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High Court delivers new Turnbull blow

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The High Court has dealt the Turnbull government another body blow by delaying the confirmation of a replacement Coalition senator.

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The court today gave the green light to three new senators to replace Malcolm Roberts, Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam who were ruled ineligible to sit in parliament because of their dual citizenship status.

But Justice Stephen Gageler referred confirmation of a fourth senator – NSW Liberal Hollie Hughes – to a full bench hearing next Wednesday.

Gageler made the decision after hearing argument Hughes may be constitutionally ineligible to sit in the Senate because she was a Commonwealth employee for a time after the 2016 election.

Former Australian Democrats leader Andrew Bartlett will return to the upper house, replacing Waters as Greens senator for Queensland.

Business consultant Fraser Anning will step into the Queensland One Nation seat vacated by Roberts.

And 23-year-old student Jordon Steele-John will replace Ludlam as Greens senator for Western Australia.

Hughes was expected to take the NSW Coalition seat of outgoing cabinet minister and former Nationals senator Fiona Nash.

The three confirmed senators will be sworn in on Monday ahead of the Senate voting on a new president to replace Liberal Stephen Parry, who resigned over his dual citizenship.

The position is tipped to go to Special Minister of State Scott Ryan.

– AAP

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