Cory Bernardi's decision to quit the Liberals to start a new conservative party has dominated the start of parliament.
'I fought within the Liberal Party tent to uphold the principles and visions and values that attracted me to the Liberal Party in the first place, and that our grassroots overwhelmingly support', he said.
'But the political class increasingly seems prepared to walk away from those values and principles for short term expediency'.
'Now I don't want to be the rebel inside the tent. I want to be outside being able to shape policy'.
He said he hopes to field candidates for Senate positions under his new party at the next election.
'This is not the Cory Bernardi party, this is a party for Australian conservatives. It is a safe outlet for those who don't want to vote for one of the major parties, but share the vision that Australian conservatives have for Australia', he said.