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Monday, 7 November 2016
Page: 1931

Senator HANSON (Queensland) (13:54): It is a very difficult time for me and the party but even more so for Senator Culleton. He has been a man who has stood up to represent his electorate, the farming sector and many other issues. But this motion is on the floor now and I must address it. I have always stood for honesty, integrity and the truth. The people deserve no less, especially from this chamber. It goes to the very heart of our democracy. This at hand is a question over Senator Culleton's eligibility to hold his seat in this place. When he was nominated for Pauline Hanson's One Nation as a Senate candidate, he stated that he was eligible to stand under the requirements of section 44 of the Constitution. I took that to be his oath, and his signature was witnessed by a JP.

My fellow colleagues and I support Senator Culleton, but we have seen on too many occasions politicians in this place and the other place who have not been accountable to the Australian people and I will not stand here and be of the same ilk. I believe that it should go to the High Court to make their ruling on this matter. I hope their findings are in his favour and I would dearly love to see Senator Culleton take his place here again as a One Nation senator. I believe that I have the support of my other senators. I know that Senator Culleton will not be too happy with what I have just said, but this goes to my integrity and my honesty. I have fought for 18 years to be on the floor of this parliament as a representative of the people and I cannot sit back and disregard what may have been a wrong judgement. But I will leave it up to the court to make the final decision. I seek leave to table this document.

The PRESIDENT: Do you want to explain the document, Senator Hanson?

Senator HANSON: The document is an application for candidate endorsement and it was filled out by Rodney Norman Culleton on 13 April 2016 and signed by him.

Leave granted.