Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Monday, 13 February 2017
Page: 681


Senator BACK (Western Australia) (16:53): Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive—reference Wong, Senator P, 13 February 2017, Senate of the Australian parliament. What confected outrage did we hear from Senator Wong and Senator Chisholm from Queensland in terms of apparent deals for preferences. But wasn't Senator Chisholm cut down instantly by none other than the architect of all this—Senator Hanson herself. Let me quote from only a few minutes ago in this place. This is Senator Hanson responding to the outrage of Senator Chisholm: 'Thank you very much. Well, isn't it amazing what comes across this chamber? You must be really worried about One Nation.'

The whole fact is that Labor has approached One Nation for preferences. Oh, but you do not want to talk about that one. 'How about Evan Moorhead, the Queensland state secretary?' she said to Senator Chisholm. 'You're a former state secretary. Well, he actually called up my staff on 25 January this year and he wanted to do a grubby deal with us.' What a web we weave in this place. So it has come home to roost, has it not—all the confected outrage from Senator Wong and Senator Chisholm, and all we see of course is the hypocrisy, which has been exposed so brilliantly by Senator Hanson. When I say 'hypocrisy', do I think back to some of the preference deals that have been done in her own home state of South Australia—the deal done between the state Labor government of then Premier Wran—

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Sterle ): Senator Back, I am sorry to interrupt you, but it has just been brought to my attention that on the speakers list you were allocated 11 minutes but the clocks were set at 13 minutes.

Senator BACK: I am happy to take your direction. Thank you very much, Mr Acting Deputy President.

I then go to the deal between the Labor Party and the National Party which caused Minister Karlene Maywald, the then member for Chaffey, to be in the Labor ministry from 2004 to 2010. We know of the deal done between Labor and the Greens political party in Tasmania. In fact, the Senate has two previous members of that ministry, in Senator Singh and Senator McKim, under the premiership of David Bartlett. So bad a government was it, of course, that it delivered government to Mr Will Hodgman. Then of course we know of the deal done between Labor and the Greens to deliver government for Ms Gillard 2010. So let us not worry too much about the confected hypocrisy of the Labor Party in this particular position.

What it has done, through you, Acting Deputy President, to Minister Payne, is to give a very good understanding of how things are run in the Labor Party. I know, from when I was there last—I have not been for some period of time—that it is the Western Australian division, the lay party itself, the executive, that makes the decision. As we know from out of the mouth Senator Wong today, if the Labor Party nationally were a horse, you would say it were owned, trained and ridden by the CFMEU. Of course, the poor victim of it is Mr Shorten. We know that Mr Shorten, in his turn as the puppet of the CFMEU, directs the Labor Party in Western Australia. So we know how it happens in WA. Well, it does not happen like that in the Liberal Party in Western Australia. It is done of course by the state executive. The second point to be made so strongly is the fact that, as Senator Reynolds said, in Western Australia the relationship between the National Party and the Liberal Party is not a coalition; it is an alliance.

I go back to the election of 2008, which was a cliffhanger and nobody could form government. So what did Mr Grylls, the now member for the Pilbara, as the leader of the party do? Senator Reynolds knows. He entertained the possibility of forming government with the Labor Premier, Mr Carpenter. We know of course, because they are friends of mine, that 'Tuck' Waldron in Wagin, Max Trenorden in Northam, Grant Woodhams in Moore, Phil Gardiner in the midwest and Terry Redman down in Denmark all said, 'We couldn't walk down the main street of our towns.' They said to the leader, Brendon, 'If you decide to join forces with Mr Carpenter, we will cross over and we will form government with Liberal Party.' So do not be too concerned about all these things.

We then go forward to 2010, when the National Party stood a candidate against a sitting member, Mr Tuckey. That led to Mr Tony Crook not coming to Canberra to represent the National Party at all; he sat as an Independent for two years. He never ever sat in the coalition party room. He did sit with the National Party for a while. He never sat with the coalition. So we are talking about that excellent relationship that you have up and down the east coast of Australia. We have not been a party in coalition. If time permits, I will get back to the nonsense of the grubby production deal, the slug, that Mr Grylls is trying to do to rump out our two major iron ore producers—again, not consistent with the policy of the government.

In 2013, when, indeed, in a landslide the people of Western Australia quite rightly returned the Barnett government, Mr Barnett could have governed in his own right, but, being the statesman that is, he said, 'No, we have had this alliance with the National Party—I will continue to include the National Party in the ministry.' So that is the standard of excellence of this man.

Let us then turn to what the actual arrangements are in Western Australia. Let me make these points very, very clearly. The first point is that the Liberal Party will preference the Nationals first in every lower house seat in which the National Party is running but have promised that the One Nation party will not be placed last. So with all of this outrage and nonsense that has been going on, we have the simple fact of the matter that, in those non-metropolitan seats in which the National Party is putting up candidates, the Liberal Party will preference them first.

The second point that must be borne in mind is that of history. For those who choose to ignore it, they are bound to repeat it. Let me tell you what did happen in 2008. In the 2008 election, when I was a candidate myself in the state election for Western Australia for the seat of Alfred Cove, the National Party in all rural upper house regions had preferenced the Christian democrats, Family First and One Nation ahead of the Liberal Party. Where was all this confected outrage then? In 2013 both of our parties—the Nationals and the Liberals—preferenced the Christian democrats, Family First and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party ahead of each other.

There is nothing unusual about all of this, but what have we done so that of course we can contest this election and hopefully keep out an underperforming what is now opposition led by Mr McGowan and the recycled Ms Alannah MacTiernan if she gets another go? It is critically important that— (Time expired)