Senator for Victoria
A former schoolteacher and city councillor, Lyn Allison was elected as a senator for Victoria in 1996. She was deputy leader and Whip of the Australian Democrats from 2002 before becoming leader in 2004, a position she held until her Senate term ended in 2008. She entered Parliament dedicated to ensuring all Australians had the right to a decent education and was a passionate supporter of women’s issues including work, health, childcare and reproductive choice.
Senator Allison is recognised as one of the co-sponsors of the successful Therapeutic Goods Amendment (Repeal of Ministerial Responsibility for Approval of RU486) Bill 2005 and the proposal to ban cluster munitions. She proposed bills to prevent discrimination against same sex couples, allow repatriation of Australian citizens in detention, and repeal euthanasia laws in the territories. She also initiated and chaired the first Senate committee inquiry into mental health.
Allison was involved in many environmental issues and is noted for her opposition to nuclear power and uranium mining. She led an inquiry into the Jabiluka uranium mine proposal which recommended that the mine not proceed and supported the rights of the traditional owners of Kakadu. She was also involved in proposing measures to combat climate change, including a carbon emissions trading scheme, water efficiency labelling and fuel standards.