Taxpayer funds shouldn't be used to settle political scores: Bernardi

January 23, 2018

Australian Conservatives Leader and senator Cory Bernardi is encouraging One Nation’s Pauline Hanson not to use taxpayer funds to refer rogue senator Fraser Anning (pictured) to the High Court.

The Australian newspaper reports today Senator Hanson has written to the Senate president Scott Ryan claiming Senator Anning’s election was constitutionally invalid because he was an “undischarged bankrupt or insolvent” or had benefited from “any law relating to bankrupt or insolvent debtors”.

The Queensland Senator replaced Malcolm Roberts as a One Nation senator after Roberts was disqualified for being a dual British-Australian citizen. After entering the senate under a cloud of uncertainty about whether he would stay with One Nation or not following a row with Senator Hanson, Senator Anning moved earlier this year to quit One Nation and become an independent.

Senator Bernardi told The Australian that Senator Hanson’s referral motion is a “spurious and illegitimate attempt to undermine” Senator Anning.

“If One Nation wants to send Senator Anning to the High Court, they should use their own money rather than taxpayers’ to do so. I understand why she wants to do this but it is not the responsibility of the taxpayer to pick up the tab for those grasping at legal straws,” he said.

One Nation will need the backing of the government and 10 other Senate crossbenchers to refer Senator Anning after he, Senator Bernardi and Labor confirmed they would oppose the motion.

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