A small report in The Australian today says that Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party and the Nick Xenophon Team will both be given funding for seven staffers for each of their representatives in the Senate, with NXT lower house MP Rebekha Sharkie also receiving seven staffers — that’s 28 staffers for each party on the crossbench. It’s well above the number of staffers each Greens senator has — they each have four, and the party has an extra 15 staff on top of that, mostly working out of leader Richard Di Natale’s office. While seven staffers each seems a bit extreme, perhaps the government budgeted for extra staff to head off an early battle with the crossbenchers — at the start of the last Parliament, Clive Palmer demanded similar staffing numbers to the Greens, making quite the fuss.

Peter Fray

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