After spending a year immersed in the parliamentary machine, broadcaster-turned-senator Derryn Hinch is keen to see a more efficient Senate.
His suggestions include shortening the length of speeches – and thus the opportunity for filibusters – and trimming supplementary questions. He’s frustrated by the government’s “Dorothy Dixers”. “It’s a waste of time,” he says.
As the debate around same-sex marriage continues to affect the government, Hinch has made clear his support for reform.
But he found himself receiving some flak when he voted with the government in a division – which was defeated – to allow debate on its plebiscite bill. He had every intention of voting against the bill, but thought discussion should have been permitted.
On the dual citizenship imbroglio, the former New Zealand citizen made sure he put his affairs in order before the election. He got a backhanded compliment: “If the Human Headline can check it out and fix it, it can’t be that hard”.
Authors: Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra