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Politics live: Jacqui Lambie resigns from Parliament over dual citizenship

Lambie says goodbye

In an emotional farewell, Tasmanian Jacqui Lambie has quit the Senate because she's a dual British citizen, paying tribute to her father.

Since it's going to be a busy day tomorrow I'm drawing a line under today. What happened?

  • preparations are being made for tomorrow morning's announcement of the result of the same-sex marriage survey;
  • if the result is 'yes' supporters of change have given notice they want their bill considered for debate on Thursday;
  • the bill was authored by Liberal Dean Smith and has cross party support;
  • Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull arrives back in Australia tonight so will be here to witness the result;
  • Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie has resigned after she confirmed her dual citizenship;
  • she is the eighth MP to be caught up in the citizenship brouhaha; and
  • former Labor NSW premier Kristina Keneally will contest the Sydney seat of Bennelong against government MP John Alexander.

My thanks to Andrew Meares and Alex Ellinghausen for their superb work and to you for reading and commenting.

You can follow me on Facebook.

Alex, Andrew and I will return in the morning - look for us about 8. Until then, go well.

Whether there is a 'yes' or a 'no' vote there will be a lot of argy bargy to come.

The final fortnight of Parliament should be a whopper.

Back on same-sex marriage for a moment.

If the result is 'yes' it is expected a group of crossbench senators will introduce Liberal senator Dean Smith's same-sex marriage bill into the Senate.

Formal notice has just been given to the Senate for the bill which is co-signed by senators Penny Wong, Louise Pratt, Linda Reynolds, Richard Di Natale, Janet Rice, Derryn Hinch, Jane Hume and Skye Kakoschke-Moore.

This means the bill could be debated on Thursday. James Paterson has not given notice of his bill.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said if there is a 'yes' vote same-sex marriage will be legal by Christmas. Expect to see a lot of delaying tactics from opponents but parliamentary procedure gurus tell me this is possible - so long as the government gives the bill priority.

The Senate has voted in favour of referring Communications Minister Mitch Fifield to the privileges committee over his dealings with Stephen Parry.

"It wasn't always pretty, but Lambie had what politicians are always trying to fake: authenticity."

My colleague Jacqueline Maley has written this piece about Jacqui Lambie.

Jacqui Lambie.
Jacqui Lambie. Photo: Andrew Meares
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If you haven't caught up with this news my dear friend and colleague Andrew Meares is leaving us later this week to pursue other adventures.

His last day will be Thursday. I know you have all enjoyed and respected his work as much as I have.

Feel free to send him a little note if you'd like [insert sad face emoji].

A reminder the result of the same-sex marriage postal survey will be announced tomorrow morning (I know - how could you forget?).

Andrew Meares, Alex Ellinghausen and I will be here from 8 am to tell you all about the result and the reaction to it.

Senator Dean Smith in Canberra on Tuesday.
Senator Dean Smith in Canberra on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

And that's it for Senate question time.

It's so neatly contained.

Senator Derryn Hinch would like to know which bill will be brought forward in the event of a 'yes' vote in tomorrow's marriage survey.

Senator Brandis says he does not want to preempt tomorrow's result but says the process has been an "outstanding success".

Senator Brandis says it is "a matter for the chamber".

Liberal senators Eric Abetz and Senator James Paterson in the Senate on Tuesday.
Liberal senators Eric Abetz and Senator James Paterson in the Senate on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Labor turns its attention to something that seems as if it happened last year - but was only last month.

That's the matter of Workplace Relations Minister Michaelia Cash and the staffer who tipped off the media about police raids on union offices.

Senator Cash says the committee looking into this murky affair will reconvene on December 8.

Senator Michaelia Cash in the Senate on Tuesday.
Senator Michaelia Cash in the Senate on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares
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Senator Brandis says Mr Parry did not behave inappropriately but acted "in good faith".

Senator Brandis says "there is no constitutional crisis, there is no political crisis"

Rather, what Australian politics is experiencing is the "unexpected effect of a decision of the High Court".

Labor is suggesting more ministers knew Mr Parry was in trouble - but failed to act on it earlier.

Senator Brandis says he knew the Monday after the High Court's citizenship decision. That's the day before the rest of us found out.

Attorney-General George Brandis in the Senate on Tuesday.
Attorney-General George Brandis in the Senate on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Labor senator Penny Wong begins with a question to Communications Minister Mitch Fifield about what he knew about the now former senator Stephen Parry's citizenship dilemma.

"The conversations were few in number and they were all verbal," Senator Fifield replies.

(I'd forgotten how different things are in the Senate. The questioner gets two follow ups to their original question. Despite this the whole session is over and done with much more quickly than in the other chamber, as its sniffily known in this neck of the woods.)

And now for something different let's go to question time in the Senate.

(Remember - only the Senate is sitting this week.)

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Mr Turnbull is not impressed by the bill put forward by Liberal senator James Paterson: "I think it would have virtually no prospect of getting through the Parliament." 

"If there is a 'yes' vote tomorrow, you will see Parliament at its best. And I'm sure you will all applaud the authenticity and the passion that will come into the different views."

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Manila on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Manila on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been holding a press conference in Manila.

He says the turnout for the same-sex marriage survey has been "amazing" and "extraordinary".

Mr Turnbull says assuming the 'yes' vote has won, then a private member's bill will be introduced into Parliament and MPs are free move to whatever amendments they like.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull leaves a press conference in Manila on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull leaves a press conference in Manila on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

"The Senate is a better place, a much richer place, for you having served amongst us," Senator Brandis says.

Senator Brandis thanks Senator Lambie for her service.

"And, may I say, love," Senator Brandis says of the affection in the chamber for Jacqui Lambie.

He says passion is a word used too loosely in politics but it is very apt to describe Senator Lambie's prosecution of her causes.

Jacqui Lambie is embraced by senator Derryn Hinch.
Jacqui Lambie is embraced by senator Derryn Hinch. Photo: Andrew Meares

There is a very long line of senators waiting to give Senator Lambie a hug - including Attorney-General George Brandis, Labor senators Penny Wong and Sam Dastyari and One Nation leader Pauline Hanson.

Senator Jacqui Lambie in the Senate on Tuesday.
Senator Jacqui Lambie in the Senate on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares
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