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Monday, 14 October 1996
Page: 5289


Mr ALBANESE —I rise today to speak about the lack of standards in the parliament and the lack of leadership shown by the Prime Minister (Mr Howard). As a new member, I came to this place hearing a lot of rhetoric prior to the election about parliamentary standards. What I have witnessed is the Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr Downer) coming into this chamber day after day adding additional information—information he forgot. On the weekend we saw the resignation of the Assistant Treasurer (Senator Short) after last Thursday being told that it was the end of the matter, that the Prime Minister was satisfied that he had fulfilled his ministerial duties. I think the lack of standards—those standards being set by the Prime Minister himself—are a disgrace and something that should be objected to.

I also wish to join with the member for Calare (Mr Andren) in expressing my concern at the outrageous statements made by the member for Oxley (Ms Hanson). I am ashamed to be in the same parliament as the member for Oxley. I think it is about time that the Prime Minister, as the national leader, added his voice to calls opposing the member for Oxley and her outrageous racist claims in terms of ethnic Australians and indigenous Australians. It is very clear that we live in a harmonious society in Australia, and the statements of the member for Oxley do nothing to add to that.

I represent an electorate in which 47 per cent of residents were born outside of Australia, in which 42 per cent speak a language other than English at home—and I am very proud to represent that electorate. (Time expired)