Labor MP joins Greens


The Queensland Greens now have their first MP in the state parliament, after Ronan Lee, ALP member for Indooroopilly, announced on October 5 that he was defecting to the Greens.

Lee won his seat from the Liberal Party in the Labor landslide of 2001 and held onto the seat at the last state poll through Greens' preferences. The Greens polled just over 17 % in Indooroopilly at that election.

Lee cited the Labor government's record on the environment as the reason for his decision, especially its determination to proceed with the Mary River dam at Traveston.

Whether Lee can hold his seat as a Greens member depends whether voters will accept his party change and whether the recent fusion of the Liberal and National Parties wins support in the electorate.

The Greens in Queensland have long attempted to navigate the middle road between the major parties. Lee's apparent conservative stance on issues such as abortion law reform and gay rights may complicate his role as the party's sole Queensland state MP.

Although existing for almost 17 years, the Queensland Greens have held elected office briefly only twice, at the local government level.