INDEPENDENT senator Rod Culleton has lost his spot in the Senate after he was declared bankrupt by a Federal Court judge.
Senate president Stephen Parry has informed Mr Culleton and WA Governor Kerry Sanderson that there is a vacancy because the former One Nation member has been disqualified from the position as he is an "undischarged bankrupt". Senator Parry also advised party leaders and independent senators of the development.
If a casual vacancy is declared because of Rod Culleton's disqualification I have already chosen a great person to replace him in the Senate— Pauline Hanson (@PaulineHansonOz) January 11, 2017
"It is a necessary and automatic consequence of the declaration of bankruptcy of a serving senator, that his place as a senator becomes vacant," Senator Parry said.
Mr Culleton has repeatedly denied he is bankrupt and, through his adviser, declined to comment to AAP on Wednesday.
Senator Parry said it didn't mean the end of the matter because the Senate had referred to the High Court, which is sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, questions about whether Mr Culleton was eligible to be selected as a senator. "It will be necessary for the Court of Disputed Returns to deliver its answers to the referred questions before it will become apparent how the vacancy may be filled," he said.
It will be reported to the Senate when it meets on February 7. Mr Culleton was elected in the July federal election as a representative of Pauline Hanson's One Nation but resigned in December from the party. He was involved in a scuffle earlier this month with Anthony Fels, a former state Liberal MP and now a member of One Nation, outside the Perth Magistrates Court while appearing in court over a restraining order taken out against two men.Mr Culleton fell heavily when Mr Fels tried to serve him with some documents and claimed he had been attacked.
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