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Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Page: 155


Senator BERNARDI (South Australia) (09:32): In the time that I have allotted I am going to say that Senator Dastyari's statement to this chamber is wholly inadequate. Not only has Senator Dastyari sought to hide behind the fact that he has fulfilled his parliamentary obligations, but he has not detailed how it came to pass that a company with strong links to a foreign country has paid his personal responsibilities and obligations to the Commonwealth. Fulfilling the technical requirements of this parliament is one thing, but the intent and integrity—and the question marks that now hover over Senator Dastyari's head—are things he needs to explain.

Senator Wong interjecting

Senator BERNARDI: Senator Wong and her ilk may decide to cover up for Senator Dastyari in some sort of protection racket, but it is not good enough for us in this place to have these sorts of things hanging over their heads and undermining the confidence in the politicians in this place.

Senator Wong interjecting

Senator BERNARDI: Hang your head in shame, Senator Wong, because you and Senator Dastyari stand condemned.

Honourable senators interjecting

The PRESIDENT: Order, on both sides! Senator Bernardi you have had your say. Senator Wong. Senator Brandis. Order! Senator Wong, on a point of order.

Senator Wong: I would ask Senator Bernardi to withdraw that. Senator Bernardi just—

Honourable senators interjecting

The PRESIDENT: One moment, Senator Wong. Order on my right and my left!

Senator Wong: I ask Senator Bernardi to withdraw that. He just made an accusation at me. He asked me, 'Who pays my mortgage?' I pay my mortgage—and don't be grubby.

Senator Bernardi interjecting

The PRESIDENT: Order! Senator Bernardi, you do not have the call. Senator Wong, have you concluded your point of order? Senator Bernardi, if there was anything unparliamentary that you said—I did not hear it—I would ask you to withdraw.

Senator Bernardi: There was nothing unparliamentary that I said. If Senator Wong wants to defend the payment of personal obligations by companies that are associated with foreign entities, we are right to ask: who else on that side of the chamber has their bills paid?

The PRESIDENT: Senator Bernardi, we can take an imputation that that was directed adversely at Senator Wong. I would appreciate it if you would withdraw that remark.

Senator Bernardi: I withdraw.

The PRESIDENT: Thank you. We have concluded this debate for the time being. We will now move on to business.