Wednesday, 29 Mar 2023

Jacqui Lambies instinct is to blow the IR debate up while David Pocock is all ears thats why he is the kingmaker

Jacqui Lambies instinct is to blow the IR debate up while David Pocock is all ears thats why he is the kingmaker


Jacqui Lambies instinct is to blow the IR debate up while David Pocock is all ears  thats why he is the kingmaker

When David Pocock and Jacqui Lambie found their way into the Senate's balance of power, Labor's chances of passing bills brightened.

Both have a reputation as pragmatists, but when it comes to navigating its complex industrial relations legislation through the Senate by winning one of their swing votes, the government is not spoiled for choice.

Lambie, quick to judge the bill as a union power-grab and still stroppy at Anthony Albanese for cutting crossbench staff, spent Friday warning about the bill's impact on grocery prices and hard-up small businesses.

The pathway for Labor's "secure jobs, better pay" bill has only ever realistically been the Greens and Pocock.

Earlier in the week, Pocock was asked whether he felt like a kingmaker. Sporting a big grin, the Australian Capital Territory independent replied matter of factly that the government needed one more vote (him). He may as well have said: "No I feel like the king."

Pocock is still working out what sort of senator he wants to be: the sort that transacts unrelated business, like when he suggested wiping the ACT's public housing debt could help win his vote; or one that sticks to improving the bill in front of them. One who gets bogged down in process arguments, as if it's inherently unfair for the government to ask for a vote after three sitting weeks, or one who votes on principle.

On Tuesday, Pocock seemed bemused when reporters wanted to know why he hadn't met the prime minister since July.

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