While it’s a concern dismissed by some as parochial, the Liberals are worried non-West Australians will win Senate seats – and are trying to stop it.
The Liberals are pushing for changes to the Commonwealth Electoral Act to ensure that anyone who wants to represent a state or territory in the Senate has to live there.
According to some reports, 10 of the 77 candidates in the West Australian Senate election live elsewhere in the nation.
On Thursday, Liberal MP Tony Smith made a statement to federal parliament on behalf of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, saying that continuing the current situation was “not an option”.
The Liberals have taken aim at the Palmer United Party this week, saying its preference deals could result in the Help End Marijuana Prohibition Party’s lead candidate James Moylan, a Queenslander, winning a Senate seat.
“At the last federal election, Tasmania almost ended up with a Sex Party Senator from Canberra,” the Liberals said in a statement.
“People rightly expect that their state will be represented by someone who lives there and, by extension, shares their local knowledge and goals of getting a better deal for their community.”
The committee’s full report on a range of electoral matters is due to be released later this year.
The Liberals said all of their candidates in the WA Senate election were local.