The Senate CROSS Bench

Glenn Lazarus, David Leyonhjelm and Nick Xenophon
'The Senate CROSS Bench - The fate of the 44th parliament is in their hands'
Wednesday, 6 April 2016
Arrive from 11.30am, lunch 12 noon, speaker 12.30 concludes 1.30pm
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Registrations for this event are now closed. Please contact reception for further details.

Glenn LazarusGlenn Lazarus is an independent Senator for the State of Queensland in the Australian Senate. Glenn commenced his role with the Australian Parliament as a representative for the people of Queensland on 1 July 2014 and was officially sworn in on Monday 7 July 2014.

Glenn brings to his role a genuine desire to help all Australians and to serve Queensland and the broader Australian community with integrity, purpose, commitment and the drive to make a difference. As an independent Senator, Glenn would like to unite and create a better Australia by drawing on the genuine needs of the community and developing common sense solutions to the issues being faced by Australia.

Glenn is still an active member of the rugby league fraternity and regularly meets with coaching mentors Wayne Bennett and Tim Sheens to discuss issues and ideas. Glenn is deeply committed to supporting and promoting the important role of sport and recreational activities in Australia in fostering good health, productive relationships and positive social engagement across the community.

Glenn believes that all Australians should have the opportunity to: learn; work; excel; raise a family; access quality health care; live in a safe and caring environment without fear of crime, poverty, discrimination or intimidation; enjoy the great benefits of the Australian way of life; and flourish as members of the Australian community. Already, Glenn has played a critical role in protecting, managing and advancing the interests of all Australians. Glenn’s decisions in the Senate have resulted in the retention of important initiatives including the School Kids Bonus, the Low Income Superannuation Bonus and many other services. Glenn is fiercely committed to the support of the higher education sector and helping the country to grow jobs.

Glenn lives in Brisbane, Queensland with his wife Tess and they have three children. Glenn moved to Queensland in 1991 with his family to play with the Brisbane Broncos. During this time, Glenn won two rugby league grand final premierships with the Brisbane Broncos and in 2003, was one of the first former players inducted into the Brisbane Broncos’ official Hall of Fame. Glenn now calls the sunshine state ‘home’.

After many years carving out a successful career at elite level in the sport of rugby league, Glenn entered the political arena in 2013 and has demonstrated his commitment to working hard for Queensland and ensuring that the state has a real and genuine voice in the Parliament of Australia.

David LeyonhjelmDavid has had an interest in politics since the early 1970s when, as a member of Young Labor, he worked on the It’s Time campaign to help end military conscription.

The following decade he joined the Liberal Party in an effort to promote economic freedom, resigning in 1996 in disgust at John Howard’s extremist gun laws.

He joined the Shooters Party in 1992 (while in the Liberal Party), became the party’s Chairman in 1999 and managed the successful 2003 campaign that retained the party’s NSW Legislative Council seat.

When the Shooters Party was deregistered federally just prior to the federal election in 2004, he used the Outdoor Recreation Party to run a team of shooters for the Senate and marginal NSW seats. The party’s Senate preferences helped Labor win the seat instead of the Greens.

He also managed the LDP’s federal election campaigns in 2007, 2010 and 2013.

He has a classical liberal outlook, favouring individual choice and freedom over government intrusion.

David is married and owns an agribusiness consulting company in Sydney. A former veterinarian, he also has degrees in business and law. His sporting interest is target shooting.

David was elected to the Senate in September 2013 and commenced his term in July 2014.

Nick XenophonBefore became involved in politics, Nick was running a small suburban legal practice in Adelaide.

In the mid 1990s Nick began to see client after client whose lives had been damaged in some way by the introduction of poker machines into pubs and clubs.

At the time hardly anyone was talking about the harm caused by pokies in our community and Nick thought, ‘enough is enough’.

Nick stood for the SA upper house in the 1997 State election on a ‘No Pokies’ platform and was elected.

Re-elected in 2006 to State Parliament, Nick decided to run federally for the Senate in the 2007 election because he believed he could do more for SA on a whole range of issues.

Since starting in the Senate in July 2008, Nick has fought on key issues for SA – pokies, online gambling, water security, food labelling, education, health, aged care, cost of living pressures and a whole lot more.

Nick believes the most important part of his job is speaking up for people who might not otherwise have a voice.