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Former federal MPs appointed to AAT

AAP logoAAP 15/12/2016

Two former Liberal MPs who lost their seats at the federal election have been appointed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Andrew Nikolic and Russell Matheson were among 17 new appointments announced by Attorney-General George Brandis on Thursday, as were retired Labor politicians Anna Burke and Linda Kirk.

All have been given seven-year terms.

Mr Matheson lost the safe Liberal seat of Macarthur to Labor's Mike Freelander in July, with Ross Hart defeating Mr Nikolic.

Former Speaker Ms Burke did not re-contest her seat at the federal election, while Ms Kirk served one term as a South Australian senator to 2008.

Senator Brandis has made 131 appointments to the tribunal this year, including 76 the day before the prime minister called the double dissolution election.

His department revealed at a Senate hearing in October none of those had been subject to a selection committee or were publicly advertised.

But the attorney-general insisted he complied with the protocol that allows him to choose a suitable person himself and said the large number of appointments were made to fill a backlog of vacancies.

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