Jacqui Lambie continues to live up to her fiery reputation, using her first question in parliament to blast the coalition over its economic “incompetence” in Tasmania.
The Palmer United Party senator on Tuesday threw the Abbott government a curly one during question time, demanding they provide $5 billion to her struggling home state.
It was a tough one for Government Senate Leader and fellow Tasmanian Eric Abetz to handle diplomatically given the government needs the three PUP senators to pass its legislative agenda.
He politely informed Senator Lambie that Tasmania’s economic woes were the result of Labor’s poor policy decisions and the coalition government could not afford an extra $5 billion at this time.
Senator Lambie was not impressed, and went for the jugular the second time around.
“Can the senator explain why the poor, sick, needy, and unemployed of other countries are more important to him than those in his own home state,” she asked.
Labor relished the moment, jibing Senator Abetz as he tried to placate the PUP senator a second time.
But his response fell on deaf ears, with Senator Lambie yelling “spare me spare me!” as he waved about the government’s economic plan for Tasmania.
The PUP newcomer overstepped the mark on her third question, going beyond her allocated time.
But Senate president Stephen Parry agreed she could finish it off with the caveat that leniency would not be extended next time.
The former military police officer only started her Senate term a week ago, but she’s already created waves with attacks on the government and Prime Minister Tony Abbott in particular.
She’s since met with Mr Abbott, whom she described as a “political psychopath” and someone more willing to put his own career ahead of his daughters’ safety by “parading” them around during the election.