Senate debates

Thursday, 3 December 2015


Tax Laws Amendment (Combating Multinational Tax Avoidance) Bill 2015; In Committee

5:18 pm

Photo of Stephen ConroyStephen Conroy (Victoria, Australian Labor Party, Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) Share this | Hansard source

That was not a point of order at all. What has become apparent here, as Senator Cormann knows, is that an existing party room vote has been overturned by his deal with the Greens, and they have not gone back to the party room. You have not gone back to the party room to get approval to change the position of the party room. The processes that Prime Minister Turnbull put in place have been, as usual, rode over roughshod. The backbench party members are deeply unhappy about lack of process. Some of them are so unhappy that they have defected to the Queensland National Party. What a success you guys are. You are on a tare.

You have overturned your cabinet decision and you have overturned your party room decision. I just wanted to make sure, and confirm through you, Mr Temporary Chairman, that it is on the public record that this deal, which overturns an existing Liberal party room position, is not approved by the cabinet of Australia or by the Liberal party room. No-one has been given an opportunity to say what they think. No-one has been given an opportunity to make an argument against the deal that has been done. I can understand, Senator Cormann, when you get a mug who is going to accept the purchase of the Sydney Harbour Bridge from you, you have to try to ram it through quickly. The Liberal party room has been treated with contempt by the ministers involved in these discussions. I wanted to make sure that was on the record.

I now want to address some untruths—some misleading of the Senate that has taken place in the last hour or so. It is quite embarrassing when you have a guilty conscience and you want to distract people from the fact that you have just sold your soul and sold out on everything you have campaigned for for two years, and overturned your own party and platform's position and what you have been seeking to do; I understand you would want to try and distract. So you want to fabricate history. Senator Whish-Wilson, the story you have attempted to tell and the story you are telling those poor, upset, ordinary Australians—or possibly even your branch members—when they have phoned your offices is untrue. Okay? Untrue.

So I want to put this on the public record. Firstly, as you well know, I was not here—I was overseas on a delegation when the debate took place. So do not try and represent that there were not people in the Labor Party willing to speak on this issue. That is the first point.

Secondly, and more importantly, as Senator Dastyari has said, and I will not need to speak for him because he will be speaking shortly, you have absolutely fabricated—Mr Temporary Chairman, could you ask Senator Heffernan to take his seat, please—


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