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
Thursday, 14 February 2019
Page: 10289


Senator WILLIAMS (New South WalesNationals Whip in the Senate) (15:25): I rise to contribute to this waste of taxpayers' money, this political game that is being played here. We learnt years ago that the best form of defence is to attack. That's an old saying and probably a very good one. Those opposite are defending the inquiry into the money from AustralianSuper. Quite amazingly, I got an email from AustralianSuper just last week. They're upping their fees. I'm with AustralianSuper. I didn't have any super before I came to this place. They've done a pretty good job, but I've managed most of it myself—thank goodness. But where does their money go? The inquiry is into $100,000 that went from AustralianSuper to GetUp!. What is GetUp!? What actually is the organisation GetUp!? We know what GetUp! is. It's a not-for-profit, left-wing, Labor-supporting, union-supporting publicity group. Their political agenda is to promote the Left of politics in this nation and, what's more, they do it very well. They're well-funded, and we want to know why this $100,000 went from AustralianSuper to GetUp!. Who was the originator? Who set up GetUp!? What did Mr Bill Shorten have to do with setting up GetUp!?

Senator Watt: You're just showing it's politically motivated.

Senator WILLIAMS: Senator Watt says that I'm showing it's politically motivated—'politically motivated' or just prepared to get anyone you can, with anyone's money, to team up behind your political campaign?

Senator Watt is obviously paying attention. Perhaps he might be able to answer this question for me—through you, Madam Deputy President. In 2007, AustralianSuper donated $27,500 to the Australian Workers' Union. Who were the directors of AustralianSuper at that time? Senator Watt might not be aware who the directors of AustralianSuper were at that time. Let me give him some names. Does 'Greg Combet' refresh Senator Watt's memory? He was a minister in a Labor government. He was a director of AustralianSuper. Mr Bill Shorten, the current opposition leader, was a director, in 2007, of AustralianSuper. Another name, someone I referred to in my valedictory yesterday, is one Senator Doug Cameron. He was a director of AustralianSuper.

What did AustralianSuper do? They donated $27,500 to the Australian Workers' Union. What did the union do? The union registered it on the Electoral Commission website as a donation. Why would an industry super fund be donating to the Australian Workers' Union? They registered it as a donation and, within weeks, the Australian Workers' Union made a donation of $25,000. To who? Senator Brown's listening very carefully. I wonder who they donated $25,000 to? They donated it to the election campaign of Mr Bill Shorten. That's very odd, isn't it? A cynic would say, 'What's going on here?' We have an industry super fund donating money to the AWU, which Mr Bill Shorten is very much a part of. He was a director of AustralianSuper, along with Greg Combet and Senator Cameron. Twenty-seven and a half thousand dollars goes to the Australian Workers' Union, listed as a donation, and, within weeks, $25,000 from the Australian Workers' Union goes off to the campaign fund for Mr Bill Shorten to come into parliament.

Senator Molan: Sheer coincidence!

Senator WILLIAMS: Sheer coincidence. Exactly, Senator Molan.

When this came out in the media 10 years later—remember that this was 2007—the Australian Workers' Union changed it on the website from 'donation' to 'other'. What is 'other'? Other what? So this is why this is being investigated. Should it be investigated? Of course it should be investigated. Those opposite with their huge ties to GetUp! and the union movement are probably very embarrassed by what I've been saying now. So what are they doing? They've decided: 'We'll attack the minister. We'll go with this line of attack on the minister.' It's to blanket out and cover up what the Registered Organisations Commission is actually doing. What a good way to attack and defend. The best way to defend is to attack. That's what they're doing to Minister Cash. I can tell you now, Madam Deputy President, it will not work.