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Wednesday, 16 August 2017
Page: 5832


Senator HINCH (Victoria) (15:33): I thank Senator Whish-Wilson for giving the rest of the crossbench two minutes of his time commenting on what Senator Paterson has said. I endorse the glass houses comment. It came from a lot of people. But he said that both Senator Canavan and the member for New England, the Crocodile Dunedin Mr Joyce, acted honourably and appropriately. Well, in the case of Senator Canavan, I agree that he did. He stood alongside the Attorney-General. The Attorney-General stood alongside him to give him some support while he stood down from the ministry. He didn't resign from the house, but he said he would not vote until the matter was settled by the High Court, and it was referred to the High Court.

But I ask you to put the shoe on the other foot. In the current situation, in the way that the Attorney-General has tried to describe this, just imagine if it were Prime Minister Rudd, and Prime Minister Rudd were there in the other place and he discloses to the other place that Julia Gillard is still—surprise, surprise—a citizen of Wales, that she is still Welsh. They admit it and they refer her to the High Court, but, no, she doesn't stand down from the cabinet. He reappoints her. In that case I would think the Prime Minister, who would then have been the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Turnbull or Mr Abbott, would have gone nuts about that and attacked it up hill and down dale, because, as Senator Paterson says, section 44 is quite clear. I have read it over and over again. I made my phone calls to Wellington, to the Department of Internal Affairs, to make sure I got my renunciation papers in house and in order. He said it's very simple. They all could have done it.

I will just make one other point. After some of Senator Dastyari's comments this afternoon about New Zealanders, I feel tempted to jump up and do a haka!

Question agreed to.