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Wednesday, 16 October 1996
Page: 4274

Senator BOSWELL —My question is directed to the Minister representing the Prime Minister. Is the minister aware of claims that the independent member for Kalgoorlie brokered a preference deal between the ALP and the Australians Against Further Immigration in the Lindsay by-election? What message does this coalition of interests send to Australians? Will the deal alter the government's policies in this area?

Senator HILL —It certainly will not alter our policies, because we will not make policy on the basis of short-term political gain, as it would seem the Labor Party are seeking to do in the Lindsay by-election. All of a sudden, despite all the public protestations, it is to their political advantage to get into bed with this group—a group described by some as an extremist group and described by others as a body that includes extremists. I understand—

Senator Robert Ray —When?

Senator HILL —I will give you some examples, Senator. I understand Senator Boswell's concern because he is one person in this chamber who has constantly fought extremism in any form. I give him credit. Mr Denis McCormack, from this organisation, told the Sydney Morning Herald on 19 March 1994:

I can tell you there are folk out there buying guns and bullets. Can you blame people for getting past the point of frustration by thinking well it is time?

This is the sort of organisation that apparently the Labor Party is doing its sleazy deals with. In the Melbourne Herald-Sun on 15 April 1994, it was reported that one AAFI candidate said:

My policies on refugees and illegals is to reopen the second Yallah meatworks, creating up to 500 local jobs, and convert them to blood and bone.

But, when asked about it, he said it was a joke. What a sick joke! These are the people that you are getting into bed with. What did Senator Bolkus say in relation to this organisation? Just listen to this: Senator Bolkus, when he was immigration minister—

Opposition senators interjecting

The PRESIDENT —Order! There is too much noise in the chamber. Senator Hill, just wait please. It is almost impossible to hear you with the amount of interjections.

Senator Alston —It is really hurting them. Why else would they be squealing like cut cats?

The PRESIDENT —Order! Senator Alston!

Senator HILL —How did Senator Bolkus describe this group that the Labor Party has now done a deal with to get preferences? He said:

It is an anti-Labor organisation—

Perhaps he ought to tell his party leaders about that—

With an advance Australia backwards mentality.

He then had a sling at Graeme Campbell who apparently negotiated this deal for the ALP. Senator Bolkus said:

If Graeme Campbell wants to associate himself with them, he will be judged by such association.

The Labor Party will be judged by such association, because it has been reported that this group bought the deal with the Labor Party. The AAFI had been told that Mr Free could be a useful voice for their views in caucus, because Mr Free harboured concerns about the previous Labor government's immigration and multicultural policies. What a short-term, shabby deal for which you will get no benefit and for which I trust you will get no votes.