I have congratulated Kerryn Phelps on her performance in the Wentworth by-election.
I do hope the final result will mean I will be welcoming another thoughtful independent to parliament.
If she wins she has pledged to judge issues on their merits and based on the evidence, as I have done since I became a Senator at the beginning of the year.
I agree with her and the AMA, as Ms Phelps said on Insiders this morning, that “the first order of business is to get the kids off Nauru with their families to Australia for urgent medical and psychological assessment.”
The plight of the unfortunate people who have been on Nauru and Manus Island for the past five years was clearly one of the reasons for the big swing against the government in Wentworth.
Ms Phelps also identified climate change and the independence of the ABC as issues which contributed to large numbers of voters deciding not to support the Liberals.
If the final result determines that she is the new Member for Wentworth I look forward to working with Ms Phelps on my amendment to the ABC Act to enhance the independence, integrity and transparency of the independent nomination process for appointing directors to the ABC Board.
In light of the message from voters in Wentworth, I urge the government not to proceed with any further appointments to the ABC Board until the Senate inquiry into the sacking of Michelle Guthrie and the resignation of Justin Milne is completed early next year.
I also urge the government to review its opposition to the National Energy Guarantee, which, while imperfect, is a practical way forward with the prospect of improving the reliability and affordability of our electricity system as well as meeting our international commitments on climate change.
For further information: Jim Middleton 0418 627066