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Wednesday, 21 June 2006
Page: 62


Senator IAN MACDONALD (1:53 PM) —One of the pleasures of speaking last in the matters of public interest debate is that you can reflect on the speeches other contributors have made. In all the speeches made by the Labor Party members and their fellow travellers in the Greens, a common theme comes through, and that is the theme of: let us use a few nuances and give an impression so that we can create a situation that is far removed from the truth of any matter. Let me demonstrate by reference to some of the speeches today.

Senator Forshaw gave his version of history about the beginning of the Second World War and who supported whom in those days. What Senator Forshaw forgot to mention, of course, was that when communist Russia was closely aligned with Nazi Germany, the Labor and union movement in Australia in those years said very little about the Nazis and, of course, nothing about communist Russia. They were pretty good when they went and, between them, raped Poland and divided it up. It was only when the Nazis turned against the communists and Russia a year or so into the war that suddenly there was a huge outcry against not only the Nazis but also all of their fellow travellers and in support of the communist Russian government at that time, which then became an ally of the Western powers as opposed to an ally of Nazi Germany, as they were at the beginning of the war. Senator Forshaw forgot to mention those sorts of things.

Then we had Senator Milne from the Greens. The Greens are anti uranium, anti nuclear fuel. We were told that today by Senator Milne, and she is going to do everything in her power to stop it. They are also anti fossil fuel, anti coal, against all the jobs in Queensland and elsewhere throughout Australia that rely on the coal industry, anti hydro power and anti renewables. Remember, they do not want to use forest off-takes to support renewable energy, as most of the green parties in Europe actually do. The green parties in Europe support renewable energy and forest off-takes to create fuel. So it seems that the Greens are against all forms of fuel in Australia. They are of course some of the people in Australia who always use the power and never turn off their lights. They always have homes with lovely wooden floors while at the same time trying to destroy the Australian forestry industry.


Senator McLucas —Have you been to—


Senator IAN MACDONALD —You just hang on a bit, Senator McLucas—I am getting to you. Then we had Senator Crossin making these veiled comments about the best member for the Northern Territory in the House of Representatives that we have had for some time—and that is, of course, David Tollner.


Senator Crossin interjecting—


Senator IAN MACDONALD —I say to you, Senator Crossin: David Tollner, because he is a member of a government that has actually done something—


The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Murray)—Order! Senator Macdonald, please address your remarks through the chair and ignore the interjections.


Senator IAN MACDONALD —There was criticism of Mr Tollner, when Mr Tollner has done more for Indigenous people because of his association with the Howard government than other speakers would ever have achieved in their lifetime of talking. We have got beyond the political correctness era of 13 years of Labor governments, when all of the problems that Senator Crossin identified could have been addressed but never were. And now we have this marvellous Clare Martin government in the Northern Territory. It has been there for four or five years and still has not done anything about it. I want to make a very brief reference to the Mount Low Parkway in the Townsville area.

Opposition senators interjecting—


Senator IAN MACDONALD —You can see, Mr Acting Deputy President, that the truth hurts and they do not like it to be heard, and they will do what they can to shout me out of the two minutes I have here. They are obviously protecting Senator McLucas. Thanks to your colleagues, Senator McLucas, who protected you very well and protected Mr Craig Wallace, the state Labor member for Thuringowa, I am not able to get around to some of the porkies he has been telling about the Mount Low Parkway. Obviously, I need a lot more time to highlight some of these misconceptions—these nuances from members of the Labor Party that, as I said, tell a story that is far from the truth.

Senator McLucas, in a fairly untoward, almost contemptible address, accused both Mr Lindsay, the excellent member for Herbert, and me of being anti nurses. Both Mr Lindsay and I have more reason to understand and be grateful for nurses than Senator McLucas—and that is because we were both inmates at the Mater Hospital when we had heart operations many years ago. We understand what a great job nurses do. What my and Mr Lindsay’s point was was that the Queensland government is so absolutely hopeless in the way it has run its health system that it has to resort to measures which skew the whole health system in Queensland. They skew it for a little while by giving huge wage increases. There is no denying that nurses deserve very good pay, but why has Mr Beattie not increased wages before? Why has this only happened on the eve of a state election? If Mr Beattie were so interested in the nurses, why didn’t he do this in any one of the last eight years when he has ignored nurses and doctors and destroyed the Queensland health system?


The PRESIDENT —Order! The time for the debate has expired.