Jacqui Lambie's successor in the Senate, Steve Martin, has joined the Nationals, making him the first national to represent Tasmania in 90 years.
The surprising move brings the Coalition's Senate number to 31, somewhat facilitating its negotiation task
Martin announced the announcement at a press conference in Devonport with national team leader Michael McCormack on Monday.
Martin won Lambie & # 39; s seat in a Senate vote in February after Lambie had fired in November for her dual citizenship
Martin refused to give up the seat to Lambie, who wanted to re-enter the Senate and – though he ran on the ticket for the Jacqui Lambie Network (JLN) – became self-employed shortly after taking his seat
The Independent Senator supported the coalition's tax cut package after negotiating a package worth $ 47.5 million for key projects in Tasmania and Provided $ 200 Million for Four Years
In his inaugural address to the Senate in March, Martin described himself as the "Steven Bradbury" of the Senate in terms of his unexpected entry from second place on the JLN Senate ticket. He also called for an increase in the productivity of the Tasmanian tourism and agricultural industries.
The Nationals have only a small institutional infrastructure in Tasmania, where they registered for the first time in 2013, but the party brand could be a useful vehicle for Martin to re-elect after his break at the JLN
Prior to the announcement Asked Bill Shorten about the prospect of Martin's JumpShip and replied that it was "important that Crossbencher actually vote independently rather than just acting as a proxy for the Liberal Party".
The national team want to strengthen their team to prepare for a federal election, in which the new coalition combination Malcolm Turnbull and McCormack is tested for the first time before voters.
Senator Barry of Queensland Nationals O & Sullivan faces a major challenge for his place in the Senate ticket by Susan McDonald, a well-known face among the state cattle industry, whose father was a former president of the Nationals.
O & # 39; Sullivan is seen in some circles as part of the cohort that holds back the party from attempts at "modernization" amid fears of a retrograde election as traditional supporters begin to turn to smaller parties