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Monday, 29 February 2016
Page: 1232


Senator CAMERON (New South Wales) (10:22): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for three minutes.

Senator CAMERON: I am pretty gobsmacked by the contribution from Senator Di Natale. Senator Di Natale wants to be in the mainstream—that was what he said when he became the Leader of the Greens, that he wanted to take the Greens into the mainstream. I know lots of Greens who do not want to be in the mainstream, and they certainly do not want to be in the mainstream if it involves Senator Di Natale doing deals with the coalition government.

Senator Di Natale: What about the one you did on refugees?

Senator CAMERON: Senator Di Natale has such a glass jaw that he cannot sit quietly for one minute and accept any criticism of where the Greens are heading under his leadership. We see where they are heading—in a pact with the National Party. I have never seen Senator O'Sullivan so animated and so happy, clapping Senator Rhiannon when she was up there giving a speech. It is unprecedented in this chamber that the Greens and the National Party are as one in destroying democracy in this country.

Senator Di Natale spoke about process. This is not an argument about process; it is a fundamental argument about democracy. It is about how we can get a voice for those who do not want to vote National Party, do not want to vote Liberal, do not want to vote Labor and do not want to vote Greens. What the Greens have done is that they have denied any opportunity for any democracy to take place in this country in the future when a new party seeks to come up with new ideas, because the old ideas of the Greens under Senator Di Natale will take us nowhere. We know what they are going to do. They will be like the Australian Democrats—deal after deal after deal till they end up disappearing. That is the problem they are going to have, and we see that they are prepared to sacrifice their own senators for this push to the centre. They are going to sacrifice one of their most effective senators in a whole range of areas because their leader, Senator Di Natale, has some view that he wants to be in the mainstream. Well, the Greens do not want to be in the mainstream. The Greens people I speak to are appalled by what is going on. We are going to see huge divisions in the Greens, and we are going to see Senator Di Natale under more pressure. That is why he is so vocal. That is why he is so animated. (Time expired)