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Andrew Bartlett

politician andrew bartlett
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A Senator for Queensland since 1997, and currently Deputy Leader and Party Whip of the Australian Democrats, Senator Andrew Bartlett was born August 1964 in Brisbane Queensland where he has lived all his life. He is married with one daughter.
Senator Bartlett has a strong record on human rights and social justice issues, animal rights and the environment.
A consistent and vocal campaigner for refugees and asylum seekers, he is the only Australian parliamentarian to have visited every refugee detention centre in Australia as well as those on Christmas Island and Nauru, where he went twice to meet with detainees.
He has also been by far the most active in the Senate on refugee and immigration issues, initiating the Senate Inquiry into Australia' refugee determination system which produced the "Sanctuary Under Review" report in 2000,  participating in numerous other Committee Inquiries and being the most consistent and vocal opponent of the many law changes which have continued to reduce the rights of refugees and migrants.   His ongoing leadership role in this area was recognised in 2004 with an award from one of Australia’s peak Human Rights organisations, A Just Australia.
A strong voice in the senate for the poor and disadvantaged Senator Bartlett has spoken many times on behalf of those living in poverty, and the disabled. He has helped ensure the success of amendments which protected the entitlements of sole parents and dramatically reduced the numbers of unemployed people having their payments cut-off for failing activity tests.  He also has a strong background in housing, serving on the Tenants Union of Queensland Executive for ten years.
Senator Bartlett was instrumental in enabling legislation establishing the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, to pass the Australian Parliament ensuring historic sites, including Cockatoo Island, remain protected and accessible to the people in the future. He has been a strong voice for the protection of the fragile Daintree Rainforests and in 2003 highlighted the risks to the Great Barrier Reef by producing evidence and documents which pointed to the oil industry and Geosciences Australia (GA) engaging in systematic deception of the Australian people while they moved inexorably towards an offshore oil industry that would directly threaten the GBRMP.
A former State President (Queensland) of Animal Liberation, Senator Bartlett has a long standing commitment to Animal Welfare issues and continues to actively work in this area both within the parliament and out in the broader community. In 2003 Senator Bartlett introduced a private members bill to overhaul the animal welfare system in Australia. His petition to end the live export trade has received over 100,000 signatures.
In 2003 together with his senate colleague, Senator Stott Despoja, Andrew introduced the Defence Amendment (Parliamentary Approval for Australian Involvement in Overseas Conflict) Bill (2003) to the senate, legislation designed to ensure no Prime Minister of Australia can ever again send the country to war without the consent of both houses of parliament.
Before moving to politics, Andrew worked as a social worker with the Department of Social Security and spent many years working with community radio station 4ZZZFM in roles including announcer and finance coordinator. He achieved his tertiary qualifications in social work at the University of Queensland, where he also completed a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English and Sociology.
In 1990 Andrew joined the staff of then Party Leader Cheryl Kernot following her election to the Senate in July that year. Three years later he joined the staff of Democrats' Senator John Woodley as an adviser and researcher after Senator Woodley's election in 1993.

He was the Democrats' Queensland Campaign Director for the 1993 and 1996 elections and Federal Campaing Director in 1998 – all succesfull campaigns for the Party.
Andrew was appointed to the Senate in 1997 to fill a casual vacancy caused by the resignation of then Leader Cheryl Kernot. He went on to win the seat in his own right at the 2001 Federal election.
After the resignation of then Party Leader Senator Natasha Stott Despoja in 2002 Andrew was elected to the Democrats Party Leadership in October that year.
In December 2003 he stood aside as leader for one month after an incident involving Liberal Senator Jeannie Ferris in the Senate chamber. The media frenzy following this was particularly vicious, with many people voicing  opinions on this incident and on the man – some more far fetched than others. However Senator Bartlett himself chose not to comment  on the various allegations surrounding the incident or any of the other stories which circulated in the press and behind the scenes , simply repeating his original apology for causing offence and stating he would demonstrate his commitment to staying focussed on the important issues that affect the community by  making a public commitment to abstain from consuming alcohol whilst he remained in the Parliament.  Senator Bartlett resumed the Leadership in January 2004 after receiving strong support form the Party membership as well as the majority of the Democrat Senators.
At the November 2004 election there was a swing to conservative parties and a substantial drop in the Democrat vote. Three sitting Democrat senators - John Cherry, Aden Ridgeway and Brian Greig were not returned, leaving four Democrat senators in the Parliament from July 2005.
After the election Bartlett did not comments on questions about whether or not he would resign, stating that  the party's membership would  decide the leadership, which is the party's standard practice.  He subsequently decided not to nominate for the leadership, allowing Senator Lyn Allison to be elected unopposed. Senator Bartlett was elected Deputy Leader unopposed.

Many thanks to Yulia Onsman for writing this page for us.





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