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Wednesday, 14 November 2018
Page: 8051

Senator MOLAN (New South Wales) (09:32): I seek leave to make a personal statement.

Leave granted.

Senator MOLAN: Senator Cameron has now misrepresented me several times as a result of a question that I asked during Senate budget estimates earlier this year in the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee. As the Hansard of 30 May clearly shows, the question that Senator Cameron continuously misrepresents me on is as follows:

Would it not be of greater value to write to those people—those being the contractors and the subcontractors—who had a legal obligation to pay?

On 19 July, in a media release, Senator Cameron claimed:

I'm astonished that Liberals like Senator Jim Molan would defend Woolworths as he did in Senate Estimates recently.

If it had only been once in July, I'd have been more than happy to overlook the misrepresentation, but yesterday Senator Cameron returned to his misrepresentation when, as recorded in Hansard, he said:

During that questioning, Senator Molan interjected to defend Woolworths' position—

which, of course, I did not. Senator Cameron went on to say:

… for any coalition senator to intervene on behalf of a company like Woolworths when I'm questioning them about stealing the wages of workers is an outrage, and Senator Molan should be absolutely ashamed of himself—

which, of course, I did not. Once might be explainable; twice, in my view, needs intervention. I seek leave to table the documents that refer to this.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Molan, I ask that the documents be circulated so that the opposition and crossbench parties may see them before I put the application for leave to table them.

Senator Kim Carr: Was Senator Cameron advised that this matter was going to be raised about him? That is the normal convention.

The PRESIDENT: I am not aware.

Senator Kim Carr: It is pretty poor form to attack a senator here and not advise them that the matter's going to be raised.

The PRESIDENT: I did not advise anyone. Senator Molan?

Senator MOLAN: No, I did not advise anyone, Mr President. I was not advised in the continual attacks that were exercised on me.

The PRESIDENT: I understand that it is common practice for senators to be advised of this. I suggest that this be viewed as an inadvertent oversight. I'm sure it was not intentional. Senator Cameron will obviously have an opportunity to address it at some point—by leave, I would imagine—if he wishes to do so, courtesy of the chamber.