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About Stephen

Hi! I’m Stephen and I’m your local MP for the inner-northern suburbs of Brisbane. 

I’m passionate about renters’ rights and housing justice, free and universal healthcare and education, meaningful climate action and getting dirty money out of politics. 

I was honoured to be elected by you to be your Federal MP in May 2022. My fellow Greens volunteers and I knocked on tens of thousands of doors across the city and had thousands of conversations about the kind of future voters wanted to see. 

My journey to politics has not been a conventional one. I do not come from a wealthy or political family. I have spent my life up until my election working in frontline retail and hospitality. 

I joined the Greens after coming back from working in the United States. I worked at the “most magical place on Earth” and saw first hand what the consequences of governments racing to the bottom on workers rights, social services and healthcare are. 

One day at work, I walked into the store room and found one of my coworkers was crying because she had to make a decision - pay for her insulin or her rent. I comforted her but I knew that there was nothing I could do. At that moment, a fire was lit inside of me, and I knew I had to make sure this situation could never happen to anyone back home in Australia.

We have been told to accept an economic system that puts people last, that tells us we are measured solely on our ability to make profit for others. We have been told to shrink ourselves, to expect nothing from the government. We have been told that somehow the wealth will trickle down. We have been waiting decades for it to trickle down to us. It isn’t coming.

Wages have stagnated. Childcare costs are out of control. State schools are not funded properly. The higher education system has been gutted. Our health system is in crisis, as people wait months for access to services that they need just to survive. Climate change has been all but ignored for the existential threat that it is. Housing stress across the country is at an all-time high.

Now, as your MP, I fight for everyday people and our communities, because I refuse corporate donations and I’m not beholden to their interests.

 Stephen Bates in a pink shirt with an open neck collar standing in front of some shrubs.