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Thursday, 7 December 2017
Page: 10024


Senator HINCH (Victoria) (10:57): I stand here today and say that, once again, Hinch's hunch is wrong because last night I expected overnight we would hear that Christopher Pyne and Tony Burke had got together in a non-smoke-filled room, sorted this out and referred everybody who needed to be referred to the High Court, as the Court of Disputed Returns, would be referred to them. Unfortunately, it didn't happen. I think, for the government ranks and cabinet, this is political suicide. For you to let this drag on, through Christmas, until we get back here in February is absolute political Noddyland, and I'm surprised you're going along with it. I can say that, because I'm standing here as the person it all started over. I was the original target six months ago. Poor Scott Ludlam was collateral damage, when I'd done the homework, got myself a renunciation certificate and got out of it.

I feel sorry, as I have said before—I said it yesterday—for people like Jacqui Lambie and Skye Kakoschke-Moore having to resign and leaving. That is why, Senator Cormann, as you know, I supported you and I supported the government on not pairing Senator Lambie—ex-Senator Lambie. Personally, I would not have paired anybody for these reasons. I think pairs are a great idea and should be used for personal reasons—if your family's sick or you're away at a committee meeting. That should be it. But when you are no longer a senator, when you are an ex-senator, then I think you should not be paired.

Frankly, this whole thing about ex-senators, who are still getting a vote in this chamber, reminds me of the Monty Python pet shop skit. Back then, we talked about the dead parrot. When Mr Praline says, 'This parrot is no more. He has ceased to be. He's expired and gone to meet his maker. He's a stiff. Bereft of life, he rests in peace. If you hadn't nailed him to the perch, he'd be pushing up the daisies. His metabolic processes are now history. He's off the twig. He's kicked the bucket. He's shuffled off his mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleeding choir invisible. This is an ex-parrot'—the same way that Jacqui Lambie is an ex-senator.