Dear Crikey,

It is with great enthusiasm that I have become the first Greens MP in Queensland. It is a pity that Crikey has chosen to publish a range of misleading statements about me obviously sourced from my political opponents.

I can pass on what an immediate change there has been in the Queensland Parliament. Yesterday was the greenest Question Time in the Queensland Parliament with the Labor Government falling over itself to promote its green credentials. As someone who has recently seen the reality from the government benches, let me tell you it’s all spin and has a lot of way to go to add substance.

Then this morning, the Premier Anna Bligh has announced a summit on the future of the Great Barrier Reef between herself and Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett. This is the first fruits of there now being a Green voice in Parliament. I will be very interested to see who is involved in the summit — and whether it tackles the hard questions of the future of Queensland after coal and how we protect the Great Barrier Reef from dangerous climate change the 60,000 Queenslanders whose jobs rely on the future of the reef.

It’s these kinds of issues for the future of Queensland that have motivated me to make the change, and I’m looking forward to continue to raise the level of debate.

In all that, of course, it’s important that I set the record straight about Crikey’s recent article.

For the record:

  • I have not been married more than once.
  • I have only one child (Ailbhe).
  • My wallet contents are usually: 2 x Bank cards; MPs pass; QR railway card; Go card; Drivers license. The Wilderness Society membership card. My wallet does not contain photos of a foetus (and never has). Please note: my wallet also rarely contains cash, sadly.
  • I opened a new ALP Branch in 2006 just before the State election. This branch has possibly the youngest average age of any ALP branch in Queensland.
  • During my first term as an MP I rebuilt the then defunct Chelmer/Graceville Branch.
  • No ALP MP in Queensland has built a new branch during each of their Parliamentary terms.
  • I imagine that among my volunteers there is the usual mix of values and religious beliefs etc. I have never asked any organised religious group (or informal group) to assist with my election campaigning.
  • I have never once raised the abortion issue in my years in Parliament. I did however raise concerns over stem cell research as have Greens Senators Brown and Milne.

There are a huge number of important environmental issues facing Queensland that deserve the attention of your readers. It will be great if Crikey could follow an agenda based on issues for the future rather than degenerate into the worst kind of grubby personal politics.

Ronan Lee MP
State Greens Member for Indooroopilly