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Wednesday, 16 August 2017
Page: 5752


Senator BERNARDI (South Australia) (10:01): I have to say from the outset that I don't believe this is a very productive way for us to start the day in the Senate. There are many pressing issues facing this country. I don't have any doubt whatsoever that every contact was brought to bear to establish the facts about Mr Joyce's citizenship. It is a circumstance that someone has exploited for political gain. I don't think it's interference of a treasonous nature, malfeasance or anything else. I would challenge anybody in this place to say they would not have done the same. I recall that there are members of the government, including the Prime Minister himself, who went to great lengths to contact the then Prime Minister of Great Britain to say that I shouldn't be speaking at a Tory conference when I went over there. We know that people exploit personal contacts for political gain, to smite their enemies or anything else. So it doesn't matter to me whether we approve of what Senator Wong's chief of staff has done. (Time expired)