After more than a decade in the Parliament, George Brandis resigned as a Senator on Wednesday.
A victim of the cabinet reshuffle last December, Mr Brandis will become the next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
In his valedictory speech that traversed many topics, Mr Brandis called upon his colleges to return to the classical forms of liberalism and keep a watchful eye on further attacks on Australia’s institutions.
This was no doubt a subtle elbow to the ribs for the Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who took responsibility for several security organisations off the Attorney General’s Department.
Mr Brandis listed his two greatest achievements in office – the passing of the Same-Sex Marriage bills and the newly created counter Terrorism legislation.
It’s great to be back in 2018!
Here’s a snapshot of what happened over the summer:
- Citizenship: Jacqui Lambie has resigned (she’s Scottish) and the Liberal’s Jim Molan replaced Senator Fiona Nash today.
- Susan Lamb, Josh Wilson, Justine Keay, Rebeka Sharkie and Jason Falinski still have questions to answer
- John Alexander won the Bennelong by-election, following the discovery of his dual citizenship
- Labor’s David Feeney has resigned as the member for Batman, setting up a Labor/Green by-election
- Sam Dastyari resigned as a Senator, following too many unanswered questions about his connections to Chinese businessmen
- His vacancy will be filled by Kristina Keneally, Labor’s unsuccessful candidate for Bennelong
- Tasmania and South Australia are in election mode in state polls in a few weeks
- Independent Senator Lucy Gichuhi has turned blue! She now sits as a Liberal Senator for South Australia
- Lyle Shelton has quit the Australian Christian Lobby and has joined Cory Bernadi’s Australian Conservatives.
We’re in the final stretches of busting dual citizens in the federal parliament and one thing is for certain – it’s not looking pretty.
Following the publication of the citizenship register, up to 20 MP’s fall into the following categories:
– Some MP’s indicated they had renounced, but the date was after the close on nominations for the 2016 election.
– Some MP’s believed they renounced, but could not find the relevant papers.
– Some MP’s indicated they had connections to another country, but did not provide any documentation that confirmed or denied potential citizenship.
The next step will be for the parliament to refer the MP’s with questionable circumstances to the High Court, who will decide if they need to be booted.
The High Court would likely rule on all the cases in March, meaning that we could be heading to a ‘Super Saturday’ of by-elections in April.
This should be all over by May 2018. We promise.