Greens Senator for Tasmania, Peter Whish-Wilson, will be nominating for the Senate President role and wishes to remind the Liberal and National parties that the position is not their plaything and is subject to a ballot of the whole Senate.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “I am sick and tired of seeing the Liberals and Nationals fighting among themselves for the Senate President role; the Greens are happy to step in with a serious nomination as a solution to their spat.
“The Senate President is chosen by a ballot of all Senators, not just from among the Liberal or National Party. With Labor secure in the knowledge that they still retain the Deputy President position, they are free to vote for whoever they think will do the best job and not just deliver a quid pro quo vote for the Government.
“I am nominating for Senate President because I have now worked for 4 years as an acting Deputy President of the Senate, and I have some insights into reforms needed to reinstate some respect back into Senate question time and estimates. The Senate President has a critical role in restoring function to our Parliament and the Greens are a party not afraid of asking the hard questions or acting on needed reform.
“Australians have a right to hear what any any potential candidate for Senate President will actually do with the role to make Parliament work better. It shouldn’t be simply a payrise and fancy dress for someone from the born-to-rule Liberal Party.
“If I am selected by the Senate to be President I will donate any additional pay to an environmental cause or charity. It would be about a better parliament for the country, not a better pay packet for me. Can the Liberal or National Senators say the same?” he concluded.