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Thursday, 19 October 2006
Page: 108

Mr MURPHY (4:57 PM) —What pious hypocrisy flows from the mouth of Packer and Family First Senator Steve Fielding! This week—Anti-Poverty Week—on Tuesday evening, Senator Fielding told the Senate that he was ‘pleased to stand up against poverty earlier this week’ and that his former party ‘believes it is even more important that all of us think carefully about what part we can play to help people in developing countries’. Senator Fielding must take his own advice, think carefully and then put a search engine through his conscience.

Senator Fielding must explain to the Senate and his former party why, last week, he stood up for Australia’s richest man to make him $4.5 billion richer out of the anti-family misery of poor people who lose their money in poker machines and casinos. Senator Fielding must explain to the Senate and his former party why he met Mr Packer, secretly, and Senator Coonan, secretly, and then surrendered his vote to massively concentrate media ownership in Australia, reaching for his portion of Liberal Party preferences at the next election. Senator Fielding must apologise to all the people who voted for him and all the members of this 41st parliament. Only then can he seek redemption for putting the Packer family first, not Australian families first.