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NT Govt posturing on Collins' replacement.



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Media Release

 

Senator John Faulkner

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

Shadow Minister for Public Administration, Government Services & Territories

 

 

NT GOVT POSTURING ON COLLINS’ REPLACEMENT

 

“The Northern Territory CLP Government is “just postur ing” in threatening to appoint a replacement for retiring Labor Senator Bob Collins”, the Labor Leader in the Senate, John Faulkner, said today.

 

“The Labor Party considers Chief Minister Shane Stone’s threats to have the Country Liberal Party determine who should replace Bob Collins to be nothing more than a pathetic stunt. Territory Labor is undertaking a full democratic process to select a replacement, and that is the proper thing to do”, Senator Faulkner said.

 

“Shane Stone is falling into the same trap that Queensland Premier Mr Borbidge fell into when he suggested nominating his own replacement for Mal Colston, and is demonstrating a similar level of ignorance of the Australian Constitution and the Commonwealth Electoral Act.”

 

“Mr Stone, knows, or should know, that Prime Minister Howard rebuffed Premier Borbidge’s ploy in March 1997 when he told Parliament that “in the event of there being any casual (Senate) vacancies, those would be filled in accordance with both the letter and the spirit of the Constitution."

 

“The Australian people also firmly rejected this tactic in 1977 when they voted by referendum to amend the Constitution to specifically outlaw the ‘Albert Field’ stunt, and that section of the Constitution is mirrored in section 44(3) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act for the Territories”, Senator Faulkner said. (A copy of the section is attached.)

 

‘‘The Labor Party expects the Prime Minister to be consistent in this view, and in doing so he will expose Shane Stone’s ignorance of the letter and spirit of the law”, Senator Faulkner said.

 

Ends

 

20 April 1998

Media Contact: George Thompson (02) 6277-3233, (0419) 238 733

 

 

26    Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918

s.44

 

Territory may appoint a person to hold the place until the expiration of 14 days from the beginning of the next session of the Legislative Assembly or the expiration of the term, whichever first happens.

 

(2) If the place of a senator for the Northern Territory becomes vacant before the expiration of his or her term of service, the Legislative Assembly of the Territory shall choose a person to hold the place until the expiration of the term, but if the Legislative Assembly is not in session when the vacancy is notified, the Administrator of the Territory, with the advice of the Executive Council thereof, may appoint a person to hold the place until the expiration of 14 days from the beginning of the next session of the Legislative Assembly of the expiration of the term, whichever first happens.

 

(2A) If the place of a senator for a Territory other than the Northern Territory or the Australian Capital Territory becomes vacant before the expiration of his or her term of service, the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, sitting and voting together at a joint sitting convened by the Governor-General, shall choose a person to hold the place until the expiration of the term, but if the Parliament is not in session when the vacancy is notified, the Governor-General may appoint a person to hold the place until the expiration of 14 days from the beginning of the next session of the Parliament or the expiration of the term, whichever first happens.

 

(3) Where a vacancy has at any time occurred in the place of a senator chosen by the people of a Territory and, when chosen, the senator was publicly recognised by a particular political party as being an endorsed candidate of that party and publicly represented himself or herself to be such a candidate, a person chosen or appointed under this section in consequence of that vacancy, or in consequence of that vacancy and a subsequent vacancy or vacancies, shall, unless there is no member of that party available to be chosen or appointed, be a member of that party.

 

(4) Where:

(a) in accordance with subsection (3), a person who is a member o f a particular political party is chosen or appointed to hold the place of a senator whose place had become vacant; and

(b) before commencing to hold the place, the person ceases to be a member of that party (otherwise than by reason of the party having ceased to exist);

the person shall be deemed not to have been so chosen or appointed and the vacancy shall be again notifi ed in accordance with subsection

(5).