The ACT Director of Professionals Australia, David Smith, has been confirmed as the ACT’s new Labor Senator to replace Katy Gallagher, who was thrown out of the Senate by the High Court for being a British citizen at the time of the 2016 election.
At a hearing in Brisbane today, the High Court declared Senator-elect Smith, who was second on the Labor ticket in 2016, the winner of the special recount that was ordered.
The High Court found Ms Gallagher had not done enough to renounce her British citizenship in time, ruling that bureaucratic delays could not be used as an excuse.
The decision has sparked by-elections in four lower house seats held by Labor.
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Senator-elect Smith has rejected any suggestions that he would be keeping the seat warm for Ms Gallagher, with an election able to be called after August and due by the middle of next year.
“That’s not the way I approach it. I’ve got some very firm views about issues that need to be addressed and need to be addressed now,” he told The RiotACT after the High Court’s decision on May 9.