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…]


Current Federal Parliamentary Leaders

Each political party represented in the Federal Parliament elects leaders in each house.

Just as the government is decided in the House of Representatives, so the parties elect their leaders and deputy leaders from amongst their representatives in the House. If the party is not represented in the lower house, its leader will be chosen from amongst its members in the Senate.

These tables are correct as of the first day of the 45th Parliament, August 30, 2016. The Liberal, Nationals and ALP positions are unchanged from those that applied immediately prior to the July 2 double dissolution election. Senate parties with more than one senator have been included for the first time. [Read more…]


2016 House Of Representatives Primary Votes: State-By-State Breakdown

Despite a declining vote, the Coalition and the ALP maintained their dominance of the House of Representatives in the July 2 double dissolution.

The Coalition (Liberal, Liberal National, Nationals, Country Liberals) and ALP polled 76.77% of the nationwide primary vote, down 2.16% from 78.93% in 2013. They secured 145 (96.7%) of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives.

The Big Two + Greens

The Greens polled 10.23% of the primary vote, up 1.58% from their 2013 tally of 8.65%. Adam Bandt consolidated his hold on Melbourne but the party failed to win any more lower house seats.

The Coalition, ALP and Greens combined polled 87% of first preference (primary) votes nationally, marginally down from 87.58% in 2013. They won 146 (97.3%) of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives.

The Greens maintained their influence with the lion’s share of preferences. These preferences were vital to the ALP holding 8 of its seats and winning another 7 from the Liberal Party.

A Big Field of Micro Parties With Micro Votes

There were 42 parties that contested at least one seat each. They polled a total of 10.17%. Only the Nick Xenophon Team (Mayo) and Katter’s Australian Party (Kennedy) won seats.

The majority of micro parties (32 of 42) contested 10 or fewer seats. Twenty-four of these contested 5 or fewer seats. Whilst 10 parties ran more than 10 candidates each, they all nominated candidates for fewer than half the seats in the House. Family First ran in 65 seats, the Christian Democratic Party in 55 and the Animal Justice Party in 41.

The votes for micro parties were derisory, with 38 of the 42 failing to make it to 1% nationally. Moreover, 27 polled less than 0.1% nationally. The other 11 polled no higher than 0.7%. [Read more…]