Andrew Bartlett

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Andrew Bartlett
Andrew Bartlett Greens 2019.jpg
Senator for Queensland
In office
10 November 2017 – 27 August 2018
Preceded byLarissa Waters
Succeeded byLarissa Waters
In office
30 October 1997 – 30 June 2008
Preceded byCheryl Kernot
Leader of the Australian Democrats
In office
5 October 2002 – 3 November 2004
DeputyLyn Allison
Preceded byBrian Greig
Succeeded byLyn Allison
Deputy Leader of the Australian Democrats
In office
3 November 2004 – 30 June 2008
LeaderLyn Allison
Preceded byLyn Allison
Succeeded bynone
Personal details
Andrew John Julian Bartlett

(1964-08-04) 4 August 1964 (age 58)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Political partyGreens (since 2009)
Democrats (to 2009)
EducationSt Columban's College, Caboolture
Alma materUniversity of Queensland
OccupationSocial worker
(Department of Social Security)
ProfessionPublic servant

Andrew John Julian Bartlett (born 4 August 1964) is an Australian politician, social worker, academic, and social campaigner who served as a Senator for Queensland from 1997 to 2008 and from 2017 to 2018. He represented the Australian Democrats in his first stint in the Senate, including as party leader from 2002 to 2004 and deputy leader from 2004 to 2008. In November 2017, he returned to the Senate as a member of the Australian Greens, replacing Larissa Waters after her disqualification during the parliamentary eligibility crisis. He resigned from the Senate in August 2018 in an unsuccessful attempt to win the House of Representatives seat of Brisbane, allowing Waters to fill his seat in advance of the 2019 election.

Early life and background[edit]

Bartlett was born in Brisbane, where he has lived all his life. He is of Irish, Swiss, English and Greek origins – his great-great-grandfather, who is claimed to be the first Greek settler in Australia, arrived in Adelaide in 1840.[1]

Political career[edit]

Entry into politics[edit]

Bartlett has campaigned for gay rights. In 2004, he cried in the Senate chamber over a proposed law to define marriage as between a man and a woman, which he called an "absolute disgrace".[2]

Departure from the Democrats and Greens candidacy[edit]

Following the 2004 election, Bartlett did not re-contest the leadership, instead taking on the deputy leadership under Lyn Allison. Bartlett was defeated at the 2007 election, polling only 1.88% of the primary vote in Queensland. The Democrat vote was even lower in other states, and the party lost all its remaining Senate seats. He left the Senate at the expiration of his term in June 2008.

Bartlett addressing the 2014 March in May rally in Brisbane.
Video: Patrick Gillett

In November 2009, Greens leader Bob Brown announced that Bartlett would contest the lower house seat of Brisbane at the 2010 federal election as a candidate for the Australian Greens.[3] Bartlett came third in the seat in the 2010 election, gaining 21.3% of the vote with a swing to the Greens of just over 10%.[4]

In May 2012, Bartlett ran for the Lord Mayoralty of Brisbane for the Greens, receiving 10.7% of the primary vote, a 2.3% increase on the previous election.[5]

In 2015, years after the Democrats' parliamentary oblivion, the party was deregistered by the Australian Electoral Commission. Speaking as a former Democrats leader, Bartlett reflected that the party's support of the Howard Government's introduction of the GST was "politically catastrophic", but the "last straw" for the party was the demise of Stott Despoja as leader in 2002:[6]

Even though the Democrats eventually disappeared from parliament in 2008, basically our political support crashed and burned in 2002.

— Andrew Bartlett, 2015

Bartlett was again endorsed by the Greens as a Senate candidate for Queensland at the 2016 federal election.[7] While he did not meet the quota for election, his colleague Senator Larissa Waters resigned her position on 18 July 2017 after discovering she held dual Australian and Canadian citizenship. She was ruled ineligible on 27 October 2017.[8] As the second person on the 2016 Australian Greens Senate ticket, he replaced her after a recount. After his election was announced on 10 November, Bartlett was sworn in as a Senator for Queensland on 12 November 2017.[9] Despite stirrings of a pre-selection showdown between himself and Waters for the next Senate election, Bartlett announced on 9 February 2018 that he would not seek to remain in the Senate, opting to seek pre-selection for the Queensland seat of Brisbane in the House of Representatives instead.[10] On 16 June 2018, Bartlett announced that he would resign from the Senate at the end of August, to be replaced by Waters.[11] The resignation was formally submitted to the Senate President Scott Ryan on 27 August 2018.[12]

