SPEECH: STATEMENT ON PAULINE HANSON MOTION - TUESDAY, 16 OCTOBER 2018
STATEMENT ON PAULINE HANSON MOTION
TUESDAY, 16 OCTOBER 2018
Mr Speaker I move that so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the Manager of Opposition business from moving the following motion immediately. That the House rejects the resolution put to the Senate yesterday which included a white supremacist slogan that is also used by hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan.
This resolution is one that they should have given leave for. We have put no political argument into this. We have put no attack to the Government on this. We have simply said what the Finance Minister claimed a few minutes ago was now the Government's position. We've simply given the House the opportunity to resolve that we are opposed to a white supremacist slogan that the Senate debated yesterday. And instead of having the good sense of the Government to take that opportunity and say we'll give you leave and we will all vote for it, they have decided to not give leave. Completely undermining everything the Finance Minister said only about an hour ago.
This resolution does not condemn the Government and what they just did does. Because they were given an opportunity, just then to vote on a motion that says nothing more than that we reject what Pauline Hanson put to the Senate yesterday.
Nothing more than that we reject a white supremacist slogan that has also been adopted by the Ku Klux Klan. And we gave them the opportunity to simply vote for a resolution that says that. Because bear in mind we were sorely tempted to put in a resolution that carried a whole lot of argument in it. But instead we have provided a resolution for every member of the coalition that if you oppose what Pauline Hanson put to the Senate yesterday that will be the only question before you.
Nothing else. There will be no other question before the House and if that's something the government wants to vote against then what has the Liberal Party become?
What have you become? What has that party become?
The Attorney General's excuses on this have been completely pathetic. We're talking about a motion that was put on the Senate notice paper in September, in September. That the Attorney General had had since September and issued instructions to support. The debate occurred and the Liberal and National Party Senators sat there hearing the debate and knowing what they were about to vote on.
And none of them questioned it. None of them thought maybe we should be opposed to this white supremacist stuff that's coming from Senator Hanson. And then after the vote had occurred. The Attorney General tweeted in support of the Government's position. The Leader of the Government in the Senate did the same.
Then once the community backlash said we will not accept this white supremacist rubbish from the Liberal Party they started to backpedal and try to change their position. Be in no doubt, I suppose they also think it's a coincidence that the Attorney General on the weekend in his own seat One Nation announced their candidate. A candidate he'll be trying to get preferences from.
And a hint to those opposite, when a motion is moved by Pauline Hanson about race it's probably not going to be an anti-racism motion. Probably not the case. Note to self to think about that one.
But the same people opposite in that other chamber, we had a whole day of debate nearly here when Malcolm Turnbull was Prime Minister, and it was a good debate because those in the other chamber, in the other place, the same senators who voted with Pauline Hanson yesterday, after Fraser Anning delivered his speech they all went up and congratulated him. They all went up, hugged him, embraced him, shook his hand. There was no problem. There was no problem from any of them with it. And yet when everybody realised what happened the government decided to back pedal and when Malcolm Turnbull was Prime Minister we were able to get bipartisanship on a resolution that said that shouldn't have happened.
But now that we are in the days of the Morrison Government that doesn't happen anymore. Now that we're in the days of the Morrison Government when we have a resolution which says no more than we reject what happened in the Senate yesterday those opposite want to line up with it. And the claims that were made, the claims were made by the Finance Minister about an hour ago amount to nothing. Amount to absolutely nothing.
Don't pretend that you're suddenly opposed to what you voted for yesterday if today you want to back in yesterday's position. Because that's what's in front of the chamber that the House rejects the resolution put to the Senate yesterday which included a white supremacist slogan that is also used by hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan.
That is what has happened. That's what's happened to debate in this country. I've got to say, when we discussed it amongst ourselves, me moving this, we deliberately wanted to give the Parliament the opportunity for a moment of unity like we were able to achieve under the Turnbull Government. We deliberately took a whole lot of comments of argument that I've used in my speech out of the resolution so that we had a resolution that those opposite in good conscience, and there are some of them, there are some of them that can act in good conscience opposite, there are some of them who don't want to line up with what the Senators did yesterday to give them an opportunity to vote that way and to vote that way in the Parliament now.
I let the government know that I was going to move resolution about yesterday, I made sure the leader of the House was listening as I sought leave so that he could hear every word of it and the answer to will we have that moment of unity again? Now that we're in the Morrison government?
The answer is no. The answer is no and we're back to the pattern that has changed ever since One Nation returned to this parliament because the last time the Australian people voted they were told that support for multiculturalism support for modern Australia was bipartisan. And they were told that by both sides of politics, but after the election after the election when One Nation turns up back in the parliament all of a sudden those opposite to saying oh we need to have more hate speech again we need to change 18C. That was back on the agenda. Fraser Anning gives his first speech they are up congratulating him after he's spoken about the final solution.
Even John Howard refused to give preferences to One Nation and we've seen what they've done in the by elections that have been held, that have been held this term. All those principles that people like Philip Ruddock were once willing to cross the floor over have shifted this term those opposite. And this is a debate about whether or not the modern Liberal Party is willing to support modern Australia. Because last night they didn’t. Last night that was a vote when you start using the same language that the KKK is happy with at that point you've really got to ask a question. And when your defence is the Attorney General hadn't read it. Of all the jobs of all the Ministers to not read the details on the Attorney General of Australia he is the one who doesn't check the language. And that's what this has come to. It is very rare that we have a moment in the parliament where there is a resolution that both sides have claimed they support and yet we are about to divide over it. And it's something which only about an hour ago the Leader of the Government in the Senate claimed he supported exactly what we are about to put to the house.
It's really simple, this doesn't happen in a vacuum. There was a great speech given by one of the members opposite some time ago. Where the Member for Macmillan where he made the comment about appealing to the lowest common denominator has never given anyone a job, has never given anyone a fresh start, has never improved anyone's education.
And what we should be doing together is standing against that rubbish. Instead on a resolution that says nothing more than we reject what happened in the Senate yesterday those opposite are lining up now, are lining up now to dig in to keep those tweets going to keep backing in an offensive position of yesterday.
Every decent member of this House should support this motion.