House debates

Thursday, 28 October 2021

Statements by Members

Morrison Government

1:29 pm

Photo of Alicia PayneAlicia Payne (Canberra, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower and the Canberra light rail: what do these great landmarks have in common? They were all built faster than this government's promised anti-corruption commission.

It's been 1,050 days since the Prime Minister made that promise and, rather than the promised watchdog, the government has tried to sell Australia a toothless lapdog. The truth is this government has no respect for our democracy or its institutions. This government has an addiction to secrecy. There is nothing this government hates more than transparency and accountability. It despises the public's right to know: the secret trials of Bernard Collaery and witness K; long queues for freedom of information requests; hiding national cabinet documents; Brian Houston's White House invitation—the list goes on and on—gagging important debate around climate action on Zali Steggall's bill this week; failing to answer questions about an alleged sexual assault of Brittany Higgins, one of their own staff members; today introducing Trumpian style voter suppression legislation to block Australians from their democratic right to cast their vote, perhaps the lowest of the low; and trashing 120 years of parliamentary convention in protecting Christian Porter and his secret $1 million donation, which basically means there's no reason for members to have a register of interests. Australians will not accept this. (Time expired)