A defiant Rod Culleton is vowing to fight his removal from the Senate and has lodged an appeal against the decision that declared him bankrupt.
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12 Jan - 6:54 AM  UPDATED 12 Jan - 8:49 PM

Former One Nation member turned independent, Rod Culleton, is vowing to fight his removal from the Australian Senate and has lodged an appeal against a decision which declared him bankrupt. 

The President of the Senate, Stephen Parry, announced on Wednesday he had received formal documentation which shows Mr Culleton is bankrupt and therefore unable to serve in the upper house.

"It is a necessary and automatic consequence of the declaration of bankruptcy of a serving senator, that his place as a senator becomes vacant," Senator Parry's statement read.

Mr Culleton, however, insists he's been given a stay on the Federal Court's bankruptcy judgement, effective on Friday,  and still considers himself an elected representative.

"The government's been starting up all their lawnmowers to come and mow my grass in Western Australia [and] it's clear that they have to put them back into the shed," he said.

Under section 44 of the constitution a senator who is declared bankrupt or insolvent is disqualified from holding office, however on Thursday Mr Culleton formally lodged his appeal against the courts decision.

"I've still got the senator's badge on and I'm going to my senator's office," Mr Culleton said.

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He also submitted an interlocutory application, which effectively seeks to put a hold on the ruling pending the outcome of the appeal.

Furthermore, he has suggested taking legal action against Senator Parry, claiming an application will be filed in the High Court on Thursday "regarding another matter concerning yourself and that in the event you as the president refuse to withdraw the letter, I may be left with no option but to join you in the High Court application".

Meanwhile it's unclear who will replace the dumped senator.

The Court of Disputed Returns is yet to determine whether Mr Culleton was eligible to be selected as a senator as he had been convicted of a larceny charge, which was later annulled, at the time of the federal election in July.

"It will be necessary for the Court of Disputed Returns to deliver its answers to the referred questions before it will become apparent how the vacancy may be filled," Senator Parry said.

It will be reported to the Senate when it meets on February 7.

Depending on the court's decision, the vacancy will be filled by the second person on the One Nation ticket, Mr Culleton's brother-in-law Peter Georgiou, or the party can nominate a replacement.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson said if a casual vacancy were declared, she had already chosen a "great" person to replace him.

"I'm not disclosing at this moment who it would be," she told the Nine Network on Thursday.

"We have got to wait for the full determination of the courts."

Senator Hanson said she was not happy about the decision on Mr Culleton but had moved on.

"This has been a debacle, what's happened, and I'm not happy about that at all, and I didn't want it to happen for the people of Western Australia, but it's what it is."

Mr Culleton had been ordered to pay former Wesfarmers director Dick Lester $205,536 in 2013 (which has since increased to $280,000) over unpaid rent relating to a $13.2 million property deal that went sour in 2009.

He has repeatedly denied he is bankrupt.

Mr Culleton was elected in the July federal election as a representative of Pauline Hanson's One Nation but resigned in December from the party.

- with AAP

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