Wealth and power combine in the Senate

The Abbott government's ability to pass legislation will be greatly influenced by Australia's largest home builder, Bob Day, a keen fighter for small enterprise and self-managed super funds.

The eight senators who will determine the fate of most of the Abbott government’s legislation include two of Australia’s most successful and wealthiest businessmen – Clive Palmer and Bob Day. There is only one other self-made wealthy businessperson in Parliament – Malcolm Turnbull.

Most Australian commentary has focussed on Clive Palmer because his Palmer United Party controls three of the eight non-major party Senate votes. But the Coalition will need six of those eight Senate votes so Bob Day will carry enormous power.

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