Jacqui Lambie fights for ADF pay rise
Jacqui Lambie has lashed out at her leader Clive Palmer for failing to support her protest against the meager pay deal for Defence personnel and has left open the possibility of a Palmer United Party split.
Senator Lambie’s initial plea for soldiers to hijack Remembrance Day and turn their backs on government MPs speaking in honour of Australia’s war dead was condemned the RSL, the government and the opposition.
The Tasmanian senator then upped the stakes and threatened on Thursday to block all government legislation if the Defence Force weren’t given a better pay rise.
Senator Lambie said on Friday Mr Palmer had heard her out but she learnt he would not be supporting her Remembrance Day campaign via a "radio interview".
The former soldier lashed out against her leader and threatened to split the party’s voting bloc in the Senate.
Senator Jacqui Lambie: "Clive will have to decide whether he wants to see his party separated in the Senate." Photo: Andrew Meares
"You know what, it’s getting to the point I just don’t care what Clive Palmer’s position is on this at the moment – but if he had a conscience he’d stand right beside me and our troops and our veterans," Senator Lambie told the ABC.
"Clive will have to decide whether he wants to see his party separated in the Senate, that’s all Clive Palmer needs to decide on.
"Clive Palmer can no longer sit on the fence, he’s either standing by me or he’s standing near the Liberal National Party but I’m not going to stand around and watch Clive Palmer back flipping."
Mr Palmer responded in a statement on Friday but did not address his senator’s threat to split the party or her threat to block legislation in the Senate.
However he did reiterate that while he opposed the below inflation pay rise awarded to Defence he would not be protesting on Remembrance Day or Anzac Day.
"In relation to Senator Lambie and her comments, she is very passionate about this issue as she did wear a uniform and served this country for more than 10 years," he said in a statement.
"The beauty of democracy is that people are allowed to have their own positions on matters such as these," he added.
"I will not make a political stance or statement on Remembrance Day or Anzac Day to dispute pay rates, I believe there is a political process when it comes to matters such as these and I will be respecting that process."