Senator Lidia Thorpe has advised Greens Leader Adam Bandt of her decision to resign from the Australian Greens, but remain in the Senate.
She leaves the Party Room a tremendously respected figure, who has undertaken critical campaigning work to progress a Treaty in Australia, raise the age of criminal responsibility, end the deportation of First Nations people and fight racism in the prison and child protection systems.
While she will no longer sit in the Greens Party Room, Mr Bandt said he hoped Senator Lidia Thorpe and the Greens will continue to work closely together on important issues given their strong policy alignment. Senator Thorpe has told Mr Bandt she intends to vote with the Greens on climate.
Mr Bandt had asked Senator Thorpe to remain in the Party Room, including as the Greens First Nations spokesperson. Mr Bandt had also confirmed with Senator Thorpe that under the Greens constitution she could choose to vote as she saw fit on the question of Voice, and that if she voted differently from her colleagues, she would retain her portfolios but not be the party’s spokesperson on the referendum and would be free to express her views.
The Greens continue to hold the balance of power position in the Senate and will continue to be essential to the passage of government legislation and other Parliamentary actions that the Coalition opposes.
Attributable to Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP:
“Senator Thorpe has made a phenomenal contribution to the Greens and I’m truly sorry to see her leave our party room,” Mr Bandt said.
“I'm sad to see her go, as I respect her greatly as a fighter for her people.
“I tried hard to get her to stay with the Greens as our First Nations spokesperson, but she has chosen another course to advance the Blak Sovereignty movement.
“Senator Thorpe has drawn attention to human rights abuses at Don Dale, fought the deportation of First Nations people, fearlessly challenged the colonial relics of parliamentary process and fiercely pursued Treaty.
“The Greens will continue to work closely with Senator Thorpe on a range of issues and I thank her for committing to vote with the Greens on climate.”
Attributable to Greens Deputy Leader Senator Mehreen Faruqi:
“Senator Thorpe has been such a strong voice for First Nations people in the Parliament and our Party Room. I have a deep admiration for her unwavering commitment to Blak justice. I’m very sad to see her go,” Senator Faruqi said.
“We have worked together as allies against white supremacy and racism in all its forms, and I know we will continue this work along with climate justice and other vital progressive fights.”