Jacqui Lambie

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Jacqui Lambie
Senator Jacqui Lambie 2015.jpg
Leader of the Jacqui Lambie Network
Assumed office
14 May 2015
Deputy Rob Messenger
Preceded by Party created
Deputy Leader of the Palmer United Party in the Senate
In office
1 July 2014 – 19 November 2014[1]
Leader Glenn Lazarus
Preceded by Office established
Succeeded by Office abolished
Whip of the Palmer United Party
in the Senate
In office
1 July 2014 – 19 November 2014[1]
Leader Glenn Lazarus
Preceded by Office established
Succeeded by Office abolished
Leader of the Palmer United Party
in Tasmania
In office
25 August 2013 – 13 March 2014[2]
Preceded by Office established
Succeeded by Kevin Morgan[2]
Senator for Tasmania
In office
1 July 2014 – 14 November 2017
Succeeded by Steve Martin
Personal details
Born Jacquiline Louise Lambie
(1971-02-26) 26 February 1971 (age 47)
Ulverstone, Tasmania, Australia
Political party Jacqui Lambie Network
Other political
Liberal (2011–2012)
Independent (2012–13; 2014–15)
Palmer United (2013–14)
John Milverton
(m. 1992; div. 2000)
Children 2
Residence Burnie, Tasmania
Education Devonport High School
Occupation Military policewoman
(Australian Army)
Profession Soldier
Website senatorlambie.com.au
Military service
Allegiance Commonwealth of Australia
Service/branch Australian Army
Years of service 1989–2000
Rank Corporal
Unit Transport Corps (1990–1995)
Military Police (1995–2000)
Battles/wars 1999 East Timorese crisis

Jacquiline Louise Lambie[3] (born 26 February 1971) is an Australian politician who is the leader and founder of the Jacqui Lambie Network (JLN). She served as a Senator for Tasmania from 2014 to 2017. First elected as a member of the Palmer United Party (PUP), she received national prominence for her intense grassroots campaign and subsequently her display of aggressive and vociferous parliamentary behaviour, championing issues concerning foreign affairs, veterans' affairs, youth unemployment and the criticism of Islam. After persistent internal divisions, Lambie resigned from the PUP and sat as an independent before forming her own political party.

Lambie attended Devonport High School before joining the Australian Army in 1989. After basic training, she was assigned to the Royal Australian Corps of Transport in 1990 where she oversaw the transport and distribution of military supply. She remained with the Transport Corps for five years before being transferred to the Royal Australian Corps of Military Police, where she worked for another five years, achieving the rank of Corporal. Towards the conclusion of her military service, Lambie sustained a back injury during a field exercise, resulting in long-term detriments to her spine, and began receiving a military pension from the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA). She later applied for additional compensation on the grounds of claiming to suffer from depression, caused by her back pain. Following a private investigation, Lambie was accused of being a malingerer, and her pension was cancelled, prompting her to begin a six-year legal dispute with the DVA, beginning in 2000.

Attempting to seek Liberal preselection after joining the party in 2011, and previously working as a staff member of Labor senator Nick Sherry, Lambie joined the Palmer United Party (PUP), led by Australian billionaire Clive Palmer. She was elected to the Senate at the 2013 federal election.[4] Her term began in July 2014. In November 2014, Lambie resigned from the Palmer United Party to sit in the Senate as an independent.[5]

In May 2015, Lambie formed the Jacqui Lambie Network political party with herself leader. She was elected to a six-year term in her own right at the 2016 federal election (a double dissolution). In November 2017, she was revealed to hold British dual citizenship, inherited from her Scottish-born father. As part of the parliamentary eligibility crisis, she announced her resignation on 14 November 2017. After a recount, she was expected to be replaced by Devonport Mayor Steve Martin, who had been second on the JLN ticket in the 2016 federal election. He survived a challenge to his own eligibility, on a different constitutional ground, but refused to step down so as to create a casual Senate vacancy to which Lambie could be appointed. She expelled him from the party for disloyalty.[6]

Early life[edit]

Lambie was born in the town of Ulverstone in north-western Tasmania. Her parents separated when she was 13, and she was raised in a public housing estate in Devonport, attending Devonport High School until she left at Year 11. She took a year off before deciding to apply to join the army, but fell pregnant shortly before her enlistment, with her first child, Brentyn.[7]

Military career, 1989–2000[edit]

Australian Army (1989–2000)[edit]

Lambie enlisted in the Australian Army in 1989,[8] where she served for over ten years, first in the transport corps, and subsequently as a military policewoman.[9] She achieved the rank of corporal.

