Federal Election 2016: Who's who in the zoo: Meet the new Senate crossbenchers

One of Malcolm Turnbull's key reasons for calling a double dissolution election was to clean out the crossbench for a more functional Senate. The result is anything but.

At this stage, it looks like there will be just as many, if not more, crossbench Senators in the 45th Parliament, possibly making it even harder for whoever forms government to get legislation through the Upper House.

So who are the new Senators-elect we know so far, and what do they stand for?

Jacqui Lambie Network

Jacqui Lambie

The firebrand Senator first won her spot in the Senate in 2013 as part of the Palmer United party, but her relationship with Clive Palmer quickly disintegrated. She left Palmer United late in 2014 and struck out on her own as an Independent.

Senator Lambie's views can't be easily characterised. She takes a conservative stance on national security issues, but she's become increasingly hostile to the Coalition's economic agenda, heaping praise on Labor's plans for a Royal Commission into the banks.

And by her own assessment she's closest to the Greens on several issues - recently saying "they care about the veterans, they care about aged care, they care about pensioners out there that aren't getting enough money."

Senator Lambie is unlikely to back many of the Government's signature measures in the Senate. She was critical of the Coalition's bill to re-establish the Australian Building and Construction Commission, saying the legislation "had been drafted by a room full of monkeys on a typewriter." She's also campaigned against the Coalition's proposed changes to superannuation. Senator Lambie has not said if she would back the Coalition's plan to cut the company tax rate but has previously criticised tax cuts for big businesses, accusing the Liberal party of pandering to the "big end of town."

One Nation

Pauline Hanson

 If at first you don't succeed, try and try again. Well, that seems to ring true for Pauline Hanson.

Eighteen years after she lost the Queensland seat of Oxley, the right-wing, anti-immigration campaigner is back in Federal Parliament.

After serving one term in Parliament, the former fish and chip shop owner has been parodied and pilloried, sent to prison for electoral fraud and written off countless times by the political class.

Now, she's on track on win up to four Senate seats.

Her party's policies are to stop all further Muslim immigration, including the intake of refugees; ban the burqa and any other full face coverings in public places; hold an inquiry or Royal Commission into Islam to "determine if it is a religion or political ideology" and install surveillance cameras inside mosques and Muslim schools.

The party also wants to introduce a National Identity Card for Australians who access taxpayer funded services and revoke any free trade agreements that are not in Australia's interests.

Justice Party

Derryn Hinch

 The veteran broadcaster will be a political neophyte in the Senate, making it difficult to predict exactly how he'll vote on some issues.

Mr Hinch - who previously served time in jail for breaching court suppression orders and publishing details about murderers and sex offenders - has vowed to push for a national public register listing convicted paedophiles.

He could be more receptive to the Coalition's agenda than some of his fellow crossbenchers. He's told the Australian newspaper he supports the Coalition's policy to cut the company tax rate "in principle" – although he wants to see the detail of the legislation.

But he's more sceptical about the Coalition's plan to re-establish the building industry watchdog, the Australian Building and Construction Commission. He's also raised some concerns about the Coalition's proposed changes to superannuation.

Nick Xenophon Team

Nick Xenophon

The X-Factor is strong in South Australia, and it's likely popular Senator Nick Xenophon will be returned to Capital Hill with two bench buddies – his campaign manager Stirling Griff and staffer Sky Kakoschke-Moore.

Senator Xenophon is no stranger to the national spotlight, but his field of candidates across the House of Representatives and Senate were widely criticised for being unknown entities, riding on the coattails of a man who has successfully campaigned that neither the Liberal party of Labor have the interests of South Australia at heart.

His previous attempts to expand his political posse have not ended well. While a member of the SA upper house, Anne Bressington was elected on his ticket only for the pair to later experience a bitter split.

NXT has campaigned on a pro-manufacturing platform, taking somewhat of a protectionist stance on the issue of the local steel industry after the downfall of Arrium in the South Australian city of Whyalla.

Senator Xenophon has long called for greater accountability in government and better water security in the Murray Darling basin – particularly for downstream communities in his home state.


Nick Xenophon Team

Stirling Griff

 Stirling Griff has spent many years working with Senator Xenophon as his campaign manager, and only narrowly missed out on being elected on his ticket at the 2013 election.

A former banker, marketing executive and chief executive of the Retail Traders Association (now the Australian Retailers Association), Mr Griff was the key target of Labor attacks on the NXT over penalty rates.

He was asked if he would support Coalition legislation to scrap penalty rates for small businesses, and he replied he would consider it.

Nick Xenophon Team

Skye Kakoschke-Moore

 Skye Kokoschke-Moore started working for Nick Xenophon in 2010 as an electorate officer and eventually became him legislation and policy advisor. The law and economics graduate was born in Darwin, moved to Oman with her family as a child and settled in Adelaide in 2005.

According to her biography, she travelled extensively throughout the Middle East which has sparked her interest in the role governments play in shaping people's lives. She also has a strong interest in migration policy having worked for the Australian Refugee Association while studying at university.

Ms Kokoschke-Moore is probably the least well known of the Nick Xenophon candidates.

 Source: ABC News

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