Could Dean Smith be the new Senate President?

Could Liberal Senator Dean Smith be the new President of the Senate when parliament returns?

Yesterday Senator Stephen Parry resigned from the senate after it was confirmed that he held dual Australian and British Citizenship. The shock departure of another member of the government leaves the position of Senate President open.

Parry follows the National’s Deputy leader Fiona Nash, and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce who were ruled ineligible by the High Court. The Greens’ Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlum were also disqualified, alongside One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts.

Senator Smith, alongside Senator David Bushby and Senator David Fawcett have been suggested as possible replacements for the role of Senate President.

Veteran Liberal Senator Ian MacDonald has put his hand up for the role. The Queensland Senator has written to his colleagues touting his qualifications for the role.

“I’ve been around for a long time, 27 years, I understand Parliament and the procedures and traditions of the Senate,” Senator MacDonald.

The suggestion that the Senator MacDonald would be an appropriate member to take on the impartial role has been questioned by both Liberal members and the opposition.

Labor’s leader in the senate, Penny Wong questioned if Senator MacDonald could take on the role effectively.

“I think people can look at the way Senator MacDonald behaves in estimates and in the chamber and they can draw their own judgment about whether he would be an appropriate person,” Senator Wong said.

Senator MacDonald has responded saying he understands Senator Wong’s concerns, but argued he could be both fair and impartial.

“For Penny I can understand that, we have regular battles across the table in the Senate. But as I acknowledged to my colleagues, my approach would change, as it does when I am in a position representing the Parliament rather than my political party,” Senator MacDonald said.

Senators Fawcett and Bushby have both confirmed they will be consulting with their colleagues regarding the role.

If Senator Smith was appointed to the role it would remove one of the few LGBTI voices in parliament, and as Senate President Smith would no longer be able to advocate for marriage equality, and the introduction of his private members bill for marriage would have to be passed to another colleague.

OUTinPerth reached out to Senator Smith’s office and asked if he would be interested in the Senate President’s role. The senate next sits on 12 November.

New Senate President – The possible contenders 


Senator Ian MacDonald

Age: 71

Time in Parliament: 27 years, currently the longest serving member of the parliament.

State: Queensland





Senator Dean Smith

Age: 48

Time in Parliament: 5 years

State: Western Australia





Senator David Bushby

Age: 52

Time in Parliament: 3 years

State: Tasmania





Senator David Fawcett

Age: 54

Time in Parliament: 9 years, Fawcett has been a senator for 6 years, but previously served a term in the lower house.

State: South Australia


OIP Staff

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