Senator Siewert told the Senate ‘It has been a privilege to represent the people of Western Australia in the Senate. I have always been driven by achieving better outcomes for people and planet.’ She also spoke about the importance of the Senate’s committee system, noting that her work on the Senate’s Community Affairs Committee helped her to ‘shine a light on many, many issues’ including suicide prevention, income inequality, neglect of disabled people and Lyme disease.
Many senators responded with speeches in support of Senator Siewert’s work over the last 16 years. The Leader of the Government in the Senate, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, said Senator Siewert was ‘a thoroughly decent person in the way in which you engage and conduct yourself in a principled and thoughtful manner at all times.’
Senator Siewert’s retirement creates a casual vacancy in the Senate. Another casual vacancy was created following Senator Alex Gallacher’s death after a long illness. When a senator resigns, becomes ineligible or dies between federal elections they are replaced by a candidate from the same political party, chosen by the parliament or legislative assembly of their state or territory.