Categories ArchivesMarch 2016

Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016 standard

I rise to contribute to the debate on the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016. Everyone agrees that the Senate voting system needs to be reformed. I do not argue that point, but I am happy to go to a double-D election on the changes in this bill. My private polling is showing the same results as the Liberals’ polling, which means that, in Tasmania alone, we could pick up three and perhaps four Senate seats in a double-D election. However, the point that many senators are missing in this debate is that these changes could be illegal and in breach of the Australian Constitution and will result in a successful High Court challenge, which will create more political chaos and ...

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MPI: Climate Change standard

Senator LAMBIE (Tasmania) (18:39): I note that in the past Prime Minister Turnbull has supported an ETS, an Emissions Trading Scheme. I rise to contribute to this matter of public importance, which focuses on Prime Minister Turnbull’s failure to take action consistent with his words on climate change. In doing so I take this opportunity to speak about the JLN’s policy on a carbon tax and an ETS. I acknowledge that climate change is real. I also acknowledge that ice core sampling by scientists in the Antarctic shows that over the last 600,000 years the average world temperature has changed and has been much higher than today’s average temperature, and it has also been much colder. I note that most ...

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MPI: Turnbull’s failure to present a tax plan standard

Senator LAMBIE: There is a myth—that the Liberals are good managers of public funds — which I would like to question by stating the facts. The Howard Liberal government made a grand total of $59.8 billion from public asset sales: $4.4 billion from airports, $48.6 billion from Telstra and $6.8 billion from Commonwealth Bank. Senator Ian Macdonald: Mr Acting Deputy President, I rise on a point of order. I draw you to the standing order which requires that senators shall not read their speeches. Senator Cameron: On the point of order: Senator Macdonald has been around here long enough to know that that is an absolute nonsense proposal he has put forward. Senator Lambie has been on her feet for I think 15 seconds, and I ...

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Donations to Political Parties standard

The political donation system has been corrupted. It is designed to hide donations so the public are not aware of who is influencing government policy. This is why I am concerned about overseas political donations—they are in direct conflict with national sovereignty. The system is not in the national interest, and it is not in the public’s interest. It is, however, in the interest of some politicians’ retirement policy. China’s donations to the major political parties are well documented and are a grave threat to the power and authority of the nation. I am not alone in my concern regarding our dealings with a country that does not respect our democratic values, that has widespread corruption and that lacks transparency. ...

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MPI: Election of Senators standard

The committee hearing this morning into the Senate voting system was a bombshell. Recognised experts provided a valuable opportunity to learn more about our complicated Senate voting system and the Liberals’ and Greens’ radical electoral changes. I was very impressed by the testimony of Mr Malcolm Mackerras. He took a principled stand and said the Senate voting system has been and will be unconstitutional. Mr Mackerras referred to our Constitution as an authority, saying our voting system must be candidate based, not party based. He kindly drew our attention to section 7 of the Constitution to support his claim. It states: The Senate shall be composed of senators for each State, directly chosen by the people of the State, voting, ...

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QWN – Defence Procurement standard

Defence Procurement Senator LAMBIE (Tasmania) (14:36): My question without notice is to the Minister for Defence, Senator Payne. I refer the minister to her government’s $450 billion defence white paper and the fact that Tasmania’s businesses have been ignored for two decades when it comes to the fair awarding of defence contracts. I also refer the minister to comments made by Tasmanian businessman Michael Grainger, of Liferaft Systems Australia, who says: It is ironic that we are dealing with the major defence forces around the world but not our own country When it comes to the fair awarding of defence contracts, does the minister agree that it is the weak representation by Liberal members of this parliament for 20 years ...

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25th Anniversary of the first Gulf War standard

Twenty-five years ago Australia deployed 1,800 defence personnel to the first Gulf War to assist the US and several other countries push Iraq out of Kuwait. There were 146 casualties from the coalition, but Australia was fortunate enough not to lose one digger in this particular war. In the public gallery watching this debate today is a group of veterans from the Australian Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Veterans Association, one of whom, Rod Thompson, is an Australian Gulf War veteran who served on HMAS Adelaide. Thank you all for your service. Tomorrow these veterans will join with hundreds of their fellow veterans—brothers and sisters—to rally on the lawns in front of Parliament House at 10am. They will protest at the dysfunctional ...

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