During a field exercise in July 1997, Lambie suffered injuries that resulted in severe back pain. After physical therapy and medical interventions, she was unable to regain operational fitness and was discharged for medical reasons (thoracic pain) in 2000.[7] She has since been an advocate for veterans with the Returned and Services League of Australia and involved in fund raising with the Burnie Chamber of Commerce, the Country Women's Association and Rotary.[9]

Dispute with the Department of Veterans' Affairs (2000–2006)[edit]

The Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) initially rejected her application for compensation, but subsequently approved it and put her on a military disability pension. She later applied for compensation for depression related to her back pain, which was also initially rejected. The DVA hired a private investigation firm to conduct five hours of surveillance on her activities within her home.[7] On the basis of this surveillance, the department concluded that she was a malingerer, cancelling her military pension and coverage of her medical care.[10]

Lambie fought the department's conclusion for five years, during which time she was accepted for a Centrelink disability pension. In 2006, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal was about to rule on whether the video evidence was admissible in her case when DVA abandoned its use of the video and accepted that Lambie was entitled to compensation. The tribunal's deputy president, Justice Christopher Wright, concluded that "it is likely that even greater improvement would have been achieved a long time ago if her medical treatments, which were initially funded by the respondent, had not been terminated in 2001".[7]

Political career, 2008–2017[edit]

Early political career (2008–2012)[edit]

Lambie's political involvement began in 2008 when she began working for Tasmanian Labor senator Nick Sherry.[11]

In November 2011, she joined the Liberal Party of Australia and later decided to run for preselection for the Division of Braddon. However she subsequently left the Liberal Party, saying that the Liberals are a "boys' club", and she joined to "infiltrate" them to see what she could learn about politics.

In 2012, Lambie sold her house to help fund her run as an independent,[7] before turning to the newly formed Palmer United Party founded by billionaire Clive Palmer – as she said "I just didn't have the money like the big players did for advertising."[12]

Senate (2013–2017)[edit]

Lambie (back row; middle) attending the unveiling ceremony for memorial wall and the Corporal Cameron Baird plinth in Burnie, Tasmania.

In the 2013 federal election, Lambie won Tasmania's sixth Senate seat as a candidate for the Palmer United Party, receiving 6.58% of first preference votes.[13] She has credited the final result of her win to "the big man upstairs" – referring not to Palmer, but to God: "Once it gets to that point, it's up to God upstairs. There's not much else I can do about it."[14]

On 24 November 2014, Senator Lambie resigned from the Palmer United Party, announcing that she would remain in the Senate as an independent.[15] Lambie's resignation followed several weeks of disagreements with party leader Clive Palmer.[16]

She was re-elected to the Senate in the Australian federal election, 2016.

On 14 November 2017, Lambie announced her resignation from the Senate, after revealing she held dual British-Australian citizenship, prohibited under Section 44 of the Australian Constitution.[17]

In 2018, it was announced that the High Court ruled that Devonport Mayor Steve Martin would replace Lambie as Senator of Tasmania.[18]

Jacqui Lambie Network (2015–present)[edit]

In April 2015 Lambie applied to register a political party called the Jacqui Lambie Network.[19]

In May 2015 the party was registered with the Australian Electoral Commission, with Lambie as its leader. The party plans to run candidates in federal and state elections, in all houses.

