Sen­a­tor kicked out be­fore he sits down

Townsville Bulletin - - NATION -

A BIT­TER split be­tween One Na­tion and a “stunned” newly in­stalled sen­a­tor has over­shad­owed the swear­ing- in of Aus­tralia’s three fresh­est par­lia­men­tar­i­ans.

Fraser An­ning was sup­posed to be One Na­tion’s re­place­ment for Mal­colm Roberts, who was dis­qual­i­fied by the High Court for hold­ing dual cit­i­zen­ship.

He en­tered the cham­ber for yes­ter­day’s swear­ing- in flanked by cross­bench sen­a­tors Cory Bernardi and David Ly­on­hjelm while One Na­tion’s Brian Burston and Peter Ge­or­giou sat watch­ing.

An hour later One Na­tion leader Pauline Hanson said Sen­a­tor An­ning had aban­doned the party to sit as an in­de­pen­dent. Sen­a­tor Hanson blocked four of Sen­a­tor An­ning’s staff, who used to work for Mr Roberts, from en­ter­ing a party room meet­ing yes­ter­day, ac­cus­ing them of “dis­loy­alty”.

Sen­a­tor An­ning then walked out of the meet­ing, be­fore see­ing on TV he was an in­de­pen­dent. “It seems that with­out even con­tact­ing me, Pauline has uni­lat­er­ally kicked me out of her party. I have to say I am stunned,” he said.

Sen­a­tor An­ning was joined by Jor­don Steele- John and An­drew Bartlett from the Greens in be­ing sworn in yes­ter­day.

Sen­a­tor Steele- John, who at 23 is Aus­tralia’s youngest ever sen­a­tor, re­placed Scott Lud­lam, who quit par­lia­ment af­ter learn­ing he was a dual ci­ti­zen. Be­fore his swear­ing- in, Sen­a­tor Steele- John promised to be a voice for young peo­ple and his state of Western Aus­tralia.

Sen­a­tor Bartlett, who was leader of the Aus­tralian Democrats in a pre­vi­ous par­lia­ment, has re­placed for­mer Greens sen­a­tor Larissa Wa­ters, who re­signed over her dual cit­i­zen­ship with Canada.

STUNNED: New Queens­land sen­a­tor Fraser An­ning ar­rives to be sworn- in in the Sen­ate cham­ber flanked by cross­bench sen­a­tors Cory Bernardi and David Ly­on­hjelm.

( right) ( cen­tre)

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