Why Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon doesn’t think it is time to stand down: You decide.

I’ve just been democratically preselected and elected by the people of New South Wales, so I’ve got a job to do, and I’ll continue to do that. What we saw from Bob was really single out New South Wales for attack for the results that we’ve received in this election, which doesn’t really have logic when you consider that there was lower votes in other states. Now, what I’ve called for is that we need to have a respectful discussion and dialogue about how we do improve our results here. Bob did join us in New South Wales on the election campaign, but hasn’t raised any of these criticisms with us directly. Last weekend, there was a national council meeting in New South Wales of everybody from around the country. The co-conveners have put out a statement commending the campaign, how it was our biggest ever with the cooperation and collaboration that delivered that biggest campaign. Why single out New South Wales? Oh look, I think it is very significant, and I appreciate the opportunity to speak. But for me, it’s actually not the first time. Bob told me not to stand in the 2007 preselection for the New South Wales Parliament. He said the same thing when I went for preselection for the Senate. He flew to Sydney to tell me that. Now, that was very disappointing. I’m now saying that publicly. But up until now, I’ve endeavoured and have – I thought worked very constructively with Bob. But he’s now ramping it up. I don’t think that that’s good. It’s certainly confusing for members in New South Wales. We have 47 seats, 47 campaigns, people working incredibly hard. And what’s significant is yes, our vote is down, but our vote in 2013 was about the same. At that time, Bob supported that Senate candidate – no criticism then. Now he’s poll piling on this criticism. Yes, but this is where you need to look at elections. There’s not one factor that delivers election results. In an election, there’s everything from the position on the ballot paper to one’s messaging, and then there’s the attacks from Labor. Now the attacks from Labor, and I think we need to do a better job in answering those – they’re all factors that you need to consider. So I’m certainly not denying that we need to look at our results, but again, look at the agenda that Bob is running here. He’s used to getting his candidate up for preselection, and when that doesn’t work, he gives us a hard time. And that’s happened years ago when the late John Kaye and myself – we’ve really copped it from Bob. We’ve just kept mum about that. We’ve done our best to work in a unified way. And that’s why I am disappointed that it’s got to this point, that Bob is now pushing such a dissive approach to an election when it’s only a few weeks ago, I was on a ferry with him to Manly where we worked together. Not a word of criticism. And now these attacks, and they are attacks. I was there for one term and a bit. I was there for 10 years. I abided by the rules of the Greens. And so I was only there for one – Yes, and Bob was there – Bob says to follow his example. Bob left when he was 68. I’m proud of my age. I’m 65. Bob was there for 26 years. I’ve been there for 16 years. I’ll see what life delivers. At the moment, I would run rings around many other people with my energy levels, and I’m happy to continue my work. Look, I think Bob needs to be honest about his own role here. Bob has made a huge contribution in Australia. Everything from how he stood up for refugees on the Tampa to the Franklin. But when it comes to democracy, internal democracy, that’s not his strongpoint. I’m not denying it’s happening. There’s certainly different tendencieses, people have different opinions about things, and in a preselection, it does become very competitive. I acknowledge that. My job is to work with people, and I’ve always endeavoured like I’ve worked with Bob Brown, to work in a constructive way in the campaign.

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