Jacqui Lambie
Women in Federal Parliament

Jacqui Lambie

Senator for Tasmania

JLN, 2014–2017

Jacqui Lambie at the war memorial at Ulverstone, Tasmania.

Image courtesy of James Brewer.

Jacqui Lambie was elected to the Senate in 2014 wanting ‘a fair go for all Tasmanians and Australians’. A member of the Palmer United Party, she quit the party after four months to sit as an independent and later formed the Jacqui Lambie Network.

An ex-soldier, Lambie was outspoken about the treatment of veterans and pushed for the Senate inquiry into high suicide rates among former Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel. She introduced a bill to give veterans free health care and championed pay increases for the ADF.

Lambie said she ‘worked hard to be a voice for those who don’t often get much of a voice in this chamber’. As well as veterans, this included welfare recipients, pensioners and ‘struggling families’. She was critical of social security cuts, recalling her experience as a single parent when ‘my fridge broke and for three weeks we lived out of an esky’ and telling the government, ‘you have no idea how bloody tough it is’.

Lambie didn’t shy from controversy, calling for a ban on full face coverings in public, including the burqa, if the terrorism threat level reached probable. She was candid about her son’s drug problem and wanted parents to have the right to place their ice-addicted children in involuntary medical detox treatment.

Lambie resigned from the Senate on learning she held dual citizenship and was therefore ineligible to sit in Parliament.