Scott Ludlam (born 10 January 1970) is a member of the Australian Senate since July 2008, representing the state of Western Australia.

Early life and educationEdit

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.[1][2]

Political careerEdit

At the 2001 Western Australia 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.[3] At the 2005 state election, Ludlam unsuccessfully contested the seat of Murchison-Eyre, obtaining 4.98 percent of the primary vote.[4]

At the 2007 federal election, Ludlam was elected to the Australian Senate, representing Western Australia.[5] He took his place on 26 August 2008 with other incoming Senators.[6]

Following the 2013 federal election it was initially announced that Ludlam had lost his bid for re-election, eliminated by Palmer United Party candidate Zhenya Wang, with his term due to expire on 30 June 2014.[7] However an Australian Electoral Commission 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.[8] After the recount, it came to light that there were 1375 missing votes and the high court ruled that the recount results were invalid because the number of votes lost far exceeded the margin between candidates. At 5 April 2014 re-election, Ludlam safely held his seat in the senate.

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.[9]

Since taking his seat in the Senate, Ludlam has been campaigning against internet censorship. He has campaigned for strengthened protections for public ownership of the National Broadband Network and the fair treatment of Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks publishing organisation.[10]

In 2011, he successfully advocated to restore $264 million to the National Rental Affordability Scheme[11] which funded the construction of thousands of affordable rental homes.

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,[12] a smart phone application that enabled cyclists 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'.[13]

At the 2014 Western Australian Senate election the Greens won in excess of a quota with the primary vote increasing from 9.5 to 15.6 percent, re-electing Ludlam.

On 6 May 2015, Ludlam was elected unopposed to serve as Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens, serving alongside Senator Larissa Waters. This followed Christine Milne resigning her leadership of the party.

Popularity and image Edit

Ludlam has recently accumulated a large following of mainly tech-savvy social media-savvy young people; in part because of his speech that he delivered to the Australian Senate before the 2014 Western Australian Senate Re-election in which he "invited" Tony Abbott to visit Western Australia during the election campaign period, on the basis that "every time he opens his mouth, the Greens vote goes up". He was also very highly critical of the Abbott Government in his speech; and affirmed that people were "keeping a record" of the things they had done.

Ludlam tirelessly campaigned against the introduction of metadata retention. He appeared on an episode of Rap News in which he described the proposed metadata retention regime as a "fascist f*ck-fest of Orwellian proportions".

He makes effective use of social media - raking in over 120,000 Facebook followers - one of the biggest followings of a non-party leader in Australia. He also regularly engages with his supporters through reddit AMAs. His Facebook postings are often quirky and humourous, which resonate strongly with his relatively younger audience.


  1. ABC Q&A: "Panellist: Scott Ludlam"
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  6. Parliament of Australia: Senate: Senate Daily Summary, No. 43/2008, 26 June 2008
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  10. Australian Greens: Scott Ludlam
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External linksEdit