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Adam Bandt May Sue Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus

ADH Staff WriterJune 6, 2024
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Greens leader Adam Bandt has threatened legal action against Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus after the federal government, in collaboration with the Coalition, accused the Greens of “inciting” aggressive behavior during pro-Palestine protests outside electorate offices.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Mr Bandt indicated that his lawyers have written to Mr Dreyfus regarding comments made during an interview on ABC’s Afternoon Briefing following a heated confrontation in question time.

“My lawyers have written to the Attorney-General regarding what I consider to be defamatory statements he made about me and the Greens yesterday,” Mr Bandt stated. He appreciated media outlets’ restraint in ceasing to broadcast and publish Mr Dreyfus’s comments due to legal concerns.

Bandt criticized the Attorney-General, stating, “I think that the first law officer of this country should not make utterly unfounded statements and spread disinformation. No politician should do that.”

This follows a unified stance by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Opposition Leader Peter Dutton in parliament, condemning the Greens and accusing them of exploiting the Gaza conflict to foster division and undermine social cohesion, particularly amid rising concerns for the safety of MPs and their staff.

Prime Minister Albanese condemned the pro-Palestine supporters targeting MPs’ electorate offices, including his own in Sydney’s Grayndler, asserting that such actions harmed their cause. He accused the Greens of spreading misinformation about the government’s stance on the Gaza conflict.

“Enough is enough,” declared Albanese. “All of us have a responsibility to prevent conflict in the Middle East from being used as a platform for prejudice here at home. There is no place for anti-Semitism, prejudice of any sort, or Islamophobia in our communities, at our universities, or outside of electoral offices.”

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek also criticized the Greens, particularly leader Adam Bandt, for inciting division across the country. She accused the Greens of misrepresenting the government’s position to fuel conflict.

“We’ve seen Green’s Senator Mehreen Faruqi standing outside Labor MPs’ offices encouraging the crowd to continue to blockade,” Plibersek noted. She also pointed to incidents such as the defacement of MP Peter Khalil’s billboard by young Greens supporters with slogans like “victory till revolution” and “death to the ALP.”

Plibersek argued that the Greens could criticize but were unable to handle criticism when other parties called out their actions. She emphasized the need for political leaders to unite the community and acknowledged the horrors of the Hamas attacks and the civilian death toll in Gaza.

“The Greens are not in the mainstream on this issue. They should be encouraging Australians to come together, not supporting division as they have,” Plibersek stated.

She further claimed that the Greens’ actions were preventing everyday Australians from accessing their local MPs for help with various issues, including social security and immigration, and noted that staff had been injured in blockades orchestrated by pro-Palestine protesters driven by the Greens.

“It is undemocratic to stop ordinary constituents from being able to see a Member of Parliament,” Plibersek asserted. “Our staff are just doing their jobs. We’ve had staff injured and doxxed because of these actions, which is not something we want to see in Australia.”

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