Tasmanian mayor Steve Martin says he will not step aside from a Senate position to allow Jacqui Lambie to re-enter federal politics.
On Tuesday, the High Court ruled he was eligible to take up the spot vacated by Ms Lambie, who resigned last year because she was a dual citizen.
It rejected arguments from One Nation candidate Kate McCulloch that the mayor’s position was an office of profit under the crown and his appointment would breach the constitution.
Ms Lambie told the media earlier this week she hoped Alderman Martin would resign the Senate seat, creating a casual vacancy she could take up.
Alderman Martin said he would not do that, but he would serve as a Jacqui Lambie Network (JLN) senator.
“My intention is to be sworn in, into the Senate, and then to get on with the job of representing Tasmania in the best interests of Tasmania and Tasmanians,” he said.
He said he sent a text message to Ms Lambie last night and congratulatory texts were sent back.
There was no request for him to move aside.
“No she hasn’t asked me to do that,” he said.
“I was asked by Jacqui Lambie to run for the JLN in the 2016 election under the umbrella of having candidates who were like-minded and were independent and that’s what I did.
“I worked hard for the JLN … and unfortunately there’s been a mistake made and it leaves me for a recount and then to be duly elected.”
Vying for six-year term
He will also seek to ensure he gets a full term in the Senate.
“The position that’s vacant was allocated a six-year term,” he said.
“I’ll certainly be seeking for that term to remain attached to that vacancy and will be questioning in regards to whether the Senate has that power to change it back because of the recount, and we’ll see how that clarification ends up.”
Alderman Martin listed several areas he will prioritise as a Senator.
“I go by my record as an interest in certainly health and preventative health, sport, education, long life learning and certainly literacy. I have background in those areas and I’m certainly going to be bringing them forward,” he said.
He said he intended to eventually resign as Devonport Mayor.
“When I get back to Tasmania, I’ll be talking to our general manager and Deputy Mayor on the way forward and working out what we can do in regards to perhaps avoiding a by-election,” he said.
“If I’m within six months to a local government election … we avoid the by-election and the cost of $50,000 to $60,000.”
Ms Lambie, who is about to release an autobiography, was contacted for comment.
The High Court has also cleared the way for Liberal Richard Colbeck to replace the former Senate president Stephen Parry.