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Thursday, 21 June 2018
Page: 3671


Senator CAMERON (New South Wales) (18:25): I'd like to make some remarks on the same document. I always like talking about the NBN, the failed government NBN, the NBN that gets more complaints than any other government endeavour in this place. It has been an absolute disgrace. I actually was on the Joint Standing Committee on the NBN. It was an absolute disgrace when the current Prime Minister, Mr Turnbull, was given his riding instructions by the then opposition leader, Mr Tony Abbott, to destroy the NBN. Well, let me tell you: Prime Minister Turnbull has succeeded. He's destroyed the NBN. He's destroyed any capacity to be seen as technically competent and technologically competent when it comes to the NBN.

I don't know where Senator O'Sullivan was coming from in the pathetic contribution that he just undertook. If that is the best they can do in sending the cavalry in to protect Senator Cash, they need to do something better than what we just saw there—five minutes of absolute drivel and absolute nonsense. This is a senator who has the same reputation as Senator Cash in this place—and that is that they attack women. Senator O'Sullivan has been ruthless in his approach to women in estimates committee hearings. You just have to look at his performance over the years. I know that when I lived in the bush most men there treated women with some respect. Unfortunately, that's not what you see with Senator O'Sullivan. I think he might have been a bit tired and emotional in that last five-minute speech. I will give him some advice: don't get on your feet again if that's the best you can do, because you're tiredness and emotional approach is sticking out a mile. I know it is getting on late, but it's not that late. It is quite early in the evening. I'm surprised he was so tired and so emotional this early in the evening.

Let's talk about the National Party. Let's talk about New England, my duty electorate. Let me tell you: the National Party is on the nose in New England. The National Party is on the nose in New England because of the contributions that the member up there has made to dignity and decency. He paraded around as some holier-than-thou senator when he was here in the Senate. He paraded around as some holier-than-thou Deputy Prime Minister who then had to resign in disgrace. What an absolutely pathetic performance! These are the types of people that we have in the National Party. They really don't care about people in the bush. If they actually cared about people in the bush, you know what they would have done today? They would have opposed these tax cuts that are going predominantly to rich people in the city. This is another example of how the National Party are absolutely pathetic. They absolutely do not care about the people they represent. If they did, they wouldn't be handing huge amounts of money, tens of thousands of dollars, to rich Australians at the expense of working people in the bush, who are predominantly on the award wage.

So they attack working people when it comes to tax. The National Party attack working people when it comes to penalty rates. The only thing that keeps many Australians in the bush able to survive is their penalty rates, yet the National Party continue to attack penalty rates and have not supported penalty rates. Even Senator Hanson was so embarrassed that she had to end up standing up for penalty rates. You'll never hear a National Party member stand up for workers in their communities who are getting their penalty rates ripped away. The National Party are a national disgrace. The National Party have no credibility. Don't lecture me about the bush when you don't look after them. (Time expired)

Debate adjourned.