As announced, Bartlett contested the Division of Brisbane in the House of Representatives at the 2019 federal election receiving 22% of first preferences. Despite not winning the seat, he brought the Greens vote to its highest ever percentage in the Brisbane electorate, falling short of entering the two-party preferred vote behind Labor in second place, at 24.49%.

Bartlett contested the Electoral district of Clayfield in the Legislative Assembly of Queensland at the 2020 Queensland state election and received 17.61% of the vote.

Personal life[edit]

Bartlett is active on animal rights and human rights issues.[13] After departing parliament, Bartlett took up a position as a part-time Research Fellow with the Migration Law Program at the Australian National University.[14]

Bartlett has since returned to being an announcer at 4ZZZ,[15][16] and was also Chair of the Board of Directors of 4ZZZ from 2014 until 2017. He occasionally writes pieces for websites such as Crikey,[17] New Matilda, The Drum and Online Opinion. During Mental Health Week 2013, Bartlett wrote an article for the Courier-Mail about his being hospitalised for depression in 2012.[18]

He has one daughter, Lillith.[19]


  1. ^ Bartlett, Andrew (11 November 1997). "First Speech". Hansard. Australian Parliament. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  2. ^ Schubert, Misha (14 August 2004). "Democrat pleads for rethink on gay marriage ban". The Age.
  3. ^ Gray, Steve (9 November 2009). "Former Democrat senator goes green". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  4. ^ "QLD DIVISION – BRISBANE". Election 2010 Virtual Tally Room: The Official Election Results. Australian Electoral Commission. 2010. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
  5. ^ "Brisbane City: Mayor results: Summary". Electoral Commission of Queensland. 2012. Archived from the original on 22 May 2012.
  6. ^ "Australian Democrats lose party status". Courier-Mail. Brisbane. Australian Associated Press. 17 April 2015. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  7. ^ Atfield, Cameron (6 May 2016). "Greens senator for north Queensland? Andrew Bartlett promises move north". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  8. ^ "Barnaby Joyce disqualified by High Court". ABC News. 27 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  9. ^ "Ryan elected as Senate President". Sky News Australia. 12 November 2017. Archived from the original on 14 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017. Queenslanders Andrew Bartlett from the Greens and Fraser Anning from One Nation also joined the Senate's ranks. The trio replace Scott Ludlam, Larissa Waters and Malcolm Roberts, who were disqualified by the High Court on the basis of their dual citizenship.
  10. ^ "Andrew Bartlett won't re-contest Senate". SBS News. 9 February 2018. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  11. ^ Gribbin, Caitlyn (16 June 2018). "Andrew Bartlett to quit as Greens senator to make way for Larissa Waters' return". ABC News. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  12. ^ Scott Ryan (27 August 2018). "I have received a letter of resignation from Senator Andrew Bartlett as a senator for Queensland. The resignation takes effect immediately". Twitter. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Online consulting on human rights". Archived from the original on 13 June 2009. Retrieved 20 July 2009.
  14. ^ "Our people: Andrew Bartlett". ANU College of Law. Australian National University. 4 June 2016. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  15. ^ "A Burst of Brisbane". 4ZZZ. 2018.
  16. ^ "Back on the Zeds". Bartlett's Blog. 3 July 2008. Archived from the original on 17 September 2010. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
  17. ^ "Andrew Bartlett". Crikey. 2008. Archived from the original on 22 December 2008. Retrieved 8 January 2009.
  18. ^ Bartlett, Andrew (11 October 2013). "OPINION: Mental health awareness has improved but stigma lingers". Courier-Mail. Brisbane. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  19. ^ Seccombe, Mike (8 December 2003). "Bartlett faces pressure to quit as leader". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 June 2016.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Brian Greig
Leader of the Australian Democrats
Succeeded by