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Shane Rattenbury

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Shane Rattenbury
Shane Rattenbury 2020 (cropped).jpg
Leader of the ACT Greens
Assumed office
20 October 2012
Preceded byMeredith Hunter
Attorney-General of the Australian Capital Territory
Assumed office
4 November 2020
Preceded byGordon Ramsay
Minister for Climate Change
In office
15 October 2016 – 4 November 2020
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byAndrew Barr
5th Speaker of the ACT Legislative Assembly
In office
5 November 2008 – 6 November 2012
DeputyMary Porter
Preceded byWayne Berry
Succeeded byVicki Dunne
Member of the
ACT Legislative Assembly
Assumed office
18 October 2008
Molonglo (2008-2016)
Personal details
Born (1971-08-25) 25 August 1971 (age 51)
Batemans Bay, New South Wales, Australia
Political partyGreens
Alma materAustralian National University

Shane Stephen Rattenbury (born 25 August 1971), is the Attorney-General of the ACT and former Speaker of the ACT Legislative Assembly, and a member of the multi-member district unicameral Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly representing the electorate of Molonglo from 2008 to 2016 and the electorate of Kurrajong since 2016 for the ACT Greens.[1] He was the first Speaker in any Parliament in the world representing a Green political party.[2]

Early life, education and career before politics

Rattenbury first moved to Canberra in 1984. He attended Canberra Grammar School and went on to gain a BEc and LLB(Honours) from the Australian National University[3] and commenced employment, working with the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science and Tourism. Prior to his election to the Assembly, Rattenbury travelled between Amsterdam and Australia as the International Political Director of Greenpeace International.[1] During this time, he gained publicity for his work on global campaigns on climate change and whaling.[4][5][6]

Political career

In the 1996 federal election, Rattenbury was the Greens candidate for the newly-created Division of Namadgi in the southern suburbs of Canberra. He came in 3rd with 7.22% of the primary vote.[7]

Rattenbury stood for election to the ACT Legislative Assembly at the 2001 ACT election,[2] as a candidate in the electorate of Ginninderra for the ACT Greens. After the distribution of preferences, Rattenbury was defeated by both Labor's Wayne Berry and the Australian Democrats' Roslyn Dundas.[8]

In June 2008, the ACT Greens announced that Rattenbury would again stand as a candidate for election in the electorate of Molonglo.[9] Independent polling released in October[10] suggested the Green vote had doubled since the last election at the expense of Labor,[11] with the Liberal vote remaining relatively unchanged. Commentators predicted the Greens would hold the balance of power and decide who forms government. The Greens stated they were willing to court both major parties.[12][13] With 82.1 per cent of the vote counted, Labor had obtained 37.6 per cent of the vote, with the Liberals at 31.1 per cent and the Greens at 15.8 per cent. Swings were recorded against both Labor (−9.3 per cent) and the Liberals (−3.7 per cent) with a +6.6 per cent swing towards the Greens, resulting in the election of Rattenbury, Meredith Hunter, Amanda Bresnan, and Caroline Le Couteur.

Parliamentary career and election as Speaker

After deliberations with both the Labor and Liberal parties, the Greens chose to support a Labor minority government. Hunter was a key negotiator of the Parliamentary Agreement between the ACT Greens and the Labor Party. Under the agreement, the Greens secured a range of policy outcomes in the areas of schools and education, health service provision, housing, public transport and gay rights. It also ensures that the Greens will Chair three of the Assembly's key committees. In exchange, the Greens agreed to maintain confidence in Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope.[14][15] The Greens also secured Government support for the nomination of Rattenbury as Assembly Speaker.[16][17] While on the cross bench in the 7th Assembly, Rattenbury was Greens spokesperson in the portfolios of Attorney-General, Environment, Climate Change and Water, Energy, Police and Emergency Services, Tourism, Sport and Recreation.[1]

Ministerial roles

Following the 2012 ACT election, Rattenbury was the only Greens MLA to retain his seat in the Assembly. With the election resulting in a hung parliament, Rattenbury, who held the balance of power, announced he would support Katy Gallagher and the Labor Party in the formation of government. The ACT Labor Caucus agreed to appoint Rattenbury as a minister in Gallagher's five-member cabinet, and to support 100 Greens policies.[18] Rattenbury served as the ACT Minister for Ageing, Minister for Housing, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, as well as, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services in the Second Gallagher Ministry and the First Barr Ministry.

