New Nationals MP Luke O’Sullivan has called on Premier Daniel Andrews to enable him to take his seat in state Parliament.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday found it did not have the power to direct the Parliament to hold a joint sitting, which is required for Mr O’Sullivan to be sworn into the Victorian upper house.
The new Nationals MP was selected by the party to replace Damian Drum, who has entered federal politics.
“I call on Daniel Andrews to do the right thing and hold a joint sitting,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
He said the dispute had deprived the people of Northern Victoria their full representation for too long.
Mr O’Sullivan told the Bendigo Advertiser last month he was unable able to set up an office, employ staff, get an email address or represent the electorate’s constituents until he had been sworn in.
Leader of the Nationals Peter Walsh said the resignation of Senator Stephen Conroy meant there must be a joint sitting of the Victorian Parliament to appoint a new senator.
“The Liberal-Nationals Coalition welcomes the opportunity to swear Mr O’Sullivan into the Legislative Council and appoint Senator Conroy’s replacement at the earliest opportunity,” Mr Walsh said.
He said the Nationals had pursued all avenues available to it to see the joint sitting held.
Mr O’Sullivan said the party would not be appealing the decision.
“While we are disappointed the courts cannot assist further in resolving the matter, we don’t regret challenging Daniel Andrews,” Mr Walsh said.
“He is behaving like a bully.”
Labor voted against holding a joint session after Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings was suspended for six months from the upper house earlier this year for refusing to release confidential documents.
His suspension expires in November.
Mr O’Sullivan feared he would be unable to enter Parliament until Mr Jennings returned, though he told Fairfax Media Mr Jennings’ suspension was a separate matter that should have no bearing on a joint sitting.