Senate debates

Tuesday, 24 August 2021


Minor Parties

1:47 pm

Photo of Jacqui LambieJacqui Lambie (Tasmania, Jacqui Lambie Network) Share this | | Hansard source

[by video link] Just quickly about the Yadu health centre, I suggest since it's a gold-plated area for the cashless debit card you would probably want to get down there and stick by what you promised and get it done.

The government wants to make it hard for small parties to get into this place. They're slamming the door in the face of normal people who want a say in how things work up here. Heaven forbid someone with life experience makes it up to parliament! Apparently we shouldn't be there. Apparently it's better to have party hacks and political staffers instead of anyone who might shake things up. The government's latest thing is to change the electoral rules so it's harder for smaller parties to run an election, and new parties have to find 1,500 members before they can get their name on the ballot paper instead of just 500.

After I was affected by section 44 and booted out of parliament, I had to go and get those 500 names. I had to regather myself. I can assure you that, without staff, without paying anyone, without the campaign and without a job, getting 500 signatures was very difficult for an Independent. And I was miles ahead of where many others would be when they're on the starter blocks. Those new parties will just have no hope.

The other thing the Liberals want is to have total control over the names of small parties. They want to be able to veto new party names. They want to be able to say to small parties, 'You might think the word "liberal" describes who you are, you might think it tells your community what you're running for, but we own that word now.' They want to set impossible rules for the rest of us, and it isn't right. It isn't good for democracy. I feel for the one in three Australian voters who would like a choice other than Liberal or Labor, because the government are doing everything they can to take that choice from you and they're doing it quick, I can assure you. So if you do not want to get stuck with two-party preferred, for goodness sake, vote for Independents and micros.