Rattenbury was re-elected at the 2016 ACT election. Following the election, Rattenbury was joined by party colleague Caroline Le Couteur in the Legislative Assembly, taking the Greens tally to 2 out of 25 total seats in the Assembly. Rattenbury subsequently struck a deal with the minority Labor Government to retain a place in the cabinet as the Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety, Minister for Corrections, and Minister for Mental Health.[19][20] Although a member of the Barr government, he reserved the right to withdraw from Cabinet discussions on divisive issues and vote independently in the Assembly.[21]

Re-elected again at the 2020 ACT election with six Greens elected to the then 25 member Assembly, the Greens negotiated a Parliamentary and Governing Agreement with Labor which saw three Greens enter the Ministry. Rattenbury holds the portfolios of Attorney-General, Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction, Minister for Gaming and Minister for Consumer Affairs.

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Shane Rattenbury MLA". ACT Legislative Assembly. 2008. Archived from the original on 12 September 2009. Retrieved 27 September 2009.
  2. ^ a b "Shane Rattenbury: Inaugural Speech". ACT Hansard. ACT Legislative Assembly. 11 December 2008. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2009.
  3. ^ "Candidate profile: Shane Rattenbury". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. 16 October 2001.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Whalers set collision course with Greenpeace ship". The Age. Fairfax Media. 6 January 2006.
  5. ^ "Greenpeace, whalers clash at sea". CNN. Cable News Network. 9 January 2006.
  6. ^ Miller, Barbara (17 December 2007). "Cautious optimism on Bali Declaration". The World Today. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  7. ^ Carr, Adam. "Australian Capital Territory". 1996 election: House of Representatives. Psephos. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Voting Data – 2001 Election". 2001 ACT general election – official results. ACT Electoral Commission. 2001. Archived from the original on 28 February 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2009.
  9. ^ "Greens team of three tackles majority rule". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. 5 June 2008.[dead link]
  10. ^ "Poll results no comfort to Labor or Liberals". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. 4 October 2008.
  11. ^ "Stanhope slump". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. 5 October 2008. Archived from the original on 7 August 2011.
  12. ^ "Stanhope will need the Greens to hold power". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. 4 October 2008. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008.
  13. ^ Bowe, William (4 October 2008). "Patterson: Labor 7, Liberal 6, Greens 4". Crikey. Private Media Pty Ltd.
  14. ^ Stockman, David; Rudra, Natasha (1 November 2008). "Greens' nod sees Stanhope keep job". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2010.
  15. ^ "Parliamentary Agreement for the Seventh Legislative Assembly for the ACT" (PDF) (PDF). ACT Greens and ACT Labor. 1 November 2008. Retrieved 15 August 2010.
  16. ^ "Greens' Shane Rattenbury elected ACT speaker". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. 5 November 2008. Archived from the original on 9 December 2008. Retrieved 15 August 2010.
  17. ^ "Rattenbury elected Assembly speaker". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 5 November 2008. Retrieved 15 August 2010.
  18. ^ "Bourke dumped for Rattenbury". ABC News. 6 November 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
  19. ^ "Labor and Greens hammer out deal to see Shane Rattenbury in Cabinet, Joy Burch as Speaker". Canberra Times. 30 October 2016.
  20. ^ "Ministers". ACT Government Functions and Services Directory. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  21. ^ "Full Text of the Parliamentary Agreement for the 9th Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory". ABC News. 30 October 2016.
Political offices Preceded byWayne Berry Speaker of the ACT Legislative Assembly 2008–2012 Succeeded byVicki Dunne Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly Preceded byDeb Foskey Member of the Legislative Assemblyfor Molonglo 2012 – present Served alongside: Corbell, Barr, Gallagher, Hanson, Seselja/Doszpot, Le Couteur/Jones Incumbent Party political offices Preceded byMeredith Hunter Leader of the ACT Greens 2012–present Incumbent
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Shane Rattenbury
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