From AFTA’s chief executive, Jayson Westbury
FEDERAL politics got interesting last week with the High Court handing down its decision in relation to the seven politicians caught up in the dual citizenship wrangle. As it turns out two were OK, even though one of them has announced he is leaving in any event. That would be Nick Xenophon. So, the Nick Xenophon party now needs a new member, new leader and new name. The deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce turned out to be an ineligible dual citizen so he needs to go to a byelection, which will happen before the end of the year. As for the others, one is safe and four were deemed ineligible and one has now resigned. Deck chairs to the right please.
It is all very complicated as all legislation that has been passed by the lower house by one vote over this past term of government will need to be reviewed as to whether that vote carries, given the situation with the Deputy Prime Minister. I think this is called a right royal mess and I am sure the Prime Minister can’t wait for the last sitting of Parliament and the summer break to start so they can get on with sorting this all out.
Meanwhile, the Queensland Premier has called a snap election for November 25, with both the Labor party and the LNP now facing strong swings from the growing support of the One Nation Party led by Pauline Hanson. The bookies have the LNP ahead by a nose, but I suspect that the odds will shorten as the next few weeks unfold.
These are uncertain times for the nation really, and it is amazing how, as a democracy, how down the middle we have all become. Both the Queensland election and the issues in Canberra are both held together by string and I suspect that once the outcome of the Queensland election is known a great deal of attention will turn to the way in which things might fall in Canberra.
We are bound to be surrounded by weeks of media coverage about the speculation of it all and in the end, it will be what it is and let’s just hope that the country continues to be as successful as it is without necessarily clear political leadership with a mandate to get on with running the country with the policies put forward. Interesting times ahead over the coming month for sure.