POLITICS

The Election Of One Nation Senator Rod Culleton To Be Referred To The High Court

The Turnbull Government move follows a similar referral of Bob Day

02/11/2016 2:55 PM AEDT | Updated 02/11/2016 9:08 PM AEDT
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Alex Ellinghausen, Fairfax
The election of One Nation Senator Rod Culleton could be declared invalid by the High Court

CANBERRA -- That decision to hold a double dissolution election on July 2 sure continues to throw out some wild results.

Bob Day has been joined in having his time in the Senate investigated for a breach of the Constitution by One Nation senator Rod Culleton.

A short time ago, Attorney-General George Brandis confirmed the government wants the election of the West Australian Senator referred to the High Court with a question mark over his eligibility for election at the time of the July 2 poll date.

As per process, a Senate referral will be initiated on November 7 to the highest court in the land.

"The President of the Senate has written to me today to advise that he proposes to bring the matter to the attention of the Senate when it sits on 7 November 2016," Brandis said in a statement.

"At that time, the Government will initiate a referral of the matter to the High Court pursuant to section 376 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act."

The Attorney-General said he sought advice from the Solicitor-General on Culleton's election on October 13.

Brandis said he received the advice on October 28 and wrote to the Senate President Stephen Parry on Saturday about the matter.

Senator Culleton also has the legal advice.

The referral relates to a larceny conviction, which Culleton had at the election but has since been annulled.

This year Culleton pleaded guilty to the charge which involved him stealing a key from a tow truck driver in Guyra, in northern NSW in 2014.

Brandis confirmed: "Senator Culleton had been convicted of an offence punishable by a sentence of imprisonment for one year or longer, and was therefore "incapable of being chosen" as a Senator under section 44(ii) of the Constitution."

The office of One Nation Leader Pauline Hanson has been contacted for comment.

Addressing media in Perth on Wednesday afternoon, Culleton said he has no plans to seek legal advice and is waiting to hear further from the Attorney-General's office.

He also said he is "not sure he is going to take part in any High Court jurisdiction" -- then later said he would consider representing himself.

"There's a very dark cloud hanging over the High Court at the moment," Culleton said.

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