Lambie's comments 'completely and utterly disgusting'
Comments by new Palmer United Senator Jacqui Lambie represent everything that's wrong with politics according to Liberal MP Wyatt Roy.PT5M1S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3bc1l 620 349 July 4, 2014
There is nothing special about Jacqui Lambie's Parliament House office. Next door to Greens senator Larissa Waters and opposite Labor's Deb O'Neill on the first floor of the Senate wing, it is the standard set of rooms for any MP.
But when the Palmer United Party senator sat down at her desk for the first time on Thursday, she beamed.
Jacqui Lambie on her first day at Parliament House as a senator. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
''Oh, this is pretty cool, isn't it?''
On a grey and gloomy day in Canberra, Lambie was wearing her trademark PUP-coloured scarf. Among other things, the canary yellow stands for love and happiness.
Lambie only plans to wear it for special occasions but was decidedly unawed by the Senate orientation session on Thursday morning, which included briefings about how Parliament works and how to find things.
''I've already heard it all,'' she told Fairfax Media during a break, noting that she already knew where the library was. Luckily, there were other things to keep her busy.
Surrounding by a scrum of cameras, Lambie did a radio interview rousing on Tony Abbott for creating a ''security issue'' by ''parading'' his daughters around and repeated her claim that the Prime Minister is a ''political psychopath''.
With a camera crew following the new senator around, her office was soon taken over for other TV interviews throughout the day.
The PUP senator, who spent ten years in the army, has come a long way since she was first elected in the sixth spot for Tasmania in September.
Lambie recalls how her knees used to shake while talking to the media. Now she says she thinks nothing of media appearances and says she would rather talk to journalists than avoid them (unlike some of her crossbench colleagues).
Clive Palmer has encouraged her to get on the front foot, she says.
Lambie, who insists that she is no PUP puppet, adds that she is not afraid to stand up to the member for Fairfax. ''I like to take Clive Palmer on. In a nice way,'' she said, conceding that it was often hard for her fellow senators Dio Wang and Glenn Lazarus to get a word in edgewise when the partyroom meets.
With the new Senate sitting on Monday, this weekend the PUP senate team will hole up in a room booked at the National Press Club to work through legislation.
The government wants the mining and carbon tax repeals passed by mid-July and key budget measures, including the higher education reforms, changes to pensions and unemployment benefits for young people hang in the balance.
Lambie, who was suited up for Thursday's orientation, said she would be in her ''daggies'' for the weekend work session.
Clutching a packet of Lemsip, she confessed that she had brought the ''Tasmanian Flu'' to Canberra. But the woman who now occupies one of the most high profile seats in the Senate is not scheduling a sick day.
''I don't see much sleep going on in the next 72 hours that's for sure.''