Indian-origin lawmaker becomes Senator in Australiatext_fields
Melbourne: The first Indian-origin lawmaker in Australia, Dave Sharma, was sworn in as a Senator there on Monday after his victory running for New South Wales Liberal Senate, PTI reported.
Sharma had represented the Sydney seat of Wentworth, winning to the Parliament in 2019, and continued there until his defeat in 2022. Now, he has defeated former New South Wales (NSW) minister Andrew Constance, who was backed by Opposition Leader Peter Dutton.
A 47-year-old, Sharma is to replace ex-foreign minister Marise Payne, who has retired from the Senate. Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party, Sussan Ley, commented that Sharma is a "welcome addition" to the federal liberal team.
"He has strong experience in Parliament and senior diplomatic postings. Dave's keen foreign policy intellect will be particularly welcome given we are in the most dangerous set of geopolitical circumstances since WWII," Ley wrote on X.
Sharma defeated Constance in a vote by the New South Wales Liberal Party members 251-206 in the final ballot. He was backed by the moderates in the party.
Sharma had served as Australia's ambassador to Israel from 2013 to 2017. He lost his seat of Wentworth in Sydney's east at the federal election last year to teal independent Allegra Spender.
Mr Sharma's swearing-in comes just weeks before his 48th birthday.
In 2019, Mr Sharma scripted history by becoming the first Indian-origin lawmaker in Australia's Parliament after winning a seat in a Sydney suburb in the federal election.