Greens Senator Janet Rice announces her retirement

Greens Senator Janet Rice on a motorbike with partner Anne
Greens Senator Janet Rice and her partner Anne. Image: Janet Rice/Instagram

Greens Senator Janet Rice has announced she’ll retire early next year, a decade after her election to the upper house.

Senator Rice announced she won’t stand for preselection and plans to retire in the first half of 2024.

“A decade on from being elected to the senate, I’ve decided it’s time to pass the baton,” Janet said.

“It’s been a privilege to work with my Greens colleagues and the community to achieve some huge wins in this time, including marriage equality and the end to native forest logging in Victoria.

“I entered the Senate with a mandate to represent Victorians who want to see urgent action on the climate crisis, and who want to see politics work for people, not billionaires and big corporations. Those fights are far from over.”

Senator Rice said she hasn’t set an exact retirement date. But she vowed to continue her advocacy until her “very last moment in the Senate.”

“I will keep fighting in Parliament for my constituents, for our climate and environment, real action for renters, a human rights-based approach to aged care, and building a strong social safety net for everyone who needs it,” she said.

Senator Janet Rice shared a collection of photos to social media from her decade in politics through four governments.

She wrote, “It was a privilege to fight for marriage equality as a Senator, crafting legislation across party lines and campaigning for YES with people all across the country.

“This huge milestone was the culmination of decades of tenacious campaigning. I’m proud of the part I played in this historic win.”


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A post shared by Janet Rice (@janetricegreens)

Janet Rice ‘determined and persistent warrior’ in parliament

Greens leader Adam Bandt praised Senator Rice’s contribution to politics.

“She’s been a warrior for forests, liveable Jobseeker and LGBTQIA+ people – determined and persistent, pulling every lever to get outcomes in her portfolios. The Greens are stronger thanks to your legacy, Janet!” Adam Bandt tweeted.

Senator Janet Rice spent years as the Greens’ national LGBTQIA+ spokesperson. Last year, Brisbane Greens MP Stephen Bates took over that role.

At the time, Stephen paid tribute to Janet for her dedication and work “during one the toughest times for LGBTIQA+ people in decades.”

“Janet was a passionate opponent of the campaign against Safe Schools, the marriage postal survey, the Religious Discrimination Bill and numerous anti-trans campaigns,” he said in June 2022.

“She also personally supported many LGBTIQA+ people through the darkest moments and boosted our morale when it flagged.

“The iconic image of Janet knitting in Parliament after Peter Dutton told pro-marriage equality CEOs to ‘stick to their knitting’, epitomised how Janet inspired us with her humour, warmth and strength of character.”

In a speech earlier this year, Senator Janet Rice opened up about her wife Penny’s sudden death in 2019.

Speaking at the LGBTQIA+ conference Better Together, Janet also paid tribute to her partner Anne on their first anniversary.

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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