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Wednesday, 6 December 2017
Page: 9987


Senator BERNARDI (South Australia) (18:50): It's no secret that I'm opposed to this bill. I think it's wrong. I'm trying to reflect on the principle which is being argued here. I do not believe that it is appropriate for a senator who was never duly elected, as the High Court has found, to rule from beyond the political grave. That's essentially what people are trying to argue with Senator Lambie's final statements to this place. I'm acutely aware of the pairing arrangements. We should be mindful that, between the major parties, the pairing arrangements have survived enormous constitutional crises—right through the Whitlam supply issues. They survived that in the Senate. I think that's a really very important point to make. I also know how accommodating both the opposition and the government can be with respect to providing pairing arrangements in circumstances like the Xenophon Team find themselves—

Senator Hanson-Young interjecting

Senator BERNARDI: or the Greens, for that matter—where there are, absolutely, some representatives of the party. The reality is that Senator Lambie was never Senator Lambie. Senator Lambie did not get elected to this place, because she wasn't eligible to serve in this place. We also know that Senator Lambie's running mate no longer wants to represent the Jacqui Lambie Network, or whatever it's called. These are the circumstances we find ourselves in. It is a matter of principle, Mr Chairman, that I think the government is actually right in this circumstance. I know that may cost the outcome of the bill—something to what I'm opposed to.

Senator Hanson-Young interjecting

Senator BERNARDI: Just excuse me for a moment. Why don't you grow up? You are such a child—and an ugly, ugly, internalised hatred.

Senator Hanson-Young: Keep going. Keep going, Cory. C'mon, let's have it.

The TEMPORARY CHAIR ( Senator Ketter ): Order! Interjections are disorderly. Please, Senator Bernardi, if you would address your remarks to the chair.

Senator BERNARDI: I will. Thank you, Mr Chairman. What we find—

The TEMPORARY CHAIR: Sit down, Senator Bernardi. We have a point of order.

Senator Cormann: If Senator Sarah Hanson-Young is doing us the discourtesy of interjecting consistently so that we can't hear Senator Bernardi, she should at least do it from her proper seat.

Senator BERNARDI: I shouldn't reflect on the lack of emotional intelligence and the internalised hate that some senators feel, including Senator Hanson-Young—

The TEMPORARY CHAIR: Sorry—excuse me, Senator Bernardi. Sit down. On the point of order, just to rule: if Senator Hanson-Young is going to make interjections, she should do that from her chair.

Senator BERNARDI: It is like a Twitter feed going off in my ear. It's of no consequence at all. No-one really pays any attention to it. Senator Hanson-Young can sit there and talk away all she likes. It makes no difference to me.

Senator Hanson-Young: It's just like you, Cory.

Senator BERNARDI: Barry says 'hello', by the way, Sarah. I go back to the point. The point is of principle here. What you use for your political advantage at one particular time will come back to haunt you. Senator Wong is absolutely right in that respect. I just can't justify how Senator Lambie should have a pair in this place, given the circumstances.

Senator Pratt: Why should Nash?

Senator BERNARDI: If I may respond to that interjection, I would say that Senator Nash should have a pair because the government has a series of pairs that are allocated to them that stand the test of time. That is the principle that is attached to this. No amount of interjections or hysterical shrieking is going to change that. If it comes to a vote, I will support the government on this even though I'm opposed to this bill.