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Monday, 13 February 2017
Page: 686


Senator HINCH (Victoria) (17:12): I am actually going to agree with Senator Hanson on one thing here today, and that is that I do not find that this is actually a compelling matter of public importance—but I shall grab my two minutes and 30 seconds as I can. I also do not blame her for cracking the best deal she could do in WA, and I think she will definitely get three seats in the upper house. She may even get six, or even more. And Hinch's hunch—I am often wrong—is that this deal will put the Labor Party into government in the lower house in WA.

My fight is with Senator Sinodinos and his pathetic attempt on the ABC to try to justify all of this by saying, of One Nation:

The One Nation of today is a very different beast to what it was 20 years ago — they are a lot more sophisticated, they have clearly resonated with a lot of people …

Now, 'more sophisticated': as I said on Sunrise this morning, with Senator Hanson, I do not think it is sophisticated when 20 years ago your main kick was that you had been swamped with Asians and now your main platform is that you are being swamped with Muslims. But my fight is not with One Nation here. My fight is with the Liberal Party, who have thrown the Nationals under the bus. We heard Senator Back saying how wonderful it is, the agreement with the Nationals, and how they would support them elsewhere et cetera. On this occasion, they have thrown them under the bus, and I think it will come back to bite them. Senator Ludlam's time ran out before he quoted all of that poll that said that if people were asked, 'If your party were to vote for One Nation, would that make you less inclined or more inclined to vote?' On the Liberal poll—I saw the same poll—it was, as he said, 30 per cent of Liberals who said they would consider changing their vote, and I think it was actually 50 per cent of Nationals. That is why I say here on this occasion it is so cynical that you had the Prime Minister there virtually saying, 'It is a state matter, and it shouldn't be for us to justify it.' But you had Arthur Sinodinos at the weekend offering a great apologia about how wonderful One Nation is now and how they can lie in bed with them. As old Joh Bjelke-Petersen said: 'You lie down with dogs and you get up with fleas.' I think they will find out that is the situation in WA. I do not even need the whole 2½ minutes.