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Queensland Senate win for Democrats officially confirmed.

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Senator Andrew Bartlett Australian Democrat Senator for Queensland 30 NOVEMBER, 2001 MEDIA RELEASE 01/730

Queensland Senate win for Democrats officially confirmed

The Electoral Commission today officially confirmed the re-election of the Democrats’ Andrew Bartlett to the Senate in Queensland.

The formal declaration of the result saw the Democrats elected to the fifth Senate seat, ahead of the National Party’s Ron Boswell who gained the sixth and final spot.

"This is a great result for the Democrats in the face of a strong challenge in Queensland from Pauline Hanson and with the Government ensuring the refugee issue dominated the campaign in such a divisive way,” Senator Bartlett said

The result means the Democrats retain their record of having a Senator elected in Queensland at each poll since 1980.

"The rise in the Democrats’ overall House of Representatives vote in Queensland and the successful defence of our Senate seat is a tribute to the strong campaign run by the Democrats’ Leader, Natasha Stott Despoja."

The Queensland result also highlights once again that the Green Party’s claims to be the new third force in federal politics are hollow. Despite their widespread claims of a Green resurgence after the state election and the Ryan by-election earlier this year, the Greens’ vote in Queensland was their lowest of any state or territory.

“At the very best, the Greens may just scrape into a seat in New South Wales on the back of preferences stitched together from 15 different parties, including One Nation. This will still mean they simply return to the same situation they were in prior to 1998 of having just two Senate seats.”

Senator Bartlett said he was particularly keen to keep working on refugee and environmental issues on behalf of the Democrats.

“The Democrats have been the strongest voice in the Senate for many years opposing the inhumane and unworkable approach that both Liberal and Labor have taken on refugee issues. We predicted back in 1999 the dangers and problems that would inevitably occur with the introduction of Temporary Protection Visas and we have been proved right.

“Our highlighting of the many failings of the so-called ‘Pacific Solution’ will also be proven right over the course of the next twelve months.

“The challenge for the Democrats and others in the community who oppose the Government’s policy is to gain support for an alternative approach which can be adopted when the Pacific Solution collapses, as it inevitably will,” concluded Senator Bartlett.

To arrange comment: Senator Andrew Bartlett 0418 743 789