In November 2017 Lambie stated in her resignation that she wishes to return to federal politics, and that if Justine Keay is forced to resign from her seat of Braddon over her citizenship status, that she would consider running.[20]

Political views[edit]

Same-sex marriage[edit]

She has stated that she opposes same-sex marriage in Australia for religious reasons.[12] As of August 2016, she supports a parliamentary vote or a referendum.[21]

Foreign policy[edit]

In August 2014, she expressed her belief that China could invade Australia: "If anybody thinks that we should have a national security and defence policy, which ignores the threat of a Chinese Communist invasion – you're delusional and got rocks in your head ... The Communist Chinese military capacity and level of threat to the western world democracies is at an unprecedented and historical high."[22] Her comments incurred a rebuke from the Premier of Tasmania Will Hodgman. She later added Indonesia as a potential military threat.[23]

In October 2015 she declared her opposition to the China–Australia Free Trade Agreement, saying she considers the Chinese government to be "push[ing] totalitarian ideologies", "anti-democratic" and "a bully, thief, liar and international human rights abuser".[24]

In October 2014, Lambie stated in a radio interview with ABC Radio National that she liked Vladimir Putin, saying: "I think he has very strong leadership. He has great values. He's certainly doing his bit to stamp out terrorism and I guess you've got to pay the man for that."[25]

In October 2016, she called for a pre-emptive pardon for any defence personnel accused of war crimes against the Taliban or Islamic State, on the grounds that Taliban and Islamic State fighters were not entitled to the protection of the rules of war or international human rights because of their "subhuman behaviour and vile, disgusting culture and ideology".[26]

Islam, Burqa ban and Sharia law[edit]

In September 2014, Lambie announced plans to introduce a private member's bill aimed at banning the burqa in Australia. However, constitutional expert Professor George Williams described the law as "unworkable, it would frankly be a bit silly".[27] She also attacked supporters of Islamic sharia law, describing them as "maniacs and depraved humans" who will not stop committing "cold-blooded butchery and rapes until every woman in Australia wears a burka". However, when asked to explain her understanding of sharia law in an interview, she was unable to and instead said "it obviously involves terrorism". According to ABC political reporter Andrew Greene, some commentators described the interview as a "train wreck".[28] In February 2017, she introduced a private member's bill which would amend the Criminal Code Act 1995 to make it illegal to wear full face coverings in public places when a terrorism threat declaration is in force, unless it was necessary for certain purposes.[29]

In January 2017, she said that Australia should follow Donald Trump's lead in his order to restrict entry of citizens of certain Muslim-majority countries to the USA. She called for deporting from Australia all Muslims who supported Sharia law, as well as deporting everyone on the ASIO terror watch list, or at least charging them with treason or sedition.[30]

Support for the death penalty[edit]

In February 2015, Lambie called for the reintroduction of the death penalty for Australian citizens who leave the country to become foreign fighters.[31]

National service[edit]

Lambie has made comments suggesting her support for potential reintroduction of national service, stating "It's time to teach [our youth] some respect, loyalty and honour."[12]

The Greens[edit]

In October 2013 she criticised the Australian Greens, accusing them of having "destroyed all hope in Tasmania" and saying that the party should be subject to a Senate inquiry over the state's high unemployment rate.[32] In July 2015 she likened The Greens to Islamic State in that "both those groups would like us to go back and live in the dark ages ... They'd like us to go live back in caves with candles and eat tofu."[33]

Tony Abbott[edit]

In June 2014 Lambie referred to the then Prime Minister Tony Abbott as a "bare-faced, uncaring liar".[34]

Raising alleged abuse within the army[edit]

In February 2016, Lambie raised the matter of former soldiers who claim to have suffered abuse,[35] calling for an inquiry into cover-ups and Lieutenant General David Morrison's involvement.[36]

Personal life[edit]

Lambie is single, with two children. She gave birth to her first son Brentyn at age 18 in 1989, the product of her relationship with a high school boyfriend, after her enlistment for the Army. She met John Milverton while working in the Royal Australian Corps of Transport. They began a de facto marriage, where Milverton formally adopted Brentyn, and also went on to have another son, Dylan, born in 1992. Milverton and Lambie split shortly before her discharge from the Army in 2000.

