When you start a new job, it's customary to be polite and somewhat humble, willing to learn from those who know the ropes, but new PUP Senator Jacqui Lambie came to Parliament House last week with all guns blazing.
She's said some pretty nasty things about Tony Abbott - he is a political psychopath and a barefaced, uncaring liar and that he and Joe Hockey were "nothing less than a pair of deceitful, lying, political politicians." She also said the way Tony Abbott paraded his daughters before the media during the election campaign was "way over the line."
The PM with daughter Frances
Lambie said that PUP would vote to repeal the carbon and mining taxes but will reject unpopular proposals like the $7 GP co-payment. "Let's face it, that's not a co-payment, it's a tax on people who are dying, we won't be putting a $7 tax on people who are sick and dying" she said. "You've got to ask what sort of person are we dealing with, where's his humanity?"
Well, she's won the hearts of at least half the population already with that statement.
A single mother of two from a Housing Commission background, she's done very well for herself. She suffered a back injury while serving in the Army which resulted in a ten year fight for compensation. During this difficult time, she succumbed to alcohol and prescription drug abuse.
Her military compensation was cancelled in 2001 but she fought hard and had it reinstated in 2006. She was a ferocious figher for the rights of injured veterans and was once a member of the Liberal Party. "I felt used and soon resigned from the party" she said.
She started campaigning for a Tasmanian senate seat as an independent last year and later joined the Palmer United Party. She says her two top priorities in office will be veteran's affairs and the economic future of Tasmania. "When I say I'm going to do something, I'll be fighting for it and I'll be fighting like hell" she said.
New Senators Zhenya Wang, Jacqui Lambie, Clive Palmer, Ricky Muir and Glenn Lazarus
Gosh she sounds like a tough cookie, refreshingly different from the normal run of the mill polly. But Parliament House is full of tough cookies so she'd better watch out.