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Thursday, 3 September 2020
Page: 4872


Senator FARRELL (South Australia) (09:44): The Labor Party will also not be supporting these amendments. There's nothing quite like a Greens political party dripping in hypocrisy. How do I know that? I know that because my very good friend Lee Rhiannon, who is no longer in this House, was so outraged by the hypocrisy of the Greens on these matters that she ghost-wrote a poisoned letter attacking the Greens leadership at the time, so we know that the Greens are hypocritical on this. They tell us today that they want to remove big money from political donations. Well, lovely objective, but let's talk about Duncan Turpie, a reclusive Queensland mathematician, investor and high-end gambler—high-end gambler! I can't quite remember all of the categories that the Greens want to ban but I do think gambling was one of them. How much big money—

Senator McKim interjecting

The CHAIR: Order!

Senator FARRELL: We're coming to some more. This is not the end of it.

Senator McKim interjecting

Senator FARRELL: Senator McKim, I know you are embarrassed—

Senator McKim: I am not embarrassed.

Senator FARRELL: You are embarrassed by this policy. What did this reclusive—

The CHAIR: Senator Farrell, please resume your seat. Senator McKim, on a point of order?

Senator McKim: Yes. Senator Farrell is personally impugning me. He's wrong: I'm not embarrassed in the slightest. It is contrary to standing orders—

The CHAIR: Senator McKim, that is not a point of order. Resume your seat. If you wish to make a contribution, please seek the call. Thank you, Senator Farrell.

Senator FARRELL: We know the Greens don't want to hear what I'm saying They want to remove big money? Well, why didn't they reject Mr Turpie's $500,000 donation? And who are Mr Turpie's mates?

Senator Bilyk: Who are they? Do tell me.

Senator FARRELL: I will tell you, Senator Bilyk, because you have an interest in this thing. He's a Gold Coast based algorithm specialist and he is a member of the secret punters club gambling group connected with the Museum of Old and New Art founder, David Walsh. I am not sure how much closer you need to get to the gambling industry than the $5,000 that Mr Turpie donated but that's not the end of it. They say they don't want corporate donations; they don't want big money. We found out in the election before last that Prime Minister Turnbull made the biggest donation personally of a private donor in the history of Australian politics. But, up until former Prime Minister Turnbull donated that massive amount of money, who was the biggest single donor in Australian political history? Well, it was the founder of the online travel business Wotif, who donated $1.6 million.

Senator Bilyk: To who?

Senator FARRELL: To the Australian Greens. Can you believe it? This party, that wants to cut big money out of politics, accepted the largest donation in the history of Australian politics up until that time—again, a party dripping in hypocrisy. But that's not the end of it; no, there's more.

Senator Bilyk: More?

Senator FARRELL: There is more, Senator Bilyk. What about the Western Australian Greens convenor Chilla Bulbeck, who personally donated $600,000 to the Greens at the last election? Now, maybe the Greens don't think $600,000 is big money and maybe they're not people the Greens are hoping to catch in this piece of legislation, but there are just three examples that I know of showing how hypocritical the Greens are on these issues.

We do believe in reform and we believe in practical results. When the Labor Party started campaigning at the last election for the end of foreign political donations, everyone said: 'No, you can't do it. You won't be able to achieve it. You're in opposition; the government will stymie you.' I have to say, we didn't get very much support from the Greens on that issue, but we persisted. We argued and argued, and what did we get? We got a bill that banned political donations before the last election. So for the first time in Australian political history foreign political donations were banned in this country. The former foreign minister couldn't rake in all that money while she was the foreign minister. I'm talking about Ms Bishop. She couldn't rake in all those foreign donations to the Liberal Party as she had done in previous elections. I'm not just picking on the Greens, Senator Waters. I'm equally having a go at the government.

So there's plenty of hypocrisy around on these issues, but the Labor Party has got runs on the board. We've pushed for the issues and we've had the outcome. The offer I make to you, Senator Waters—because I checked again last night; there hadn't been any calls from the Greens about your amendments—is that we're very happy to talk to you about a practical outcome in political reform, because the Labor Party believes in it and, more importantly, the Labor Party has achieved it. If you sit down with us and Senator Patrick, Senator Lambie and Senator Griff then we can get practical results, but this is not the way to do it. Grandstanding—making this the last item on the list, trying to get a bit of cheap publicity—is not the way to do it. You've got to be serious about it. You've got to start at the beginning and, as we've done in the past, you'll get the results.