Dear Green Friends --
This morning I resigned as Leader of the Australian Greens. I will leave the Senate in June when the Tasmanian Greens nominate a replacement Senator. The time has come.
I wanted to immediately thank you for your support, enthusiasm and direct involvement in Green politics on my watch. I can never forget or adequately repay the personal encouragement I have received over so many years from you, my family, friends, colleagues, work mates, party workers, voters and supporters.
Our Greens Party Room now has a depth of talent which stands out in Canberra. There are 10 of us, but every one is true to the Greens Charter and policies, and works hard to give Australia the finest new option for progressive politics in more than a century. We are Australia's party with vision.
I have been contemplating parliamentary retirement for some time. I started 10 turbulent years in the Tasmanian parliament beginning with the Franklin River blockade in 1983, and ending with the very successful Labor-Green accord of 1989-92: witness Tasmania's Freedom of Information laws, economic reforms, educational outcomes and 650,000 hectares of new World Heritage wilderness.
Since then, there have been 12 exciting years in the Senate with the Greens since Tampa, defending international law on refugees and leading calls for self determination in Timor, Tibet and West Papua. We have spearheaded political action for the Murray-Darling Basin and other rural lands threatened by dams and mining, the nation's wild forests and marine ecosystems, the Northern Territory's right not to have a nuclear waste dump, the Kimberley, the Great Barrier reef, the Traditional Owners' plea to protect the wild rivers flowing to Lake Eyre, and every city's need for bikeways and pedestrian amenities and fast, clean, cheap public transport. The Greens show how Australia can well fund a disability insurance scheme, Denticare, and the Gonski educational package without a budget black hole. And, of course, we invigorated Australia's new package to curb carbon pollution while boosting the real incomes of poorer households. We are the advocates for marriage equality and euthanasia.