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Wednesday, 14 November 2018
Page: 8178

Senator KITCHING (Victoria) (17:21): I rise to contribute to this matter of public importance debate about the government's failure to put local workers first and to protect local manufacturing. It is, of course, only the ALP who cares about manufacturing jobs and working people—including, I would say, working people in the western suburbs of Melbourne. As we know, this is being tested at the moment, with an election on in Victoria.

It's disappointing that the Greens have chosen not to participate in this debate, but it is perhaps not surprising, because they, like the Liberals, are not truly focused on delivering for Australian workers. Their failure to put local workers and local industries first is, of course, not the only failure by the Greens that we have heard about this week. I am, of course, talking about the complete failure of the Greens to address the toxic culture of violent misogyny that is currently plaguing their party. The New South Wales Greens are in open warfare over the failure of the Greens leadership to take a stand over indecent assault allegations levelled against Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham. Former Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has condemned Mr Buckingham's response to this complaint and criticised party leaders for failing to call out his shocking behaviour. Current Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi and member for Newtown, Jenny Leong, have called on Mr Buckingham to stand down as a Greens MP. When they are so riven with division and their culture has become so toxic, it is no wonder the Greens are completely incapable of delivering on the things that matter to the Australian people, like gender equality in the workplace and an economy that delivers for all Australians.

The former Leader of the Greens in my home state of Victoria was accused of sexist discrimination and sexually harassing a former staff member. According to this complaint, the Greens leader banned women from entering a meeting room in his office which he described as 'the men's room' and described women working in his office as 'fat, hairy lesbians' and 'hairy-legged feminists'. The current leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam, is refusing to show some leadership and sack her disgraced candidate for Footscray, Angus McAlpine. Just this week, it has been reported that Mr McAlpine had boasted about drugging women and raping them, trivialised domestic violence and made a series of other disgusting sexist and homophobic slurs. This Greens candidate's behaviour has been criticised by the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby and the Centres Against Sexual Assault, but Samantha Ratnam and the Victorian Greens continue to make excuses for him and to promote him under the Greens banner. Today the ABC reports that the Victorian Greens are also standing by their candidate for Sandringham, Dominic Phillips, who liked a series of sexist and racist social media pages which joked about pornography, degraded women and insulted multicultural Australia.

The Greens cannot be trusted to stand up for Australia, Australian jobs, local industry and the role of women in society when they refuse to address the toxic culture of violent misogyny that currently plagues their party, including in my home state of Victoria. You can say that you have principles and values, but words are empty, as the Greens leader, Senator Di Natale, said yesterday. If you are not prepared to act in accordance with your principles, you have none; you become all that you complain of. That is what we see today in the Greens political party.