Removed Senator Rod Culleton has welcomed a Joint Parliamentary inquiry into the circumstances surrounding his removal from the Senate, saying that it is long overdue and that it will forensically and seriously test the sworn public duty of his former colleagues and party leader, Pauline Hanson, former Attorney-General George Brandis and former Senate President Stephen Parry.
On the 6th December last year, Labor moved a motion to invoke the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters to investigate decisions made by the High Court, sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns. The committee is due to report by the 6th February 2018.
“Given the Inquiry has named me as a particular item of reference, I must say that as a major stakeholder in this inquiry, I am disturbed that I was not notified nor advised of its establishment and notwithstanding the matter is of public interest and importance in regard to natural justice and Constitutional matters involving the composition of the Senate, I was not given any consideration or the adequate time required to complete my submissions,” Culleton said.
“What has occurred to both Bob Day and myself is a very serious Constitutional matter to where I believe has brought the Senate into disrepute and my team and I have been lobbying various Senators for over a year now, requesting them to uphold the Constitutional rights of Australians, which continued to be eroded when we were removed from the Senate,” Culleton said.
“I have been told on numerous occasions that the Court of Disputed Returns has the final say, however since the proper lawful procedure has not been adhered to in the Senate, there is now a question mark over the validity of the answer to the question given by the Court, surrounding my qualification. This very powerful inquiry will be a Judicial Constitutional Review,” Culleton said.
Both Mr Culleton and Mr Day have provided their submissions to the Committee with Ministers, other politicians, staffers and party executive members all being named as witnesses.
Click here for the Terms of Reference.