Monday, 21 October 2019
Customs Amendment (Growing Australian Export Opportunities Across the Asia-Pacific) Bill 2019, Customs Tariff Amendment (Growing Australian Export Opportunities Across the Asia-Pacific) Bill 2019; Consideration in Detail
Let's just talk about the politics of the people of Australia. I'm a very humble man, Deputy Speaker McVeigh. I have much to be humble about. I wrote a book and it was the best-selling history book in the year it came out. Murdoch Books used Kevin Rudd to launch it in Sydney, to over 1,000 people, and Barrie Cassidy to launch it in Melbourne, to over 1,000 people. I have great faith in the Australian people. If I do, then I believe they're going to slaughter these two parties. There was a little group called the Labor Party—my family are very wealthy and very powerful but they backed the labour movement with every ounce of energy that they had. We had seven seats in Queensland and eight seats in New South Wales. Within 15 years we controlled the parliaments of Australia and ran Queensland for the next 50 years straight. We won every seat outside of the south-east corner and every election for 50 years. But what you don't see is happening. Tony Abbott stood up in this place and led the clapping to congratulate the then trade minister on the free trade deal. The minister sold the Port of Darwin and then went on $880,000 a year from the Port of Darwin owners the next year. Tony Abbott stood up and clapped, as did all of the Liberal Party, all the little sycophants that are in this place. I said to the honourable member for Clark, 'He's finished. He will never survive this.' Within three months he was destroyed—completely. Now, if you think you're going to get away with continuing down this free trade path—people wonder why we're associated with it—I was there in the room when Michael O'Connor tore into the Labor Party, like I'd never before heard anyone at a public meeting rip into a Prime Minister, over the section 457 workers. These people actually didn't do that; it was the Labor Party that did it. They were bringing in about 30,000 and then Labor came in and they brought in 165,000. O'Connor was quite right. He's providing the money for the ALP and he's getting a big kick in the backside and a kick in the head from them in this place with their free trade deals. There is not the slightest doubt that the member for Melbourne and the member for Clark are dead right. If you're seriously going to say to the Australian people that it is not going to undermine their pay and conditions, you have to assume every Australian is a drongo and a mug. We've got it terribly wrong many times in our history, but the Australian people always get it right in the end. That's the problem for you mainstream parties. You won't keep getting away with it.