Lambie lives in the city of Burnie, on the North Coast of Tasmania.[7] She has jokingly described her perfect man as having "heaps of cash" and "a package between their legs". Her comments were met with much ire,[37][38] and she later declared it to be her most embarrassing moment.[39]

In her first speech to Parliament in 2014, Lambie stated that, through her mother's family, she shares "blood, culture, and history" with Aboriginal Australians, as a descendant of Mannalargenna, an Aboriginal Tasmanian leader.[40] Her claims of Indigenous descent have been questioned by several sources including Australian Story, the Tasmanian Pioneer Index, and community elder and Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania chairman Clyde Mansell.[41][42] However, another Tasmanian elder, Roy Maynard, said that "she's identified as Aboriginal, she’s got that right as far as I’m concerned", and criticised Mansell for doubting her claims.[43] The Parliamentary Library of Australia includes Lambie on its list of Indigenous parliamentarians.[44]

In 2014, she described herself as "Catholic; I'm religious" — citing it as a reason for rejecting an invitation to visit a Sydney mosque.[45]

In August 2015, she went public with her 21-year-old son's battle with methamphetamine.[46][47] She has also revealed that she was addicted to pain medication, spent months in a psychiatric ward and attempted suicide once.[48]

Lambie revealed in 2018 that she and former senator Nick Xenophon had gone on a date. A relationship did not materialise because she thought he was a "cheapskate" for taking her to KFC.[49] Xenophon denied this dinner was a date, saying, "[i]t wasn't a date" and that they went to KFC because it was late at night.[49]


