Kerryn Phelps Could Bring Down The Government Over Nauru
Removing children from detention in Nauru will be Kerryn Phelps' first order of business if she is elected to parliament.
The first point of business for Phelps is removing children and their families from the detention centre on Nauru and offering them immediate psychological and medical help.
"That is something that I would like to do as soon as possible," she told Studio 10 on Monday.
When asked if she would file or vote in favour of a no confidence motion for the current government she refused to answer yes or no, but did say she would need to have all the facts before she could say what she would do.
When asked by host Joe Hilderbrand if the Government failed to get children off Naru if she would then consider a vote of no confidence she said she would look at "what strategies there were to encourage the government to do the right thing".
"My intention would be not to block supply but in terms of a no confidence motion...I would have to see."
"I think there are moves afoot to find a solution particularly for the children and their families to bring them to Australia ... and the Australian people are saying loud and clear we want a solution and we want those people brought to Australia."
"I would also like to see some action on climate change because that is something that came through loud and clear during the campaign."
Phelps said she had thought about going into federal politics earlier in life, but the timing wasn't right.
But the ousting of Malcolm Turnbull in yet another prime ministerial leadership spill gave Phelps the push she needed.
"I just felt so strongly this time and I actually felt I had the ability to stand up and go 'enough is enough,'" Phelps told Studio 10 on Monday.
"We need to return to the sensible centre, need to have policies that are socially progressive and economically sensible."
Phelps is expected to claim victory in the seat of Wentworth after a last minute surge in favour of Liberal candidate Dave Sharma.
On Saturday evening, it looked as though Phelps had won with a mammoth 20 percent swing against the Liberal party.
As the 13,000 postal votes were counted however, Sharma started to make a quick come back and before long the pair were only separated by 800 votes.
On Sunday, Phelps managed to extend her lead to about 1600 votes.
While loyal Liberal members and voters admit victory for Sharma is still unlikely, they aren't in a hurry to re-declare a winner until the counting is properly finalised.
If Phelps is confirmed the winner, she will join the cross bench, leaving Labor with 69 seats and the Coalition with 75 -- one short of a majority. She attributes the large swing against Liberal to voter dissatisfaction surrounding how the Liberal government has been operating recently.
"It is going to be very close," Phelps said.
"What I can say I that the size of the swing is related to the fact that people wanted to send government a message that they don't want business as usual, that they actually do want to get behind an independent who does speak for the people about the issues that are important to them.
"The size of the swing also indicates that this community really got behind the agenda that I was talking about."
Phelps said she plans to bring a strong, steady and responsible approach to parliament and use her influence as an independent in a hung parliament to ensure legislation is as good as it can be.
"I think people actually wanted a hung parliament, they actually wanted an independent on the cross bench so that decisions could be made with a more collaborative approach then just a rubber stamp for whatever ... the Liberal Party wanted to do," Phelps told Studio 10.
"I think we need to have that steadying influence where we go, 'well let's look at the legislation and see if it is as good as it can be.'"
Phelps did not confirm if she would support a new motion against Peter Dutton in relation to possible section 44 violations or a no confidence motion against the government. She also said it is her intention not to block supply.
Kerryn Phelps is a medical practitioner and independent politician. She was the first woman elected president of the Australian Medical Association and and in 2011, she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for her service to medicine, especially for her work as a leader in education and community health.
In 2016, Phelps was elected to the Council of the City of Sydney as a member of Clover Moore Independents team and she was then appointed as Deputy Lord Mayor of the Council.
She resigned as Deputy in 2017.
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