Independent Senator Rex Patrick (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

Can you ban the government from handing out highly paid jobs to mates? Independent Senator Rex Patrick thinks so, and will give it a go in the Senate as early as this week. 

Patrick is targeting appointments to one agency in particular, the powerful Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), which as Crikey has reported has been stacked by Coalition party figures in recent years. He has written an amendment to the Courts and Tribunals Bill that would make it illegal to appoint members who were not lawyers or in some cases accountants.

But he faces some challenges, namely that Labor is unlikely to support it.