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Richard Di Natale resigns as leader of the Australian Greens to spend more time with his family.

Richard Di Natale has resigned as leader of the Australian Greens, on the eve of federal parliament returning for the political year.

Making the surprise announcement on Monday morning, Senator Di Natale cited family reasons as being behind his decision to step down.

“My boys are nine and 11-years-old now, and they’ve only ever known their dad as a busy and tired and sometimes grumpy politician,” Di Natale said in a video announcing his resignation to Twitter.

“They’re growing up quickly, and I want to spend more time by their side than a relentless political schedule allows.”

“It’s not something that’s easily put into words, because representing this incredible movement has been one of the biggest honours of my life,” Senator Di Natale, who has been the Greens leader for nearly five years, added.

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The Australian Greens leader further wrote on Twitter: “It has been a privilege to fight every day for the values that millions of Australians care so deeply about. However, it is a decision I feel I have to take.”

Di Natale has spent the past decade as a Senator, and in 2015 replaced Christine Milne as leader of the minor party. He will now leave federal Parliament within months.

It’s reported he informed his colleagues earlier on Monday,  immediately spilling his position as leader and those of co-deputies Adam Bandt and Larissa Waters.

The 10-member Greens party room will vote for a new leadership team on Tuesday.

The 49-year-old backed the “intelligence, compassion and courage” of his parliamentary colleagues heading into the ballot.

“The success of our party and cause has never and will never depend upon one person,” Senator Di Natale said.

“Our party will succeed because we are part of a much broader community movement, a movement that is growing stronger each day.”

Senator Di Natale said there were many things he was proud of, singling out the 2010 carbon price negotiation, the royal commissions into the banking and disability sectors and the legalisation of same-sex marriage.

– With AAP. 


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