The High Court of Australia ruled on Friday afternoon that Senator Fiona Nash and four other politicians were not eligible to stand for election.
Larissa Waters, Scott Ludlam, Malcolm Roberts and Barnaby Joyce were the other four ruled ineligible. Senator Nick Xenophon and Senator Matt Canavan were found to be eligible.
“I came into Parliament in 2004 after winning preselection for a NSW Nationals senate spot, as a farmer and proud mother of two young boys,” Ms Nash said on Friday.
Ms Nash said she ran and stayed in Parliament to try to improve the lives of rural, regional and remote Australians, who despite producing the food, water, electricity, gas and exports which power this nation, often have reduced access to basics which city people take for granted like doctors, health care and tertiary education.
“I always aimed to help build rural, regional and remote communities our children and grandchildren either wanted to stay in or come back to,” she said.
“Through 12 years of hard work, I’m really proud of the things I’ve been able to achieve.
“It has been an honour to serve the people of this nation.”
Ms Nash thanked her collegues, staff and her sons for their support, loyalty and dedication over the past 12 years.
“I will continue to fight for rural, regional and remote Australians – no matter where my life path takes me.”
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and Senators Roberts, Waters and Ludlam were also found to be ineligible while Matt Canavan and Nick Xenophon were found to be eligible.
Ineligible means that those who have been called the term were not validly elected or eligible to stand for election to Parliament.
The ruling of the High Court caused shock waves across political circles on Friday afternoon with the result meaning when Parliament returns on November 27 the Turnbull government will have lost its one seat majority in the House of Representatives.
The Turnbull government also needs a new Deputy Prime Minister and the National Party needs a new parliamentary leader with Fiona Nash the deputy leader found to be ineligible.