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Wednesday, 29 March 2006
Page: 153

Miss JACKIE KELLY (7:55 PM) —I rise tonight to also discuss Senator Hutchins’s extraordinary statements in the other place at one o’clock this afternoon. He made an extraordinary attack on our very good member for Greenway, Louise Markus. This senator has a history of going into the other place and bucketing members under privilege, saying things that he would not say outside this place and abusing the very privileges given in this place. For 10 years I have been on the receiving end of the buckets from Steve Hutchins. My local media just ignore his media releases. His media releases are so puerile, vindictive, mean, nasty and downright defamatory that they are completely ignored.

I wish to send the same warning to anyone thinking of printing anything that the senator has to say in the other place: the allegations he is making against the member for Greenway are totally extraordinary and at odds with the character of the person that the people of Greenway elected. This is an extraordinary woman who has given 23 years of community service to the people of Blacktown. She has worked with the Department of Social Security, with TAFE, with the Wesley Mission and, yes, with Hillsong Emerge. Since when has being affiliated with a church been such a public crime that those opposite will smear the reputation of a conservative woman? Yes, I am a Catholic woman. Does that make me so reprehensible and tied up with anything the church does that I must be somehow vilified for it?

Those on the other side of politics have so lost faith that they will attack anything of value and goodness. In the time that I have known the member for Greenway, she has never, ever preached her religion to me. She shows her deep faith, compassion and beliefs by what she does. She never says a thing about her beliefs, but she acts out her beliefs. The same cannot be said of Senator Hutchins. He just buckets people. He lies, he carries on with absolutely spurious allegations—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon. IR Causley)—The honourable member for Lindsay will withdraw that comment.

Miss JACKIE KELLY —I withdraw that comment, but Senator Hutchins does not tell the truth about the member for Greenway. He does a complete bucket job. This is a hatchet man. The former leader of Senator Hutchins’s party had this to say about him:

He’s a slow-talking, slow-moving Sussex Street clone. His sole claim to high office in the Labor Party was that he ran the truck drivers’ union in NSW. He’s a machine man, so they made him a Senator and President of the NSW Branch.

I did not say that; it was said by the former leader of Senator Hutchins’s party. Mark Latham had this opinion of this senator. And Mark Latham’s derision of Senator Hutchins continues:

Hutchins received just six votes out of seventeen—a terrible outcome, a landslide against the State President, the titular head of the faction. Leo couldn’t believe it. Under pressure, he normally has a red melon, but today he looked like an exploding beetroot.

Senator Hutchins has lost everyone from his faction. Leo McLeay, Senator Forshaw and Michael Lee have all departed the parliament. He is out there on his own, bleating in the wilderness, and he can do nothing but dump buckets of bile on very good members of our House.

Senator Hutchins is a member of the ‘bonehead faction’. I did not say that; it is a quote from Mark Latham’s book, The Latham Diaries. It is what Mark Latham, the former leader of the party, actually said about the senator; it did not come from our side of the chamber. This book is the most extraordinary account of how pitiful the machine mechanics of Senator Hutchins are. His attack on the extraordinary member for Greenway is just further evidence of what a tawdry effort this man can come up with. This man was president of the TWU, but he has never held a truck driving licence, let alone driven a truck. When he had the opportunity to do something really great for the trucking industry with the GST—removing wholesale tax from people’s rigs, spare tyres and fuel and improving the diesel fuel rebate—what do you think he did? Senator Hutchins voted against the GST—the best thing that ever happened to truckies in our country. This is the character of the man. I back the member for Greenway all the way.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon. IR Causley)—Order! It being 8 pm, the debate is interrupted.