Government cuts crossbench staffers from four to one


“I was elected by a community who want transparency and integrity in politics… This bad for democracy and terrible for transparency.”

A spokesman for One Nation said cutting staff to a quarter of what it was would make it “enormously difficult” to properly consider legislation, particularly controversial bills that attract a lot of attention from lobbyists and interest groups.

“If you’re not adequately staffed that means this government expects legislation to be rammed through without proper consideration,” the party spokesman said.

“If we don’t have time [to properly consider bills]the default position that should be taken by every independent and minor party should be to reject government legislation.”

To give an idea of ​​the scale of work, he said the Senate had dealt with 160 pieces of legislation over the past three years.

Other crossbench offices said it would be catastrophic for their ability to look after constituents and scrutinise legislation. They hoped the Albanian fact said he “proposed” the allocation meant it was open for negotiation.

Newly elected independent MP Zoe Daniel, who represents the Victorian seat of Goldstein, said: “Welcome to politics. So much for the new era.”

A spokesman for the prime minister’s office said the allocation of staff was reviewed after every election.

“In recognition of the enlarged crossbench, the government intends to increase resources of the Parliamentary Library which all parliamentarians can use for information, advice, research and analysis of legislation,” he said.

After the so-called teal wave at the election, the number of independent and minor party MPs in the lower house grew from six to 12. In the Senate, it has shrunk from six to five. If they were all allocated the four advisers previously allowed, that would be 68 staff.

The number of Greens has also increased, with 12 senators and four MPs, up from nine party members previously. The Greens have enough members to grant them full party status, which gives them a greater entitlement to staff allocations.

The opposition is allowed one-fifth the number of advisers across its ranks of what government ministers and MPs can have.

Cut through the noise of federal politics with news, views and expert analysis from Jacqueline Maley. Subscribers can sign up to our weekly Inside Politics newsletter here.

Leave a Comment