Barnaby Joyce Calls for Senate to Represent All Australians
Member for the New England, Barnaby Joyce has called for Australia to recalibrate the Australian Federal Senate to represent all Australians.
Speaking on the 2TM Breakfast Show this morning, the MP hit out at the Senate’s current lack of regional representation.
“Australia is in a very peculiar place, we have 12 senators per state but the vast, vast majority now live in the capital cities.” Joyce said.
“In New South Wales we have eleven senators from Sydney and Wollongong and only one outside.”
Mr Joyce went on identify a similar pattern with all of the Australian States.
Of the 48 Senators from New South Wales, Western Australia, Victoria and South Australia only four come from an area outside of the respected capital city.
The Former Deputy Prime Minister says the lack of regional representation is taking a toll when it comes to gaining funding or new infrastructure.
“Senators are supposed to represent the geographic spread of Australia and the lower house members represent the population, it’s about 100,000 voters in NSW per seat." Joyce said.
“What we’ve got now, Sydney’s got the vast majority of the lower house seats and all of the senators.
“So when they’re fighting for a new tunnel or investment guess where all of the representation is?
“It’s in Sydney.”
Mr Joyce says the country needs to change its allocation of Senators, a move which he thinks could also do wonders for indigenous representation in parliament.
“They should be allocated to regions, so within each state we have six regions with two senators per region." Joyce said.
“This would allow Northern New South Wales to have two senators.
“It would also allow a greater capacity for indigenous areas such as the Kimberly in Western Australia or the Cape in Queensland, to actually provide to our nation with indigenous senators.”