POLITICS

Day Is Done And He Wants To Take As Many As He Can With Him

The former senator has been accused of breaching the Constitution and he's looking for other cases.

02/11/2016 11:50 AM AEDT | Updated 02/11/2016 12:10 PM AEDT
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Alex Ellinghausen, Fairfax
Former Family First Senator Bob Day is "looking forward to the High Court resolving the matter".

CANBERRA -- Bob Day's departure from the Senate, and now his existence in the Senate since the July election, has mess written all over it.

Now the man who has presided over the collapse of a housing business empire is going out fighting.

The former Senator -- in a cloud over whether his pecuniary interests have breached the Australian Constitution -- has called on all other MPs and Senators to disclose whether they have any financial interests with the Commonwealth.

Trying to work it all out? HuffPost Australia has a great explainer here.

Basically, Day is done and he's trying to take as many as he can with him.

In the statement, Day calls on "all MPs and Senators to immediately disclose whether they have any financial interest in any property or company, lease or agreement of any kind with the Commonwealth".

"This includes Defence Service Housing, loans to or from companies that do business with the Commonwealth," he wrote.

That's seeking out other possible breaches of Section 44 of the Australian Constitution -- the section Day may have breached by the Government renting office space on behalf of the then Senator, whose company actually owned the premises.

Although Day has sold the building, the Government believes he still retains a financial "interest" in the company which owns it.

What is Section 44?

Section 44 of the Constitution sets out restrictions on who can be a candidate for Federal parliament.

It lists a number of ways a senator may be disqualified, including whether they have allegiance to a foreign power, whether they are a traitor or have been convicted of a crime.

The last clause of the section - whether they are connected to an office for profit – is murky and has not been tested.

It reads:

Section 44 (v.) Has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth otherwise than as a member and in common with the other members of an incorporated company consisting of more than twenty-five persons.

The Bob Day matter will be tested in the High Court next week and the result could change the composition of the Senate, but not before federal parliament resumes next week.

Day is "looking forward to the High Court resolving the matter".

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