Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 9 December 1993
Page: 4370

Senator CRANE (1.58 a.m.) —Now we really are getting into what one might term the guts of this bill and what it really should be called—the union enhancement bill. The government, the Democrats, the Greens and Senator Harradine had an opportunity, which they have let pass, to have a little bit of democracy in this place tonight. The rights of the individual could have been protected in a situation where there was a majority. That came through and was expressed, but of course this government is not interested in that. It is interested in enshrining more power in the ACTU. It is interested in centralising the whole of industrial relations back into Canberra under its control, its mates and its masters. That is what is contained in this part of the bill that we are dealing with now. It amazes me that the Democrats in particular—in view of what they supposedly stood for—can be part of that process and can be bought so easily to go down this road. They are totally infringing the rights of the individual.

Senator Kernot —I raise a point of order. I call upon your guidance with reference to previous rulings on the use of words such as `bought' in the way Senator Crane used it.

  The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator McKiernan)—Senator Crane, it would be better if you did not use expressions like that. I do not uphold the point of order.

Senator CRANE —Mr Temporary Chairman, I am absolutely amazed that they are so easily offended. There is no doubt that former Senator Button was right when he said they were the fairies down at the bottom of the garden. Look at them down there—they are not even blossoming tonight. And they take offence at such a thing! Well, they were rented.

Senator Coulter —I rise on a point of order, Mr Temporary Chairman. The opposition knows very well the meaning of corruption. To suggest that we could be bought is to suggest that we are corrupt, and it is totally unparliamentary to make that suggestion. I ask you to ask him to withdraw that remark.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN —Senator Crane, I have already asked you to refrain from—

Senator CRANE —I thought I had. If I did not make it clear already—

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN —Order! Senator Crane, I have asked you to refrain from that kind of remark. I am not upholding the point of order at this time, but I will not ask you a third time. I would ask you now to direct your attention to the clause in the bill which you are speaking to.

Senator Brownhill —I rise on a point of order, Mr Temporary Chairman. Could I just ask you a question? Would the word—

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN —No, Senator Brownhill. Do you have a point of order?

Senator Brownhill —Would the word `purchase' have been applicable rather than `bought'?

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN —Order! I call Senator Crane. I will not rule on hypotheticals.

Senator CRANE —Thank you, Mr Temporary Chairman. I thought I had withdrawn the word. I did not believe I used it again. If I did, I apologise to you because it was not intentional to do that.