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Thursday, 19 October 2017
Page: 8062


Senator CAMERON (New South Wales) (13:57): Well, once again, we see that this coalition government, this rabble of a government, is cuddling up to One Nation every day and pushing the National Party to the side. They are cuddling up to One Nation and attacking poor people in this country. That's all they do. They attack the trade union movement. They come in here with their lies and their nonsense every day. They are an absolute rabble of a government.

Honourable senators interjecting

The PRESIDENT: Senator Cameron, order! Point of order, Senator Bernardi.

Senator Bernardi: I'm finding it very hard to concentrate on what Senator Cameron is saying, because of the noise around it and also the vitriolic intensity of what he's shouting across the chamber. I wonder whether you could ask Senator Cameron to resume a more moderate and sensible tone in the interests of upholding the dignity of the Senate, because—

The PRESIDENT: Thank you, Senator Bernardi. Senator Bernardi, you've made your point of order.

Opposition senators interjecting

The PRESIDENT: On my left! On the point of order, Senator Cameron?

Senator CAMERON: No.

The PRESIDENT: In relation to the point of order, Senator Bernardi, it's incumbent upon all senators to exercise quietness and not to interject. I'm not going to start indicating to senators in what tone and manner they deliver their speeches, providing they don't breach the standing orders. Senator Cameron, you have a few seconds left. Continue.

Senator CAMERON: Yes—an absolute rabble of a government. They don't care about anything but the big end of town. They are shovelling $65 billion out to the big end of town and screwing ordinary working families in this country. You are an absolute disgrace. No wonder the public are abandoning you! No wonder, with that weak Prime Minister that you have, that absolute coward of a Prime Minister!

The PRESIDENT: Order, Senator Cameron! Senator Bernardi, a point of order.

Senator Bernardi: I wonder whether the term 'screwing families' is parliamentary.

The PRESIDENT: Thank you. It has not been regarded as unparliamentary. But, Senator Cameron, I would indicate that you need to be more respectful in relation to the Prime Minister in the language you use.

Debate interrupted.