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Tuesday, 30 October 2012
Page: 8447

Senator KROGER (VictoriaChief Opposition Whip in the Senate) (17:23): Mr Acting Deputy President, I seek leave to make a short statement.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Marshall ): Is leave granted? There been no objection, leave is granted. Senator Kroger.

Senator KROGER: I am appalled that Foreign Minister Carr sought to impugn the integrity and reputation of my family, my two sons, in answer to a question asked by Senator Abetz during question time today. Immediately after question time I called Senator Evans to seek an apology and I am disappointed to say that Senator Evans has not showed me the courtesy of returning my phone call. The coalition has asked questions in estimates and again today about what due diligence has been undertaken in ensuring that taxpayers' money has not been channelled through an organisation that is accused of having links with known terrorists. I am dumbstruck by the fact that Senator Carr seems to have the resources to trawl through my family and yet has not chosen to look at a disturbing video that has come to light that can be easily googled by any one of us or certainly by someone in his office. This is politics of the lowest order.

My sons chose to spend a Christmas working voluntarily in a legitimate law firm in Israel putting together a class action for victims of crime. For the record, they had no involvement in the issue of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees. Yet the Foreign Minister chooses to mock their integrity. This is from a Foreign Minister whose own family have been subject to adverse media commentary and who, frankly, should know better. This behaviour reflects very poorly on him and he should have the decency to come into this place this afternoon, right now, and apologise.