Scott Ludlam

Ludlam was born in Palmerston North, New Zealand and subsequently moved to Western Australia. He was previously a film-maker, artist and graphic designer. He studied Design at Curtin University and then Policy Studies at Murdoch University.

Political career

At the 2001 state election, Ludlam was the unsuccessful second candidate on the Greens ticket for the upper house Mining & Pastoral region. From 2001 to 2005, Ludlam worked for Greens state parliamentarian Robin Chapple.

From 2005 to 2007, he worked as a communications officer for Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

At the 2005 state election, Ludlam unsuccessfully contested the seat of Murchison-Eyre, obtaining 4.98% of the primary vote.

At the 2007 federal election, Ludlam was elected to the Australian Senate, representing Western Australia. He took his place on 26 August 2008 when all senators elected at the 2007 federal election were sworn in.

Following the 2013 federal election it was initially announced that Ludlam had lost his bid for re-election, eliminated by Palmer United Party candidate Zhenja Wang, with his term due to expire on 30 June 2014.

However the Australian Electoral Commission held a recount of votes raised some controversy over the loss of ballot papers, and resulted in Ludlam and Wayne Dropulich of the Australian Sports Party winning the fifth and sixth senate spots respectively.

Ludlam has been involved in numerous political campaigns, including opposition to uranium mining at Jabiluka and in Western Australia, nuclear weapons, foreign military bases, and support for Aboriginal land rights, peace and disarmament, recognition of climate change, advocacy of fair trade and equitable globalisation, and energy market reform.

Since taking his seat in the Senate, Ludlam has been campaigning against the Federal Government’s[clarification needed] attempt to censor the internet and establish a mandatory data retention scheme.[citation needed] He campaigned for strengthened protections for public ownership of the National Broadband Network and the fair treatment of Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks publishing organisation.

In 2011, he successfully advocated to restore $264 million to the National Rental Affordability Scheme which funded the construction of thousands of affordable rental homes. He also helped to secure an additional $158m for the SBS multicultural broadcaster in the 2012 federal budget and his five-year campaign for light rail in Perth was successful with $4 million of federal funding allocated to plan the project. As part of the economic stimulus package, he helped secure $60 million for heritage conservation and $40 million for cycling infrastructure.

As Greens spokesperson on nuclear issues, Ludlam has led opposition in Canberra against attempts to construct a radioactive waste facility in Tennant Creek in the NT. He has also spent a decade working to phase out uranium mining. He modified legislation to establish a more transparent Independent Reviewer of terrorism laws and also introduced legislation which requires parliamentary approval for sending Australian troops to war. As a convenor of the Australian Parliamentarians for Democracy in Burma, Ludlam has campaigned for the release of Burmese political prisoners including Aung San Suu Kyi. In 2012, he visited Burma and returned to support the Burmese democracy movement.

Ludlam initiated Australia’s first national inquiry into public transport, and inquiries into structural asymmetries in the justice system, and protections for privacy protections online.

A former film maker, artist and graphic designer by trade, Ludlam has employed some communications tools to help with campaigns. He created the Bike Blackspot App, a smart phone application that enabled bicyclists to lobby for better bike funding. In 2007, he created a 30-minute documentary on why he believes that nuclear energy is not the solution to climate change, titled ‘Climate of Hope’. Some examples of short-form video work are available on his personal blog as well as his Twitter account.


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