member of the HoR. I do have a couple of reservations, though. Bandt’s relative inexperience and the danger of him losing his seat.

    I haven’t seen enough of him to form much of an opinion, but being elevated to leader will provide us with the opportunity to see him in action. Let’s hope he has Bob Brown’s qualities.

  9. It is to be hoped that the Greens will now get a Leader who is genuinely concerned about the Australian environment – who will oppose the rampant destruction of bushland, farmland, and paddocks, and the driving out of and killing of native animals such as kangaroos, Sambar, Wombats, Emu, Lorikeert, Black Swan, kookaburras, fur seals, as cities are allowed to sprawl and cover the earth in concrete, tarmac, and bricks.
    The (Liberal/National) States are already fighting the Federal government for greater control of environmental issues so they can expand such wanton destruction of native wildlife and fauna.

  10. Bob Brown is a giant.

    A voice for the wilderness…that began in the wilderness.
    What giant steps The Greens have made under his leadership.

    May his voice continue to be heard far and wide…speaking for the trees, other species, gays, the dispossessed, the under-privileged, the bruised & damaged land, those who want a country free of guns and gun-related violence…

    As the environment of this country is put more and more at risk by rampant mining and dredging/shipping…American & Chinese style gambling, media, fast food and feedlots endanger the fabric of our democracy and have deletarious effects on the public mental & physical health…and the Murdochracy continues to push self-interested, fear-mongering, divisive, union & Green bashing vote against your own interest’ propaganda…

    it’s essential that giants like Bob Brown motivate and help to empower the too oft brainwashed youth.


  11. Cu, Adam Bandt..excellent sense. A foot in the lower house.

    Jane, who knows..perhaps there has been a gay leader of a political party. To me Bob Brown stance was never on gay issues, Justice Kirby did it better, but rather on the importance of environmental issues. The Franklin Dam case in the High Court is what one calls a leading case, that which should always be referred’s importance should never be underestimated.

  12. Nas’, I was kinda hoping that you might turn up. I’m a bit devastated right now that Bob Brown has called it quits, just when it seemed that the Greens were going mainstream..but perhaps that’s the point, the Bob Browns of this world are never ever going to be mainstream.

  13. One thing for sure, Mr. Abbott does not let one down.

    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, in characteristic style, gave his opinion on Brown’s time in Parliament. You couldn’t exactly call it a tribute:

    ‘The deal with the Greens has been an enormous problem for Julia Gillard. I think all too often Bob Brown has looked like the real Prime Minister of this country. I think that Bob Brown has been a very strong force in Australian politics in recent years … I would say too strong a force in Australian politics.’ (my italics)

    Pure Abbott. Even a backhanded compliment comparing Brown to Australian Democrats founder Don Chipp didn’t soften his statement, especially as Abbott immediately followed that up with a confident prediction that ‘turbulent times’ lay ahead for the Greens.

    I suppose it was too much to expect anything more gracious, or even decent, from someone who used the death of someone like Margaret Whitlam to score a cheap political point. But really …

  14. Does anyone have any suggestions on who should get his senate seat?

    I’m assuming someone young with political experience, but presently between jobs.

  15. Min – the Franklin dam caused immense environmental damage. It is part of the human population expansion which is destroying the Australian environment.

  16. Jarl, the Franklin Dam Case is one of the leading High Court cases. It resulted in the Hawke government’s National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975, which then lead to federal legislation, supported by the constitutional powers of a federal government to pass laws about corporations and about the people of any race (in this case the aboriginal race, whose sacred caves along the Franklin would have been inundated).

    This ruling gave the federal government the power to legislate on any issue if necessary to enforce an international treaty.

    It’s HUGE, and a leading case under Constitutional law.

  17. Addendum: I was fortunate enough to be invited to a special seminar by High Court Justice Kirby who explained his interpretation of the ruling.

  18. Min wrote: but perhaps that’s the point, the Bob Browns of this world are never ever going to be mainstream.

    Interesting point Min.

    Perhaps Bob needs to be on the outside again…not penned in. Wide thinkers need latitude. I do reckon tho that oneday some of Brown’s visions will become a reality…including one world government…it will probably take a global emergency, perhaps climate change…an invasion…over-population…religious wars…a nuclear conflict…or maybe interconnected communication and trade demands will require it…who knows?…but I reckon the likes of Brown and Gene Roddenberry are highly intelligent thinkers well ahead of their time.

    We certainly will see rapid trains built between major metro areas…and the establishment of a DentiCare system as part of a “whole health” network…they make economic sense…

    as does sustainable use of our resources…energy.

    And protecting our fellow species will become prioritised thru the courts based on “bio-diversity” demands…and arguments related to “evolution” and “genetic relationships”…and the role of different species in society, threat levels, degree of exploitation, emancipation from slavery based on assessed awareness and cognitive ability and so on…possible “uplift” experiments leading to increased sentience…

    in our future Bob Brown will be seen as a pioneer of “Sustainable Earth”…or something similar.

    And be recorded in history as a proud gay politician who led his progressive party fearlessly…setting by example.


  19. Sad to see Bob move on but even happier for him. I have always seen Bob as environment, then Tasmania, then equal rights or all three together.

  20. Bob Brown moving aside for renewal purposes demonstrates he’s far less stubborn, egotistical and power mad than the likes of John Howard & Rupert Murdoch.

    Some hang around like a bad smell…and do their organisations no favours.

    Instead of the Liberal party getting a fresh look and leader…Howard hung around beyond his ‘use by date’ and now we’re stuck with one of his parliamentary bed sores.

    The obsessive power mad Rupert Murdoch tries to impose a family clone or two on us…whilst the reputation of his corporation continues on the downward spiral.

    Two thumbs up to Bob.

    A true democrat.


  21. The Australian has been cruelly gunning for Bob Brown. I hope they don’t see this as a victory for them.

    I’d rather hope that they pay tribute to a remarkable political career.

    He deserves it.

  22. ‘The Milne-Bandt ticket will have to more than make gestures.

    ‘If the party is to hold and expand it’s electoral support, the new team will have to maintain a posture where it can, potentially, appeal to the political centre, and harvest willing support from its left-wing base.’

    (Ireland and Wright in the SMH)

    No point in appealing to the political centre, the Greens have already lost that race and will be lucky to hang onto the numbers they’ve got.

  23. Thankyou for your service Bob, a true giant of the Australian political landscape. Christine has very big shoes to fill, but I remain confident that the greens have chosen wisely.

  24. CU @5.13pm 13/4, Nas’ has it just right describing Liealot as a “parliamentary bed sore”. How apt and how true. How lacking in positive attributes the bed sore is!

    Hi, Nas’. Good to see the hibernation was short, my friend.

  25. Well, I’m late coming into this, but I will say I’ll miss Bob Brown. I am not always in agrement with the Greens, but they do seem to attract (to date) people of integrity to their ranks. I admire integrity, even if I don’t agree with a person’s point of view. I have admired Bob Brown ever since he not only spoke against payrises for politicians but then instead of keeping it when it was given, donated it. He did this publicly but without a huge fanfare, another thing admire in a person. Politics are one thing, and I’m sure everyone has their views on his, but being a decent person is something else entirely. Unfortunately, Parliament has lots of politicians but the number of decent people isn’t enormous, so losing one in the person of Bob Brown is a real loss, not just a matter of politics.

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