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Thursday, 5 March 2015
Page: 1320


Senator O'SULLIVAN (QueenslandNationals Whip in the Senate) (13:57): I rise to make what appears to be a very short contribution to this—

A government senator: Short but elegant.

Senator O'SULLIVAN: I am hoping. In the couple of minutes I have, what I want to point out is that I listened carefully to the contributions made over the course of this morning on the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill 2013 and the Building and Construction Industry (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2013. Here they come—the conga line, the chorus boys for the trade union movement. They will not want to hear what I have to say, because I listened carefully to the contributions, particularly from that side of the house, and not once did I hear them use the words 'rule of law'—not once in any contribution. Not once did I hear them talk about the victims of the thuggery that exists in the construction industry—not once. Here is the clanger: the reason they did not talk about this is that they do not understand it—the word 'productivity' and improving productivity. Mine is in about 22-point font right at the top of the paper. I must say—through you, Mr President—that you did refer to productivity, Senator Lambie. That was the only time any contribution referred to it today. Nobody talked about the rule of law. Nobody talked about the protections that should be in place for people in the workplace. No-one talked about the private sector, which contributes almost absolutely to the productivity of this nation.

What I have to say about our colleagues on the other side is that they have spent their lives trying to take something off somebody else. You do not create wealth. You do not create employment. You just wait like a vulture, standing to take something off somebody else. If you want that to continue—if you want the private sector to make the contribution to the economy—you have to allow productivity to occur. There they are—a conga line of apologists for the trade union movement who just come in here, never mentioning the victims of the thuggery that occurs in the construction industry. Until you can create—

Senator Whish-Wilson: Mr President, on a point of order, we are just wondering if the senator is speaking from his correct chair.

The PRESIDENT: That is no point of order. He is acting whip, so there is no point of order. Order! It being 2 pm, we now proceed to questions without notice.