Lambie quits but eyes return
Outgoing senator Jacqui Lambie thanked Tasmanians for “taking a chance on her” as she bid Parliament an emotional farewell yesterday, becoming the citizenship saga’s eighth victim.
But she is already eyeing a run at the Lower House seat of Braddon, which could be forced to a by-election if Labor’s Justine Keay is also disqualified under section 44 of the Constitution.
Fighting back tears as she revealed her British citizenship through her Scottish-born father, Ms Lambie told the Senate she had “worked hard to be a voice for those who don’t often get much of a voice in this chamber” and she had “so much more” to achieve in Canberra.
She warned the Turnbull Government against using her absence as an opportunity to pass legislation that she had opposed.
“Politicians on both sides of the house talk about helping those on welfare without having had to choose between spending your welfare payment on either school uniforms (or) school lunches,” Ms Lambie said.
“Unlike some in this place who say they are there for the battler, I actually refused to deliver the Budget into surplus by driving struggling families into further poverty.”
Ms Lambie, who began her political career as a member of Clive Palmer’s now-defunct party before quitting to sit as an independent, received warm praise from Labor, coalition and crossbench colleagues.
Attorney-General George Brandis said Ms Lambie had made the Senate a richer place.
Her replacement is expected to be the next candidate on the Jacqui Lambie Network ticket, Devonport mayor Steve Martin.