Lambie in office funding call

TASMANIAN Palmer United Party Senator-elect Jacqui Lambie is demanding taxpayers foot the bill to set up and staff her offices in Burnie and Canberra a month before her parliamentary term starts.

Ms Lambie won a seat in the Senate at the September election but her term does not begin until July 1 when she will replace the defeated Labor Senator Lin Thorp.

She has asked the Prime Minister to release funds early to allow her and her employees to get up to speed.

"I need time for my staff to adjust and settle in," Ms Lambie said yesterday.

"They're not exactly being helpful, you'd think they might be because after all we're going to hold the balance of power.

"We will need to go through every little thing with a magnifying glass."

While she's not yet on the taxpayers' payroll, Ms Lambie said she'd been working hard in the months since being elected.

The senator-elect is PUP's spokeswoman on defence and veterans affairs and has proposed establishing a parliamentary committee to investigate bringing back mandatory national service.

Ms Lambie, a former soldier, said young unemployed people should be forced to complete a year of military service.

"We're actually paying them for the dole, let's top it up and let's give them some skills," she said.

"It brings a lot of grassroots values back and it's really good for their self-esteem."

She said it was not yet party policy, but the idea was worthy of further debate.

"Let's start talking about it."

She first raised the idea publicly on ABC television program Q and A on Monday night.

The outspoken senator-elect's performance on the show prompted a flurry of activity on social media site Twitter causing "Lambie" to trend.

Yesterday, Ms Lambie was unfazed by the attention.

"I don't really get into that Twitter thing."

Opposition Leader Bryan Green said Ms Lambie's exaggerated comments about Tasmania's economic woes on the show "did our state a great disservice".

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