First independent territory senator officially elected

By Anna Macdonald

Wednesday June 15, 2022

David Pocock
Independent senator David Pocock. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has officially declared the senators of both of Australia’s territories.

In the ACT, Labor’s Katy Gallagher and independent David Pocock have been elected senators.

Liberal Zed Seselja has lost his seat as an ACT senator, making this the first time the ACT has not been represented by one Labor and one Coalition senator. 

In a statement, former rugby union player Pocock thanked the outgoing senator for his work over the years and congratulated Gallagher on her re-election.

“The extraordinary movement of people we brought together across the ACT made history.

“For the first time, we have an independent voice representing our community in the federal parliament,” Pocock said.

Pocock extended his thanks to his volunteers.

“You have helped create something special here in the ACT.  You have shown what democracy can be. And this is hopefully just the beginning,” the independent said.

Gallagher, who was named as the minister for the public service among other portfolios, likewise congratulated Pocock on his win and thanked Seselja for his service. 

“Thank you to the people of Canberra for giving me the absolute honour of representing you in the Senate. I will work hard for you every day,” the senator said. 

Seselja had been a senator for the ACT since 2013. The senator recently visited the Solomon Islands, during the caretaker period of the federal government over concerns of China’s security pact with the Pacific nation. 

Up north, Labor’s Malarndirri McCarthy and Country Liberals’ Jacinta Nampijinpa Price have been officially named as the senators in the Northern Territory.

McCarthy thanked the Northern Territory people for her re-election, and congratulated Price. The senator tweeted she will do her best to serve the people in the Senate and in prime minister Anthony Albanese’s government. 

Both counts were open to scrutineers appointed by the candidates, according to both the Australian electoral officer for the Australian Capital Territory David Molnar and Australian electoral officer for the Northern Territory Geoff Bloom. 

In Australia, territories each have two representatives in the Senate, whereas states each have 12 senators. 


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