Adam Bandt

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About
is an Australian politician, former industrial lawyer and the Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens Party. Bandt was elected to the Division of Melbourne in the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Parliament of Australia

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AdamBandt77 karma

People do chat with each other in Parliament, even from across the political parties. In that respect, I guess it's a bit like any workplace: you'll chat and form relationships with people you share a piece of carpet with even though you mightn't come across them in everyday life. It can get pretty fiery in the chamber and you get routinely heckled, but I think that happens to all MPs across the Parliament. I find the PM to be professional to deal with. I do think, though, that the culture of personal attacks (as opposed to policy debate) and the hysteria of question time has gone too far. It gets pretty childish at times. If there was more focus on policy and less on petty point-scoring, people might have a bit more respect for Parliament.

AdamBandt76 karma

I'm liking the comments to this question. I think Parliament would be better if MPs more closely represented the demographics of the broader population. We'd be closer to action on equal marriage or housing affordability, for example, if there were more younger people in Parliament. At elections, I think you look at what parties are offering and make an assesment about which most closely aligns with your views on the issues that matter to you. No-one ever agrees 100% with a particular party or candidate, but it's about what is the best fit.

AdamBandt72 karma

There are many things that science shouldn't be in charge of, like who you love or what art you like. But when it comes to public health, I'll take my guidance from the science. I'm reading the last book in Neal Stephenson's 'System of the World' trilogy at the moment (no spoilers please!) and amongst other things it reminds me just how far public health has come because of science. If the science isn't settled, I'll listen to the debate. If it is - like with climate change, the alleged 'health effects' of wind farms or protecting our teeth through fluoridation - it's time to move on, folks. So no, I don't support an inquiry.

AdamBandt55 karma

My starting point is that generally, you should expect your MP to vote according to the policy they or their party took to the election. On most things, as you say, there thus wouldn't be 'conscience' votes. Also, in some instances, to get out of having to take a position, a party might allow a 'conscience vote' to paper over splits within their party. However, at other times there will be genuinely thorny issues that individual members of a party in all conscience can't vote for for personal reasons, which is when a genuine conscience vote is allowed.

AdamBandt47 karma

Cities are pretty amazing. They bring people and creativity together in a way that helps us accomplish great things. But they're under pressure, largely from poor planning. For me, a great Australian city will be one where a) you can get around without having to use a car, b) energy production is renewable and more decentralised, with power being produced closer to where people live, and energy efficiency is prioritised c) housing is secure and affordable, d) the gaps in income and access to resources have narrowed, e) creativity is valued and f) the community has more control over planning.

AdamBandt47 karma

Hi there - thanks all for joining me today. I'm looking forward to it and I hope you'll forgive me any first timer missteps.

This is a great question. Since being in Parliament, I have been doing my bit to encourage a national debate about how we will raise the money to fund the services Australians expect. Currently, we are raising less revenue as a % of GDP than under John Howard's government, and as a result Labor's cutting single parent benefits, uni funding, international aid etc. Between now and the election, we'll continue setting out how we can secure the country's revenue base - through a proper mining tax and ending fossil fuel subsidies, for example - so that every Budget cycle isn't an exercise in raiding public expenditure. I believe that if we spell out to the public how we can fairly secure our revenue base and where the money will go, people will support it.

AdamBandt46 karma

I wish there was one :) I'd like to see Australia become a republic.

AdamBandt45 karma

Big questions!! I'm also our Science & Research and Industry & Innovation spokesperson, so I've been thinking a lot about this.

The Greens believe science and innovation are critical to our current and future prosperity and are central to solving many of the challenges we face. That is why we have worked hard for increased science and research funding and campaigned strongly against cuts to the ARC and NHMRC. Here in my electorate of Melbourne, which hosts so much biomedical research, I have worked closely with health and medical researchers to protect NHMRC and ARC funding from the Budget knife. The Discoveries need Dollars campaign put the issue on the national agenda and had a big impact in Canberra. It has been important in subsequent Budget decisions. Earlier this year I successfully moved a motion in the House of Representatives calling on the government to quarantine health and medical research funding from budget cuts and I have worked hard to use the weight of the Greens in Parliament to ensure funding remains secure. However, despite this successes government funding to research and development continues to decline and along with Labor’s cuts to universities these are challenging times for the sector. Overall we would like to see the government to set a target of 3% of GDP for research and development in Australia, bringing us in line with the top research countries in the OECD. I also organised a 'Why Science Matters' forum in my electorate last year, which got a couple of hundred people along.

I want to make sure scince & research isn't seen as a 'honeypot' that govs can keep coming back to every time they need some $ to balance the budget. I want reserach fudning to be increased, secure & long-term. I think we should encourage more industry R&D through our tax system and grants. Fed gov should help academics train primary & secondary teachers to be more science/research literate and to make science/research fun.

Expect these issues to be a large part of what I & the Greens take to the coming election. I feel passionate about this and could keep going for a very long time: happy to correspond off-Reddit via email [email protected]

AdamBandt40 karma

I am worried. It is an essential part of a free society that a right to privacy is protected, and democratically elected governments should be defenders of that right, not the largest violators of it. Justifications for these sorts of programs like "if you've done nothing wrong you have nothing to fear" radically and dangerously reshape the notion of innocence until proof of guilt.

When instruments like this are available to governments, and are deemed legal by those governments, all that stands in the way of their misuse, like suppressing the voices of those who disagree with them say, is policy. No laws, no rights, just the hope that the intent of those in control is good enough.

For progressive movements trying to make the world a better place, I think we will always find ways to continue to fight for a better world regardless of the surveillance or the extent to which surveillance seems to be happening, but we need to do everything we can to stop surveillance's spread.

My Greens colleague Senator Scott Ludlam is really taking up this issue hard. We want to see normal warrant procedures for law enforcement agencies accessing peoples' private data. http://greensmps.org.au/content/media-releases/get-warrant-%E2%80%93-greens-bill-prohibit-warrantless-real-time-surveillance

AdamBandt38 karma

I think that would be great! It works in Europe and, closer to home, in New Zealand. It means people get their voice in Parliament but it also puts a greater onus on MPs to work together. Because Germany has had Greens in their 'proportional representation' Parliament, for example, they've now got almost 400,000 jobs in renewable energy and produced over 20% of their electricity from renewables.