How Jacqui Lambie’s resignation could put 100 jobs in our bank

LAMBIE'S LEGACY: the senator says a tearful farewell to federal parliament on Tuesday. Photo: SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
LAMBIE'S LEGACY: the senator says a tearful farewell to federal parliament on Tuesday. Photo: SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

SENATOR Jacqui Lambie’s resignation from Federal parliament over dual citizenship could fast-track Orange’s Regional Investment Corporation (RIC).

Senator Lambie on Tuesday revealed she will quit the Senate due to her dual British citizenship.

Her resignation comes as she was holding the pivotal vote which was blocking the passage of the government’s Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) legislation.

In May this year then deputy prime minister and Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce was in Orange to announce plans to house the $4 billion RIC in the city.

Mr Joyce said the facility – at the time dubbed ‘The Barnaby Bank’ – would provide a streamlined Commonwealth agency to deliver $2 billion in drought assistance and other support loans to farmers, and $2b in water infrastructure funding to help boost agricultural, economic productivity.

It would also employ up to 100 full-time staff, according to the former party leader, who has since been disqualified from parliament due to his dual NZ citizenship and is now facing a byelection to reclaim his New England seat.

Senator Lambie’s vote was holding up progress on the RIC, with Mr Joyce on Tuesday claiming her departure could pave the way for the RIC to open in Orange sooner rather than later if her replacement – likely to be Devonport mayor Steve Martin – was swayed to vote for it.

“That’s the best way forward for her and her party and the Regional Investment Corporation and quite frankly to show the people of Tasmania and the farmers that she’s actually delivered something,” Mr Joyce said.

“Her legacy is that she’ll be remembered as someone who didn’t support the Regional Investment Corporation.”