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Ryan slams "attack on the crossbench" as PHON, JLN & Pocock release joint statement on staff numbers

Updated: Jun 28, 2022

The amount of personal staff for crossbenchers has been cut by the Prime Minister.

A series of crossbenchers in both the House of Representatives & Senate have condemned the Prime Minister's move to cut the amount of personal stuff allocated to MPs.

In a letter sent to crossbenchers today, Anthony Albanese proposed to offer just "one additional full-time staff member at the adviser classification, in addition to your four electorate staff."

That's different to what was seen under the previous Coalition government, where crossbenchers got up to 4 advisers, along with electorate staff.

Independent MP Monique Ryan has slammed the changes in a statement, saying that Albanese "stated that he wanted to work cooperatively with crossbench MPs to ensure they were able to contribute fully to the parliament’s deliberations and operations."

"It’s disappointing that his first act towards the crossbench is utterly at odds with that statement."

"This measure is an attack on the crossbench, on its ability to function effectively and independently, to improve legislation, and to hold the government to account."

In addition, a joint statement from senators Pauline Hanson, Malcolm Roberts (PHON), Jacqui Lambie, Tammy Tyrrell (JLN) and David Pocock said they were "deeply disappointed by the move."

The Greens, who have a total of 16 MPs in both houses, have also condemned the PM's decision.

A Greens spokesperson told 6 News that it is "unbelievable and so short sighted that the government would cut crossbench staff when the public has just delivered the biggest crossbench representation ever."

"The Greens have experienced a staffing cut in real terms with no increase in overall staffing despite a major increase in numbers of Greens Parliamentarians."

Katter's Australian Party (Bob Katter) & Centre Alliance (Rebekha Sharkie) are also represented on the lower house crossbench, while the United Australia Party now has 1 senator - Ralph Babet.

Read more on the new crossbenchers here.

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