House debates

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Matters of Public Importance

Morrison Government

4:15 pm

Photo of Ted O'BrienTed O'Brien (Fairfax, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

Isn't it extraordinary that those opposite decide to heckle and oppose and scoff when I talk about the importance of the security of our nation. Let's take ourselves through what the opposition stands for. One of the real challenges we face at the moment as a nation is the coercive economic measures being undertaken by the Chinese Communist Party on Australian businesses. There have been two opportunities for the opposition over the last week to join the government in pushing back and standing up for Australian businesses. Their foreign affairs spokesperson chose not to do so. And this very week the Leader of the Opposition chose not to do so. Those opposite are refusing to support the Australian government and the Australian people on something that has traditionally been bipartisan in this country. I personally believe there is no larger challenge of our time than trying to resolve the China question. Those opposite have broken a long-term bipartisan tradition, and they have done so at the compromise of our nation.

It was Vladimir Lenin, that Russian revolutionary, who coined the phrase 'a useful idiot', a useful idiot being one who unwittingly, out of ignorance, propagates the cause of another, and the leaders of that other get excited and let the useful idiot talk. I'm sorry to say that the Leader of the Opposition and the foreign affairs spokesperson for the opposition are proving to be useful idiots in this regard, because they have very clearly said that they do not support the Australian government in its attempts to push back on Communist China's coercive measures.


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