Image: The Guardian
Victorian senator Richard Di Natale has been elected as the new leader of The Greens after the resignation of Christine Milne this morning.
Di Natale has been elected unopposed with Senators Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters taking up two co-deputy positions.
At a Press Conference this morning Di Natale has said the leadership is “an enormous responsibility”.
“It’s an honour” he said “it’s a privilege and I’m going to do my best to pay back the faith they’ve put in me”.
When asked if he knew Milne would be standing aside this morning, as Scott Ludlam reportedly did, Di Natale refused to comment saying “I’m not going to tell you what went on internally”.
Former Deputy Leader MP Adam Bandt is no longer in a leadership position despite being a firm favourite before the ballot and has not been available for comment.
The Greens’ MP has offered his congratulations to Di Natale, Ludlam and Waters via Twitter saying he is “happy to hand over Deputy to focus on new baby”.
Before entering the Senate in 2010 Di Natale acted as a health spokesman for the Greens following on from his career as a GP.
Di Natale has been a key figure in the clash between the Government and The Greens in the senate over the now discarded GP Co-Payment.
Outside of health the new leader’s portfolios have included Multicultralism, Youth, Sport and Gambling and positions on multiple Senate committees.
Former Leaders Christine Milne and Bob Brown have both praised Di Natale with Milne saying he “will be an outstanding leader for the party”.
“He’s been a stalwart in the last few years” she said “I know that Richard brings a lot of experience and will be a wonderful asset to the Greens”.
There has been no word yet from Senator Sarah Hanson Young who after 2013 leadership ballot criticised the party room for re-electing a leader she claimed would send the party “marching to a slow death”.