RICKY Muir has no regret in giving the federal Coalition government a trigger to call a double dissolution election, which cut short his time in the Senate.
But the Sale-based senator insisted his time in politics wasn’t over.
The Australian Electoral Commission on Wednesday confirmed the 12 Victorian Senators elected at the recent election, with Senator Muir not among them.
“When I was elected to the Senate in 2013 I was set to take my place in Australia’s political history for six years. As of this afternoon it is finally clear and official that my six year term was reduced to two,” Senator Muir said in a statement.
The Liberal and Labor parties each claimed four Senate seats, the Greens two, with one each for the Nationals’ Bridget McKenzie, and Derryn Hinch.
Senator Muir voted against the reintroduction of the Building and Construction Commission, leading to the bill’s defeat and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull calling a double-dissolution election.
“I have been asked many times whether I regret allowing the government to have a double dissolution trigger. The answer is simple, no I don’t,” Senator Muir said.
“I can leave parliament proud knowing that I gave it my best shot against the odds and did not fall victim to the two party political games.
“There is a large portion of society who are sick of the mainstream political establishment and class. Those results were clear in 2013 and despite the government’s best attempt to remove the representatives who were elected to represent those people, the 2016 results have also shown the same. I am proud that I did my best in my time to represent those people.”
Running for the Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party, Senator Muir was elected, despite a record low primary vote of 17,122, thanks to a lengthy preference count. His election put the former sawmill manager and father of five children into the national spotlight.
The result led to reforms of the Senate voting system.
“Despite many achievements in varying areas of politics and trying hard to achieve in others, my proudest achievement is to hear people in the street say ‘you gave me hope’ or ‘you influenced me to try’. There is nothing more heart-warming to hear these expressions and to realise that I am receiving them for simply being myself.
“If my legacy was to motivate people into having a go at whatever it is that they want to achieve, no matter whether people say they don’t belong or have no chance, then I could achieve nothing more for the rest of my life and feel that my job is complete.”
Senator Muir thanked his family, friends, staff and AMEP members for their support.
“On the 7th of September 2013 the lives of my wife and children were turned upside down. The journey has been intense and emotional, but they have remained by my side no matter what was thrown at us,” he said.
“Now it is time to return that favour and to spend some quality time, without the political noise consuming my thoughts, with them.
“I do not feel that this is the end of my time in politics. One way or another I’ll be back.”