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Greens MP Bandt for Gillard government

Melbourne Greens MP Adam Bandt supports a Gillard government as Greens leader Bob Brown meets the Prime Minister.


Age: 38

Adam Bandt claimed an historic victory in the seat of Melbourne.

Adam Bandt claimed an historic victory in the seat of Melbourne. Photo: Craig Sillitoe

Who is he: Former industrial lawyer who, like Julia Gillard, was once a partner at Slater & Gordon. Stood for Greens against Labor's Lindsay Tanner in 2007. Stood for lord mayor against Robert Doyle in 2008.

Key issues:

■ Creation of a $4.2 billion Denticare scheme to provide universal basic dental care.
■ A ban on $2 ATM transaction fees.
■ Free kindergarten and more community childcare places.
■ An increase in Newstart to $486 a fortnight.
■ Discounts for energy efficiency in low-income homes.
■ High-speed rail from Melbourne to Sydney.
■ Introduce a price on carbon.

BESPECTACLED Adam Bandt, who looks like the lawyer he once was, ran a sober grassroots campaign which strove to portray the Greens as a credible alternative party rather than the loopy left.

''My preference for delivering stable and effective and progressive government would be to work with the Gillard government.''

His victory in the seat of Melbourne, he said on Saturday night, showed that people wanted to lend a compassionate helping hand to those in trouble, to safeguard the planet for future generations and not to allow political leaders to denigrate the love between two people because of their gender.

Mr Bandt, who describes himself as a music lover and book nerd, is a barrister and former industrial lawyer who once occupied Prime Minister Julia Gillard's old job at law firm Slater & Gordon.

He nominated pushing for a price on carbon, the abolition of mandatory detention of asylum seekers and changing the law to recognise same-sex marriage as his top priorities in parliament.

''We campaigned on some positive values of sustainability, compassion and equality and what Melbourne has said is that those values are mainstream values and we want the whole country to hear them,'' he said. He signalled that his election to the House of Representatives could be a sign of things to come.

Speaking alongside Mr Bandt and Victorian senator-elect Richard di Natale yesterday, Greens leader Senator Bob Brown said the weekend's result was a ''historic part of the change of politics'' in Australia.

''The reality is the Greens have established ourselves as the third political entity in this country, the one where the excitement is and the innovation is.''

The party ran second, beating the Liberals, in the seats of Grayndler in Sydney and Batman in Melbourne, while Senator Brown said it was still in with a chance of snaring the Hobart seat of Denison, which many expect to go to independent Andrew Wilkie.

Australian National University academic John Wanna said he expected Mr Bandt would be able to entrench himself in Melbourne, and with the right choice of candidate the Greens could win other seats with similar demographics. ''Bandt, he'll be very hard to winkle out now,'' Professor Wanna said. ''If he becomes a popular local member he'll be in the same category at Bob Katter and Tony Windsor.''