Chopped Lambie eyes off Braddon
OUTGOING Tasmanian independent senator Jacqui Lambie will not throw a political cat among the pigeons in the upcoming state election.
But expect to see her on the campaign trail for the seat of Braddon in the next federal poll.
When Senator Lambie’s citizenship dilemma first came to light, analysts were predicting she could shake up the political landscape in Tasmania.
But an emotional Senator Lambie, who has resigned from the Senate after having it confirmed she is a dual British citizen, says she is not interested in state politics and would be wasted in Parliament in Hobart.
A “gutted” Senator Lambie said she was not done with Canberra and would be “out there with her boots on” as a candidate in two years.
“There’s so much more I wanted to do here. I hope I get a chance to keep doing it,” she told the Senate yesterday.
“But the truth is, that’s not up to me.
“I don’t know what happens next. There’s a state election I’m focused on and I’ll be helping my team do what they need to do to take the fight to some of the parties that have taken Tasmanians for granted.”
The University of Tasmania’s Richard Herr said it made sense for Senator Lambie to seek a federal seat.
“She is hoping to get some Jacqui Lambie Network mem- bers into Tasmania’s House of Assembly and to lead from a higher position,” Dr Herr said.
“It makes sense for her to seek a national platform. To be seen as a ‘real party’, the JLN needs a federal seat. That way she can fulfil her personal and political ambitions and be a political force beyond herself.”
Senator Lambie said she phoned her father, Tom, who arrived in Australia from Scotland as a child — to tell him.
“I love my father to death and hope to not blame him for this,” she told the Senate.
“He has done nothing for which to apologise and he has been my strongest supporter, my loudest cheer squad and my closest adviser.”
Senator Lambie entered Parliament after the 2013 election representing Clive Palmer’s now-defunct party before quitting to sit as an independent the following year.
“I’ve worked hard to be a voice for those who don’t often get much of a voice in this chamber,” she told the Senate.
“Veterans fight hard for this country. They shouldn’t have to fight their Government when they get back.
“Politicians on both sides of the House talk about helping those on welfare without hav- ing ever actually experienced what it’s like ...
“I’m proud of what I’ve achieved here. I’m proud my vote secured more funding for Tasmanian schools. I’m proud to have secured a feasibility study into expanding Hydro in Tasmania. I’m proud to have won a fair pay deal for our ADF. I’m proud to have been the single vote that torpedoed a savage package of welfare cuts.”
The Burnie-based politician will now focus on getting JLN candidates elected in the state election in March. She said the “full roll” of candidates would be announced soon.
“Right now I need to get back to Burnie and be around family and friends and coworkers. We are likely all going to be out of work,” she said.
Senator Lambie will also keep a close eye on what happens with Justine Keay’s situation. The Braddon Labor MHR is also under a citizenship cloud and Tasmanian Liberal senator Eric Abetz continues to put pressure on Ms Keay to clarify her situation.
“It is a real shame that Justine Keay continues to engage in such a great deception of the people of Braddon by refusing to either resign or have herself referred to the High Court to draw an end to the valid questions hanging over her, particularly in light of Mr Parry and Ms Lambie’s honourable actions,” Senator Abetz said. Loss of class act a shame
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