Senate President’s Statement On Culleton Disqualification

The President of the Senate, Senator Stephen Parry, has made a statement about the disqualification of former Senator Rodney Culleton.

Parry outlined the process that resulted in Culleton’s disqualification as a result of bankruptcy proceedings that placed him in breach of Section 44 of the Constitution.

He also noted the decision of the High Court that Culleton had also not been eligible to nominate for election because of his breach of another part of Section 44.

A countback of votes will determine who replaces Culleton in the Senate.

Hansard transcript of statement by Senator Stephen Parry, President of the Senate.

The PRESIDENT (12:32): I wish to inform you that on the 7 November 2016 the Senate referred to the Court of Disputed Returns questions about the eligibility of Rodney Norman Culleton to sit as a senator. The court delivered its judgment in the matter on Friday, 3 February 2017. Today, I have tabled a copy of the order made by the Court and a copy of its reasons for judgment. To quote the judgment summary published by the Court: [Read more…]


Culleton Ineligible To Nominate For Senate, High Court Rules; Recount Likely To Elect Peter Georgiou

The High Court has ruled that Rodney Culleton was ineligible to be nominated for last year’s Senate election.

Culleton’s position as a senator is now vacant and the High Court has ruled that a recount of votes should take place. This is most likely to result in the election of Peter Georgiou, Culleton’s brother-in-law and the number two candidate on the Western Australian One Nation ticket last year.

The decision by Justices Kiefel, Bell, Gageler, Keane and Nettle was unanimous. Justice Nettle offered reasons which varied in some respects with his colleagues (see decision below).

Sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, the court held that at the time of the election Culleton was convicted and subject to be sentenced for an offence punishable by imprisonment for one year or longer. Under Section 44(ii) of the Constitution, this renders Culleton ineligible to be chosen as a senator.

The court rejected arguments that the subsequent annulment of the conviction made him eligible to stand. The decision says: “It is evident from the terms of s 44(ii) that the framers of the Constitution were concerned to ensure that not only should a person who has already been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of one year or longer be disqualified from being chosen or from sitting as a Senator; so too should a person who is able to be so sentenced. The circumstance sought to be guarded against was that such a person might not be able to sit and should for that reason not be able to be chosen.” [Read more…]


Senator Rodney Culleton Disqualified; Senate President Declares Vacancy In WA; High Court To Decide How To Fill It

Senator Rodney Culleton has been disqualified and has lost his position in the upper house because of the bankruptcy judgement delivered against him before Christmas.

CulletonThe Senate President, Stephen Parry, announced tonight that he had notified the Western Australian Governor that a vacancy exists in the state’s Senate representation.

Parry said the High Court would decide if the vacancy was a casual vacancy or whether Culleton was ineligible to be chosen at last year’s double dissolution election. In coming weeks, the High Court will rule on an application to declare Culleton ineligible on the basis of a conviction in NSW.

A vacancy caused by Culleton’s ineligibility under Section 44 would probably mean that a countback of the 2016 Senate votes would take place. This would result in Culleton’s brother-in-law taking the seat.

A casual vacancy under Section 15 of the Constitution would enable the Western Australian branch of One Nation to nominate a replacement. It is not clear whether Culleton’s supporters control the WA branch. The party’s federal leader, Senator Pauline Hanson, will clearly prefer to nominate someone other than a Culleton supporter.

Culleton released a letter he sent to Senator Parry, arguing that Parry acted precipitately before the bankruptcy proceedings had been completed.

Statement by President of the Senate, Stephen Parry.

Parry

Letter from Rodney Culleton to Senate President Stephen Parry.

Culleton


Senator Rod Culleton Resigns From Pauline Hanson’s One Nation

Senator Rod Culleton has announced his resignation from Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party.

CulletonIn a Twitter post tonight, Culleton criticised Hanson and One Nation. In a characteristically rambling and incoherent media release, he said: “Policy decisions have been run in morning media, with no consultation, discussion or agreement from the party room and personal attacks and undermining, un-Australian behaviour towards myself and my team, has been ongoing and terms dictated to the team.”

Culleton accused Hanson of “diluting her pre-election promises” in relation to a banking inquiry. He said: “The PHON leader’s public rants against me have also been accompanied by demands for my resignation and control over diaries, office management and staffing by Senator Hanson and her Chief of Staff, James Ashby.”

Culleton said he intended to continue “independently of PHON” in the 45th Parliament.

The Western Australian senator is awaiting a High Court ruling on his eligibility for election to Parliament. If he is expelled from the Senate, a recount will most likely result in Culleton’s brother-in-law replacing him. [Read more…]


Sen. Pauline Hanson (One Nation-Qld) – Maiden Speech

Senator Pauline Hanson has delivered her maiden speech to the Senate, as a Queensland representative of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation.

Hanson

The speech came 20 years and 4 days since Hanson gave her maiden speech as the member for Oxley in the House of Representatives, during the first year of the Howard government. Hanson had been elected as a disendorsed Liberal candidate. She founded her own party but was defeated at the 1998 election. [Read more…]


Sen. Malcolm Roberts (One Nation-Qld) Maiden Speech

This is the maiden speech by Senator Malcolm Roberts, one of two Queensland One Nation representatives.

  • Listen to Roberts (25m – transcript below)
  • Watch Roberts (25m)

Hansard transcript of maiden speech by One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts. [Read more…]


45th Parliament Opens; Members And Senators Sworn In; House Speaker And Senate President Re-Elected Unopposed

The 45th Parliament opened in Canberra this morning.

Laing-FrenchClerk of the Senate Rosemary Laing and Chief Justice Robert French preside over Senate proceedings during the opening of the 45th Parliament.

The video below shows proceedings in the Senate and the House of Representatives, starting at 10.30am.

The Governor-General’s deputy, High Court Chief Justice Robert French opened the Parliament in the Senate chamber, House members having first been summoned via a message from the Senate’s Black Rod.

The two houses then separately swore in their members, who each took an oath or affirmation and signed the register of members. The swearing-in of senators is shown in the video.

The Senate then elected Senator Stephen Parry (Liberal-Tasmania) as President, unopposed. It is Parry’s second term. [Read more…]