COALITION GOVERNMENT NEEDS FIVE VOTES TO PASS LEGISLATION

COALITION GOVERNMENT NEEDS FIVE VOTES TO PASS LEGISLATION

Premier Gladys Berejiklian will need the support of a mix of minor parties with radically different world views to pass legislation through the NSW Legislative Council, with Animal Justice and One Nation taking the last two seats in counting just finished.

After a marathon counting session lasting a bit over three weeks, the NSW Electoral Commission conducted the final distribution of preferences for the Legislative Council today. We had known since the early days of counting that there was a close contest for the final four seats, with speculation that single-issue party Keep Sydney Open and former Federal Senator David Leyonhjelm’s Liberal Democrats looking like they could pick up one of the seats. A confident Leyonhjelm claimed victory, somewhat prematurely, two weeks ago. In the end though, neither were successful thanks to a high rate of exhausted votes.

The Numbers

The Coalition won a total of eight upper house seats this election, bringing its total to 17 seats. The government will require the support of five of the 11 crossbenchers to pass legislation. While they can possibly count on support from One Nation, the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, and the Christian Democrats on most bills, it will likely come at a cost with these groups in a powerful position to progress their own agenda.

The final results and makeup of the chamber is below.

What does it mean?

Notable newcomers include Labor’s Tara Moriarty, a union official from United Voice and member of Labor’s National Executive. On the Coalition side, Damien Tudehope makes his move to the upper house from the Legislative Assembly. Of course, the new face everyone is talking about is One Nation’s Mark Latham who will also be joined by One Nation’s number two candidate, retired NSW Police Detective Rod Roberts.

The full list of MLCs elected in 2019 is attached.

What does it mean?

With five crossbenchers to navigate in order to implement its agenda, we can expect to see the government relying less on legislation to govern and more on ministerial directives and changes to regulations. The Premier has already started to indicate this with comments at the weekend. This also means every piece of legislation is potentially a negotiation so engagement with the upper house will be critical for those seeking to influence legislation.

With five crossbenchers to navigate in order to implement its agenda, we can expect to see the government relying less on legislation to govern and more on ministerial directives and changes to regulations. The Premier has already started to indicate this with comments at the weekend. This also means every piece of legislation is potentially a negotiation so engagement with the upper house will be critical for those seeking to influence legislation.

Expect it to be an interesting four years! The government will need all the skills it has to ensure that its agenda gets through. This is an extra challenge given it is governing with a slim majority of just two votes in the Legislative Assembly.

This note was prepared by Newgate’s Sydney office. If you’d like to know more or have questions, please don’t hesitate to call us on (02) 9232 9500. 


No Comments

Post a Comment