It’s just another day in Australia’s upper house… Today, Palmer United Party senator Jacqui Lambie once again took a vehement fight to the floor of the house. This time, Ms. Lambie has defended the Coalition Government’s proposed changes to the university fee structures. The only problem was, the bill wasn’t being debated at that time.
In the confusion and chaos of representative government, things can sometimes get out of hand. After her chief of staff was recently given the sack, Ms. Lambie seems to be languishing under the weight of Canberra’s bureaucracy. It’s an easy enough mistake to make, but it’s not a good look for the PUP senator.
The Senate was, in fact, debating the Australian Education Amendment Bill. The relatively small-scale piece of legislation will seek to fund indigenous boarding schools as well as cementing over several loopholes within the education portfolio. Though the legislation which will affect university students isn’t tabled until Thursday, Ms. Lambie appeared to have confused the two bills.
Taking to the lectern, the outspoken Tasmanian senator began her tirade against the unpopular changes. In an uncharacteristically empathic show of friendship, acting deputy Senate president Cory Bernardi took it upon himself to notify Ms. Lambie of her error. But there’s no sense in stopping horses mid-stream, so the PUP senator simply shrugged off the warning and ploughed ahead! After a period of confusion and continual yammering, Ms. Lambie eventually got the message. She suddenly went silent, stepped back from the microphone and promptly sat down.
The faux pas will not affect the public perception of her anti-government position, which has been doggedly steadfast. Ms. Lambie has promised not to vote for any coalition backed legislation unless pay for defence force members is reconsidered. In the days since, PUP boss and billionaire magnate Clive Palmer has called Ms. Lambie a “drama queen”. Here’s hoping Ms. Lambie’s next few weeks are quieter than those which preceded them…
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