Senator Bob Day officially resigns as 'white knight investor falls through'

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Family First senator Bob Day has now quit, effective immediately.

After announcing his resignation last month, then changing his mind, Family First Senator Bob Day has handed in his notice to the President of the Senate.

The now-former South Australian Senator made it official via a statement, which said the major investor that had been examining his Home Australia business over the past fortnight had decided not to proceed.

Mr Day's Home Australia building company went into liquidation on October 17, with more than 200 homes unfinished in five states and creditors owed at least $12 million.

"It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as a senator for South Australia and I am sorry it has ended this way," he said.

"I will now devote my time and energy to assisting those who have been affected by the company's closure."

The 'white knight'

Bob Day's white-knight investor, if it ever was a genuine hope, became an early scratching on Melbourne Cup day.
 
Only last Friday, Day had suggested that his financial ruin and his doomed political career might be suddenly turned around because the new investor had expressed interest in "reviving" his Home Australia building group.
 
"This new investor has been in regular contact with McGrathNicol," he said, referring to the liquidators he had appointed the previous week, on October 17.
 
Back then he had said remaining in the Senate would be untenable, but suddenly he was saying: "If new investment revives the company, if houses are being completed and trade contractors and others are being paid, then I may continue as senator. If not, my resignation will proceed and I will devote myself to assisting those affected by the group's closure."
 
The revival was not to be. SBS understands there was never a solid offer on the table from the new investor. 
 
Cornelius Duba, an unhappy customer of Day's NSW arm, Huxley Homes, said: "I’m looking forward to him coming out to do some work on fixing our house. Might be time to get his nail bag and hammer out again?"
 
Another Huxkey customer, Will Naicker, does not want Day's help.
 
"I would implore the man to stay away from us. There is no way in hades that we need or want his help now or into the future.
 
"I wrote to him numerous times over the years of construction of our home, but received no satisfactory response.  The time is long past for offering to help us."
 
"The real question was were we sacrificed on the altar of his political ambitions?"

Leaving the Senate

Last week, Bob Day said he was no longer intending to quit, because there was no time to replace him and too many important pieces of legislation he wanted to vote on in the last three remaining weeks of the Senate for the year, including the industrial relations laws and the marriage equality plebiscite.

Labor, the Greens and many of the victims of his corporate collapse were outraged that he had changed his mind about his future.

His former chief of staff Rikki Lambert has announced himself as the candidate for the vacant Senate seat.

But another South Australian, Family First state upper house representative Rob Brokenshire also wants the position.

It is now up to the Family First SA branch to resolve the deadlock before a special joint sitting of the South Australian Parliament confirms the nomination, though that's unlikely before before the Senate resumes on November 7th.

Family First state chairman and SA member of Parliament, Dennis Hood, told reporters in Adelaide the party hopes Mr Day's replacement will take their seat for the final sitting fortnight on November 21st. 

"I am disappointed it has taken this long... I guess that's in the past now, we've the opportunity to appoint a new senator and move on," Mr Hood said.

"I think the important thing here is that Family First existed long before Bob Day and it'll exist long after Bob Day."

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has given his reaction.

"Not as worried about Bob Day's future as I am about the hundreds of families and contractors who've been ripped off by his companies," Mr Shorten tweeted.

 

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