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Statement on Australian Democrats Leadership.

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Senator Lyn Allison Acting Leader of the Australian Democrats Senator for Victoria 12th December 2003 MEDIA RELEASE 03/889

Statement on Australian Democrats Leadership

Today the following statement was released from the Democrat Senators:

“By consensus the Senate team supports Senator Andrew Bartlett’s decision to remain as Leader of the Australian Democrats. Senator Bartlett has given the Senate team a clear commitment to address the personal health issues he needs to confront, and we support his decision to take leave to address those issues. We anticipate him returning at the beginning of February 2004.

We reiterate our view that his behaviour on December 4th was unacceptable. He has unreservedly apologised and acknowledged that there can be no repeat of such behaviour.”

Senator Lyn Allison will continue as Acting Leader over this period, in line with her duties as Deputy Leader.

“From day one, the Democrat Senators condemned Senator Bartlett’s behaviour on that night and endorsed the unreserved apology for unacceptable behaviour offered by Senator Bartlett and accepted by Senator Ferris,” Senator Lyn Allison said.

“We support his recognition that he acted wrongly and his willingness to fully address these issues so he can return to continue to do the excellent work that he is capable of.

“Senator Bartlett will work through the issues raised by this incident and will do so in private and with the full personal support of his Democrat colleagues.

“I ask the media to respect his privacy at this time,” Senator Allison concluded.

For an interview with Senator Allison please contact Vara Szajkowski on 0408 056 167