January 07, 2019 20:18:23
Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm has announced he will quit federal politics so he can contest the New South Wales state election.
Senator Leyonhjelm is expected to resign as early as February 28 and will attempt to win a seat in the NSW Upper House in March.
He was first elected to the Senate in 2013 and was re-elected in 2016.
Speaking to Sky News this evening, Senator Leyonhjelm said he is making the switch because he wants to work on “nanny-state issues”.
“Red-tape issues are the ones that really annoy me and get up my nose,” he said.
“For example liquor licensing, where you can smoke, where you can vape, gambling, lock-out laws in Sydney, assisted suicide.”
He said one issue he would be taking to the NSW election would be the legalisation of cannabis, which he unsuccessfully tried to pass in Federal Parliament.
“I think there’s much more hope of achieving that at the state level,” he said.
“The police waste an enormous amount of time chasing people growing a bit of a dope.”
He also said he would support the contentious issue of pill-testing at music festivals, which NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has ruled out.
“The idea that pill-testing shouldn’t be used because it gives the green light to kids to take drugs is a cruel attitude to something that’s taking young kids’ lives,” he said.
Senator Leyonhjelm attracted his fair share of controversy during his time in the Federal Parliament, including the accusation he “slut-shamed” Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.
He is now facing a defamation lawsuit from the Senator for allegedly accusing her of making “the absurd claim that all men are rapists”.
In 2016, he criticised Australia’s gun laws and said the majority of people have no experience with guns and therefore do not realise when used safely “they are a lot of fun”.
January 07, 2019 19:07:49