  1. ^ a b "Former Senator Jacqui Lambie – Parliament of Australia". Aph.gov.au. Retrieved 2018-07-21.
  2. ^ a b Palmer United Party (2014-03-13). "Kevin Morgan, Tasmanian state leader of Palmer United Party. - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Abc.net.au. Retrieved 2018-07-21.
  3. ^ http://www.gazette.tas.gov.au/editions/2014/february_2014/21408_-_Special_19_Februay_2014_.pdf
  4. ^ "Palmer United Party candidate Jacqui Lambie claims last Tasmanian Senate spot". ABC News. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  5. ^ "Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie quits PUP to become independent". ABC News. 24 November 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  6. ^ Maloney, Matt (8 February 2018). "Jacqui Lambie expels senator Steve Martin from party for denying her return to Parliament". Sydney Morning Herald.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "The underdog bites back". The Sydney Morning Herald. 19 April 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  8. ^ "Lambie and Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission [2006] AATA 354 (13 April 2006)". AustLII. 19 April 2006. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Meet Tasmania's (likely) Senator Jacqui Lambie". Tasmanian Times. 8 September 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  10. ^ Daley, Paul (27 June 2016). "Jacqui Lambie on home turf: 'I reckon I can do 20 more years'". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  11. ^ "Everything you need to know about Senator Jacqui Lambie, the most talked about new senator". News.com.au. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  12. ^ a b c "Is this your new PUP balance-of-power Senate warrior?". Crikey.com.au. 9 September 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  13. ^ Australian Electoral Commission (9 October 2013). "Senate State First Preferences By Candidate". Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  14. ^ "Jacqui Lambie celebrates Senate win, switches to Palmer line on carbon tax". The Sydney Morning Herald. 25 September 2013.
  15. ^ "Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie quits PUP to become independent". ABC News. 24 November 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  16. ^ "Lambie PUP row to dominate Senate week". SBS News. 23 November 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  17. ^ "Jacqui Lambie bids tearful farewell to Senate after shock British citizenship finding forces her out". ABC News. 14 November 2017.
  18. ^ "High Court finds Steve Martin 'duly elected' as Jacqui Lambie's replacement - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Abc.net.au. 2018-02-09. Retrieved 2018-07-21.
  19. ^ "Jacqui Lambie Network: Tasmanian senator registers new political party". ABC News. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  20. ^ "'I'm Scottish': Gutted Lambie quits Senate in latest citizenship shock". ABC News. 2017-11-14. Retrieved 2017-11-14.
  21. ^ ABC's Q&A TV Program
  22. ^ "Lambie warns of Chinese invasion threat". SBS. 19 August 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  23. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20140822011411/https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/24764944/tasmanian-premier-state-officials-condemn-jacqui-lambies-comments-warning-of-chinese-invasion/. Archived from the original on 22 August 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ Jacqui Lambie (2015-10-09). "China Free Trade, opinion". The Advocate.
  25. ^ "Jacqui Lambie says Vladimir Putin has 'great values', labels Tony Abbott's 'shirtfront' comment 'immature'". ABC News. ABC. 14 October 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
  26. ^ Andrew Greene (2016-10-19). "Jacqui Lambie demands pre-emptive pardons for Australians accused of war crimes". ABC News.
  27. ^ Bourke, Latika (29 September 2014). "Jacqui Lambie's attempt to ban the burqa could be unconstitutional, say legal experts". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 18 December 2015. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  28. ^ Greg Jennett (23 September 2014). "Jacqui Lambie says sharia supporters are 'maniacs' who will rape and murder 'until every woman in Australia wears a burka'". ABC. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  29. ^ "Criminal Code Amendment (Prohibition of Full Face Coverings in Public Places) Bill 2017". Parliament of Australia. 2017-02-08.
  30. ^ Matt Maloney (2017-01-30). "Jacqui Lambie calls on Australia to follow Trump's lead on immigration". The Advocate.
  31. ^ Anderson, Stephanie. "Bring back death penalty, Lambie says". SBS News. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  32. ^ "Palmer United Party wants inquiry into Tasmanian Greens". The Age. 30 October 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
  33. ^ "Jacqui Lambie likens Greens to Islamic State, saying both 'would like us to go back to the dark ages'". ABC News. 2015-07-03.
  34. ^ "Peta Credlin works for liar: PUP". The Australian. 5 June 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2014. (Subscription required.)
  35. ^ Coletta, Frank (3 February 2016). "'Bound, bagged and sexually abused': Ex-SAS soldier claims he was tortured during training and senior officers – including new Australian of the Year – did nothing". Daily Mail. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  36. ^ Wroe, David (3 February 2016). "Jacqui Lambie calls on David Morrison to resign over military abuse cases". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  37. ^ "Senator Jacqui Lambie apologises for describing her ideal man as 'well-hung' in radio interview". ABC. 23 July 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  38. ^ Michael Safi (22 July 2014). "Australian MP Jacqui Lambie sizes up male suitor on morning radio". theguardian. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  39. ^ "10 Questions Jacqui Lambie". The Advocate. 2015-06-14.
  40. ^ (5 September 2014). "Jacqui Lambie talks about Indigenous heritage" – SBS. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  41. ^ Helen Grasswill (11 Sep 2014). "Jacqui Lambie's Indigenous heritage claims surprise members of Tasmania's Aboriginal community". Australian Story. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  42. ^ Biwa Kwan (9 Sep 2014). "Lambie threatens legal action in Aboriginal ancestry row". SBS. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  43. ^ Rosie Lewis (9 Sep 2014). "Aboriginal elder Uncle Roy Maynard defends Jacqui Lambie over indigenous claims". THE AUSTRALIAN. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  44. ^ Indigenous parliamentarians, federal and state: a quick guide, Parliament of Australia. Accessed 23 December 2017.
  45. ^ Stephanie Anderson (22 October 2014). "Not my moral upbringing: Jacqui Lambie refuses mosque visit". SBS. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  46. ^ "Jacqui Lambie's son 'angry' the senator went public with his ice addiction". AAP. 11 August 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  47. ^ Shalailah Medhora (10 August 2015). "Jacqui Lambie reveals 21-year-old son's ice addiction during welfare debate". Guardian. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  48. ^ JENNIFER CRAWLEY (11 January 2014). "Addiction made my life hell, says Palmer United Party senator-elect Jacqui Lambie". Mercury. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  49. ^ a b http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/national/jacqui-lambie-opens-up-on-life-after-parliament-job-prospects-and-being-single/news-story/ae52ae38c2c7d9808b0f63ff18a9e844

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