Lam­bie quits but eyes return

The West Australian - - NEWS - Phoebe Wearne

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.

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