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Monday, 26 March 2018
Page: 2141


Senator GALLACHER (South Australia) (16:49): I too rise to make a contribution in this matter of public importance and the urgency motion proposed by Senator Burston. It's a typical One Nation attempt to get a bit of notoriety or publicity out of very serious subject matter and to conflate needs to understand why some politicians and professional sportsmen feel the need to cheat.

We all woke up to the story that our best and brightest in the cricket world had done something which is, in my view, unpardonable. It's not in the spirit of the game. It's not in the spirit of Australian sport per se. The Australian sporting public will not look at this kindly. History will deal with these people very, very severely, and I hope that the Australian Cricket Board does the same thing. But I think this urgency motion is a really tawdry effort of taking what's quite a serious affront to Australia's sporting credentials and conflating it with a puerile political debate, as was put forward by Senator Burston, who, coincidentally or incidentally, couldn't even manage 10 minutes on his feet. He couldn't manage 10 minutes on his feet in this chamber. Talk about someone who's says they're doing one thing but then doing another—he's taking a senator's salary and senator's allowances and is probably chairing a committee, yet he's incapable of speaking for 10 minutes on a matter that he brings here as a matter of urgency. Incapable!

He used eight minutes and 29 seconds to launch into a diatribe against the Labor Party. There was no suggestion of any balance in his discourse, no suggestion of even-handedness. It was just, 'No, the Labor Party are cheats.' But the record doesn't actually bear that out. The Labor Party is not in receipt of donations for airplanes and the like which it forgot to disclose. The Labor Party doesn't go to its base constituency and tell them that we're on track to represent them and then come into this chamber and, on almost all occasions, vote with the Liberal Party. It doesn't say one thing in the electorates out there and then come in and do another.

If you have a cursory look at some of the media in relation to the short history of Senator Hanson selling out her base, the corporate tax sellout is probably the most affronting. Her base is predominantly, I believe, in Queensland, although there are pockets of support around the country. Fortunately, in my home state, the electors seem to have resoundingly rejected One Nation philosophy. There was contemplation that she was going to control Queensland a short while ago but, obviously, that fell through. We owe her presence, as well as the presence of Senator Burston, Senator Giorgiou and the like in this place, to only one person, and that's the honourable Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Without that double dissolution, we would not have had anyone other than Senator Hanson. I think that is abundantly clear. Without that double dissolution, we would not have had to put up with these puerile contributions from that side of the chamber. To bring forward a 'really important matter', in Senator Burston's words, and fail to speak on it for the 10 short minutes is unpardonable and akin to cheating itself.

Let's look at the sorts of things that they've moved on. Senator Hanson says the Family Court. She said:

Children have two parents and until we treat mums and dads with the same courtesy and rights, we will continue to see murders due to sheer frustration, depression and mental illness caused by their unworkable scheme.

She was talking about the Family Court in that quote. She was talking about the Family Court! Did she put that out in any electoral documentation? Did she get elected on the basis that really vulnerable people in the community who are protected by the Federal Court would be supporting such diatribes? On decreasing welfare she said:

I'm sorry, I can't please everyone and not everyone's going to agree with me but I have to make decisions I believe are right for this country and future generations.

So she proposed to reduce welfare. People who have supported her, who have put their tick alongside her name on the basis that she was going to advance their cause, are getting let down, very sadly, by this party. I just hope that, if a future opportunity to contribute comes up, Senator Burston will put his 10 minutes in. (Time expired)