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Tuesday, 5 December 2017
Page: 9616

Senator CAMERON (New South Wales) (13:44): I'm really not sure what Senator Hanson's contribution, especially towards the latter end, had to do with housing, homeless, trying to reduce the cost of housing or helping young people get into a house. It was typical of Senator Hanson. She just gets up and doesn't know what she is talking about. She hasn't got a clue. It is typical One Nation. They have to bring in racism and immigration into the argument, because they've got nothing else going for them. It is either climate change denial, racism or attack the unions. They cuddle up to the coalition. That's all One Nation does. They may as well be a branch of the Liberal Party. They vote with the Liberal Party at every opportunity they get. Look at the votes in this place. They vote with the Liberals on every issue. On any issue that harms working people and any issue that looks after the big end of town One Nation are in there.

The hypocrisy of Senator Hanson coming in here and talking about anyone taking money off the government. Have a look at how much money One Nation and Senator Hanson have milked out of the electoral process over the years. She has become a millionaire through that process. She doesn't know what a battler is. She doesn't care about battlers in this place. Senator Hanson only looks after Senator Hanson.

Senator Hanson would destroy the trade union movement and would destroy workers' capacity to bargain. What would that do to young people getting into their home? I can tell you that when I was on the tools, when I was a blue-collar fitter, my penalty rates and overtime gave me the opportunity to save for a home. Yet what have they done? They have voted against these issues. One Nation were so embarrassed they had to vote against the penalty rate cuts, but prior to that they had been supporting cuts to penalty rates constantly. They were constantly supporting cuts to penalty rates. It just makes my blood boil when I see someone who has milked the system—like Senator Hanson, for every cent she can get out of the system—have the gall to come in here and criticise anyone else. It is an absolute disgrace.

All she is doing is cuddling up to the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party cuddle up to her. They cannot get around there quick enough to throw their arm around her. They can't get around there quick enough to cuddle up to Senator Hanson and One Nation, even if that is at the expense of the National Party, your party, Mr Temporary Chairman O'Sullivan. We have seen them cuddling up to One Nation: 'Forget about the traditional coalition. Forget about the National Party. Let's cuddle up to One Nation.' That's what they do.

They haven't got a clue about how to deal with the key issue, which is how we deal with housing and homelessness in this country. When was the last time you heard a senior minister in this government talk about housing and homelessness? I'll tell you when. It was at the last budget when they put up a grab bag of policies that would not make one difference to housing affordability in this country. They put up a grab bag of policies and the experts who looked at it said that you would need an electron microscope to see what difference this would make to housing prices.

This mob care about only the banks. They care about only the big end of town. They care about only the people who are putting money into their pocket to run elections. That's all they do. If you want to see how they deal with housing and homelessness, look at New South Wales. In New South Wales developers were constantly feeding money into coalition election campaigns. When the law was changed to ban donations from developers, what did they do? They met the developers in Newcastle in the back seat of the developers' Bentley and got brown paper bags stuffed with $10,000 to push into their election coffers, breaching the law.

This mob don't care about getting young people into homes. This mob are more interested in getting money from developers and builders. If they actually cared about housing and homelessness, they would have done something over the last four-and-a-bit years. They're into their fifth year of government, and they've done nothing of any substance to help working-class people get into a home. All they've done is stand back and watch house prices going through the roof and young people being pushed out. What we are seeing now is young people having to take accommodation that they would never have been forced into years ago. They want to save on rent, so they go down the housing ladder and they push unemployed people and the working poor out onto the streets.

When we see the results of the census on housing and homelessness, I bet that housing and homelessness will have increased exponentially in this country. Yet we never hear the government talking about these issues. They come here with these nonsensical pieces of legislation that will not deliver on housing affordability and will not assist young people get into their homes.

They've come up with a bond aggregate. The Treasurer, Mr Morrison, during the last break, headed off to the UK, to London, supposedly to look at what a bond aggregator could deliver. It was a nice little trip over to London. He was probably having a look at where Senator Brandis would live when he goes off to London. Mr Morrison was over in London supposedly looking at what's going to happen in the context of a bond aggregator. Labor didn't need to go to London to find out how a bond aggregator worked, because experts have been out here telling us how a bond aggregator works in the UK. We've had housing forums here where expert after expert has taken us through how a bond aggregator works. But the Treasurer had to go off to London during the holidays to have a look at this. What a load of nonsense! He didn't have to go to London at all. The experts from overseas had been here—and we've got our own Australian experts in this area.

The bond aggregator, which might help reduce costs for the community housing industry to provide housing for low-income people, social security recipients and the working poor, is still not enough to fund homes for poor people in this country. You never hear this mob talk about that, because they're not interested. In their five years in government they have not brought one piece of substantive legislation on housing and homelessness to this parliament. All they've done is cuddle up to the developers and the builders to make sure that they get money from the developers and builders to fund their next election campaign. That's what this mob are about.

They don't care about working-class people who can't get a house. They don't care about older women who end up with no income and no substantial superannuation and end up on the streets. They don't care about that. I've never heard a speech from them on that in all the time I've been here. They don't care about young Australians who have been in out-of-home care, end up leaving out-of-home care at 18 and end up on the streets with no experience, no job and no security. As a number of the NGOs have said to me, they end up being groomed by some of the hard heads out on the streets—young women being groomed out on our streets. Do you ever hear a coalition politician talk about that? No, you don't. What do you hear them talking about? You hear them talking about destroying the trade union movement and attacking the capacity of workers to bargain and get a decent wage to save for a home. That's what you hear out of this mob.

Senator Cash is on her feet in this parliament, day in and day out, attacking the trade union movement, attacking the working-class and attacking workers' capacity to bargain. That's what we get from this rabble of a government—this government that hasn't got a clue; this government with a weak leader; this government with a leader who won't even stand up for his own principles, won't stand up for his own values, and capitulates to whoever stands him up. That's all we get from this government. We don't get any action on the interests of working people in this country. They're too busy wanting to hand over $65 billion to the big end of town in tax cuts and hope that the trickle-down effect will work.

The trickle-down effect didn't work in America under Ronald Reagan, and it certainly won't work here under Prime Minister Turnbull. He just capitulates to every right-wing piece of ideology that he can. And, on the way through, all he's doing is protecting his own backside to make sure that he stays in parliament as the Prime Minister as long as he possibly can, avoiding an election and avoiding any capacity to deal with the real issues for working people in this country. One Nation is taking over as the major influence on the Liberal Party, with the National Party capitulating to this. They are bystanders while Pauline Hanson's One Nation takes over as the coalition member determining what policies Prime Minister Turnbull will deal with.

This is an absolute disgrace of a government. They don't deal effectively with health issues, they don't deal effectively with education, they don't deal effectively with the infrastructure to get people from point A to point B and they don't deal effectively with the economy. They go from increasing the GST to handing over taxation to the states—that lasted for a couple of weeks. They don't have any competent, intellectually based, economic policy. All they do is come in here, attack the trade union movement and simply mislead, as Senator Cash has done on five occasions. All they do is set up these supposedly independent organisations—which are stacked with Liberal Party staff so that the Liberal Party's position is the position that is determined by these 'independent' bodies—to attack their political opponents, to attack ordinary working people in this country and to attack the trade union movement. They are an absolute rabble and an absolute disgrace, and the sooner they're kicked out the better. (Time expired)

Progress reported.