Independent MP for the seat of Mackellar, based around Sydney’s northern beaches, Sophie Scamps, wrote an op-ed for the Herald today describing a decision to reduce staffing numbers for politicians as the start of a “war”. That article is below.
It’s a curious tactical move for Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, while he is in Europe mending bridges, to begin a war over staffing with the crossbench in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Last week, the prime minister sent a letter outlining his intention to reduce our adviser allocation from four to one. This is not about budgetary cutbacks or a notion of so-called fairness between staffing of backbench MPs and crossbenchers.
This is a political move to consolidate power in the two-party system and is designed to ultimately fend off potential independent challengers to the Labor Party at the next election by making current independents less effective. The casualties will be good government, collaboration and better policy.
Labor can see the two-party system ailing. A record number of people voted for minor parties and independents at the recent federal election. This has clearly sent a shock through senior leadership of both major parties.
Read more here.