The Australian Electoral Commission has announced the Senate results for all states and territories with the big winner being Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party. It’s a blow to the Turnbull Government which will now have to negotiate with 11 cross benchers, up from eight before the election.
- Coalition – 30 seats (down three)
- Labor – 26 seats (up one)
- Greens – 9 seats (down one)
- One Nation – 4 seats
- Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) – 3 seats
- Family First – 1 seat
- Liberal Democrats – 1 seat
- Independents – 2 seats (Jacqui Lambie and Derryn Hinch)
The Government will need 39 seats to pass legislation through the Senate. If Labor and the Greens, who have traditionally voted as a unified block, vote No the Government will need the support of nine of the 11 crossbenchers to pass legislation.
Turning a positive spin on the result, the Coalition is hoping the new Senate will be less fractious and is ‘optimistic’ that Ms Hanson and NXT Leader Nick Xenophon will be able to talk to Ministers directly on behalf of their Senate colleagues.
Labor is gloating that the Government’s attempt to clean up the Senate through the double dissolution trigger has ‘failed dismally’.
Double dissolution – now what?
The halls of Parliament will become very busy over the next few weeks as discussions on the Government’s agenda and of course the bills that drove us to the double dissolution election begin in earnest.
When the new Parliament meets for the first time at the end of the month the House of Representatives can pass the bills that triggered the election again and send to the Senate. The bills can be reintroduced with or without amendments and interestingly there is no constitutional necessity to reintroduce a bill that was the cause of the double dissolution.
If the Senate again rejects the bills the Prime Minister will advise the Governor-General to convene a joint sitting of the members of both Houses. The joint sitting votes on the bill and to pass there must be an absolute majority.
Looking at the new numbers in the Senate the Government is going to have its work cut out to achieve a successful outcome on that process.
The New Senate – One Nation in the Spotlight
The Party: Pauline Hanson is the National Chairman and Leader and comes back to Canberra as a Queensland Senator. Joining her are Malcolm Roberts (QLD), Brian Burston (NSW) and Rod Culleton (WA).
One Nation Policy Principles
The economy and jobs: Looking in – not out
- One Nation believes in protecting the primary industries sector from de-regulation.
- One Nation supports the return of a publically run and owned bank.
- One Nation is strongly opposed to asset sales and supports the return of assets to public ownership.
- One Nation will not recognise any international trade agreement or treaty which is considered to be in breach of the Australian Constitution in favour of international law. It will withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) if it proves to be detrimental to Australia.
- One Nation have outlined their commitment to the following reforms to the taxation system:
- Advocating for the abolishment of state pay roll tax;
- Making multinationals pay their fair share of tax here in Australia;
- A full review of the taxation system to ensure fairness;
- Allowing young Australians access to their superannuation fund as a house purchase deposit; and reform of youth allowance eligibility criteria.
Climate Change and Energy – darks clouds are forming
- One Nation oppose any measures that put a tax on carbon dioxide, specifically an Emissions Trading Scheme;
- One Nation would abolish the Renewable Energy Target (RET);
- One Nation would abolish public financial incentives and subsidies for the renewable energy sector;
- One Nation would hold a Royal Commission into the corruption of climate science including establishing an Independent science body that will report to the Government instead of the United Nations;
- One Nation believes in building dams and opposes the privatisation of water supplies and CSG and mining exploration on prime agricultural land.
Social policies – Looking in – not out
- Increasing the aged pension;
- Anti-Islam: One Nation opposes Islam; Sharia Law and Halal certification; and would ban the Burqa from being worn in public. It opposes the construction of mosques and Islamic schools and it wants a Royal Commission into the religion;
- Abolishment of the Family Court with a Family Tribunal;
- A national identity card for asylum seekers/new residents wanting to access government services;
- A marriage equality referendum.
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