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Thursday, 3 December 2015
Page: 9791


Senator CONROY (VictoriaDeputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (11:24): There was one point in particular that Senator Whish-Wilson made earlier that I took some offence at that, and that was when he claimed that Labor were just upset because the Greens had done the deal before Labor. Let me just put some facts on the record. Last night we rejected the final begging, grovelling approaches from the big end of town's representatives on the other side of the chamber and we said, 'No, we will not compromise on this. You have to fold and you have to deliver this bill with full tax transparency.' When offered the same 30 pieces of silver, we rejected it. Those who have now signed this deal—the political geniuses sitting down there preparing their notes to speak—took the 30 pieces of silver.

So I want to absolutely put on the record that, when Senator Whish-Wilson said that Labor were just upset because the Greens did the deal before we did, he could not have misled this chamber more seriously and, importantly, besmirched those on this side, who have been campaigning for full tax transparency for a vast number of years along with many, many members of the Greens. And they will be horrified that the geniuses in charge of the Greens decided that they could do a filthy deal and exempt all of these companies that are donors to the Liberal Party. That is on their head and their head alone.

If you had a spine or some political courage, there was no need to roll over and give the government this bill. They needed this bill. It was important legislation. It is flawed and it does not go far enough, but the government needed this bill—and all they had to do was agree to reveal the level of tax that these companies were paying. Let us not forget that Malcolm Turnbull's own company was in there. But you have chosen to give the government a leave pass. The Australian public is being kept in the dark because of the Australian Greens' lack of spine on this. And you will pay a price—and you deserve to pay a price.