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Thursday, 21 June 2018
Page: 7


Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (10:09): I seek leave to move a motion to censure Senator Hanson for misleading the Senate by stating that she will not financially benefit from the government's proposed income tax cuts.

Leave not granted.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: At the request of Senator Di Natale, and pursuant to contingent notice, I move:

That so much of standing orders be suspended as would prevent Senator Di Natale moving a motion to provide for the consideration of a matter, namely a motion of censure of Senator Hanson.

We saw Senator Hanson yesterday come into this place and try and tell this place and the Australian people that she would not be getting a dollar from the tax cut bill that is passing through this place and the other place today. Senator Hanson misled the Australian parliament and she misled the Australian people, because we know that what this tax cut bill does is give her and every other person in this place a massive tax cut—upwards of $11,000 worth of tax cuts. Senator Hanson, who prides herself on being 'the voice of the battler' and 'the people's Pauline', misled the Australian people and she misled this Senate. She said that she would not financially benefit when, of course, she will, and she will benefit more than most other Australians. The majority of Australians get very little out of this tax cut, but Senator Pauline Hanson, the leader of One Nation, gets a whopping $11,815 worth of tax cuts. Yet she came into this place and denied it. She denied that she gets any personal benefit from this.

It's important for everybody to understand that politicians get a huge tax cut out of this bill—all of us do—but for Senator Hanson to pretend that she doesn't is what is fundamentally problematic. At a time when politicians are on the nose, when we know that the Australian people expect better from our politicians, the last thing we should be doing in this place is letting Senator Pauline Hanson off the hook.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Macdonald on a point of order.

Senator Ian Macdonald: Mr President, I refer you to standing order 193, which says, amongst other things:

… all imputations of improper motives and all personal reflections on those Houses, members or officers—

and that includes the Senate—

shall be considered highly disorderly.

I know at times we allow wide latitude in these things, but this seems to be a motion that is directly contrary to standing order 193. I'd ask that perhaps you counsel Senator Hanson-Young about that.

The PRESIDENT: As I said earlier in the day, Senator Macdonald, I would ask all senators to reflect on their imputations about our colleagues in this chamber and other places, as the standing orders require. I don't believe the motion is out of order, because the motion is observational and seeks leave to move a censure motion. So I believe the motion is in order, but I will ask all senators to keep in mind the language they use and what they allege or impugn about colleagues.

Senator Wong: On a point of order, Mr President: I would also make the point that this is a suspension seeking to move a censure motion, but the inherent nature of the motion that is being sought to be debated—the substantive motion—is obviously a motion which is critical of a senator.

The PRESIDENT: It is. The motion is in order, but I ask all senators to be careful with their language.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Thank you, Mr President. The extraordinary thing that has happened here is that Senator Pauline Hanson, the leader of One Nation, came into this place and said, black and white, that she does not get a tax cut from the passage of this bill. That is fundamentally wrong. She then went on to say that anybody suggesting that she gets a tax cut would themselves be misleading the Senate. That is wrong because, of course, like every other politician in this place, the tax cut applies to her. I don't support the tax cut. I voted against it. Senator Pauline Hanson and One Nation did not. They have supported it. She has given herself a financial benefit and denied doing so to the Australian people.

Senator Pauline Hanson had numerous hours yesterday after it was pointed out to her that her statement was fundamentally wrong and that she had misled the chamber. She had ample opportunity to come into this place and correct the record. She did not take that opportunity. In fact, the leader of One Nation stood a number of times in this place since making that statement and did not once correct the record. She has misled this chamber and she has misled the Australian people. She should be held to account.

You can't carry on in this place pretending that you're here for the Australian people and you believe that honesty from politicians is important and then come in here and do otherwise. Senator Pauline Hanson says one thing in Queensland—apparently, she's 'the people's Pauline'—then she comes down here and does the total opposite. Not only does she vote to support a massive tax cut for the big end of town, for politicians; she's going to pocket it herself and she's pretending that she's not. She is a fraud. This is a fraudulent leader of a political party. She should be held to account, and we should expect better of leaders of political parties in this place. She had every opportunity to come in and correct the record. Here she comes! She's just walked into the chamber. Will she accept that she made mistakes?

The PRESIDENT: Order! Senator Hanson-Young, please resume your seat. Senator Macdonald.

Senator Ian Macdonald: Mr President, surely calling another senator directly 'a fraud' is unparliamentary. If it's not, I would call Senator Hanson-Young a fraud, but I think it's unparliamentary, so I'd withdraw that.

The PRESIDENT: Thank you for the point of order, Senator Macdonald. Senator Hanson-Young, I would ask you to withdraw that phrase you used where you directly named a fellow senator in those terms.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: I withdraw.

The PRESIDENT: Thank you. Continue, Senator Hanson-Young.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: Senator Hanson has an opportunity to correct the record and admit that she misled this place in order to be tricky and pretend to the Australian people that she gets no benefit from this. She is not a leader for the people: she is a leader for herself. She puts the 'one' in One Nation, and we all know it.

The PRESIDENT: I'm going to call Senator Cormann. You were raising a point of order, Senator Cameron?

Senator Cameron: Yesterday, Mr President, you ruled against me getting the call because I stood, you claimed, prior to the clock running down. The Leader of the Government in the Senate has just done exactly the same thing, and you should draw his attention to that position as well.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Cameron, if you review what I said yesterday, I did not not give you the call because you stood earlier. I rejected your claim that you stood first because you stood earlier. Senator Cormann, as the Leader of the Government in the Senate, has precedence over all senators. Senator Wong is granted precedence over all senators other than the Leader of the Government in the Senate. I reflect that in the calls I give. I'm not going to move to a situation where I give the call to the most agile or quickest person jumping up before the end of a speech. That would be unfair on senators who are not as young and agile. Senator Cormann.