Thursday, 17 March 2016
Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016; In Committee
I will go back to this wonderful point that Senator Rhiannon has made about what a fantastic inquiry the Greens conspired with the government to have, in which even a simple request that we have the department appear was blocked. No rationale or justification given; that request was just outright blocked. Labor was given 15 minutes in total to question the AEC. What a farce!
Senator Rhiannon came in here in the earlier debate and said, 'Senator Conroy didn't even use all his time.' Senator Conroy, how could you not! He used every moment he had with the AEC—it might not necessarily have been critical for some of the other witnesses but for the AEC we used every ounce of what we were given. Do not pretend this inquiry was something it was not. It was the most appalling committee farce I have ever observed. What's more, it says what the Greens are prepared to do. We have sanctimonious lecturing from Senator Di Natale. We have a Green cabal here who do not even know how to properly work Senate transparency. Instead, they trot over with the government, regardless of what the issue is, every time they are required. Senator Rhiannon wanted to ask the AEC a question. She should be asking the minister this question but she has not—because she is really all about substance! Let's go back to the substance. Minister, I have already asked you Senator Rhiannon's question once but let me ask you again: should there be a penalty for anyone advocating to just vote '1' above the line? Let 's hear your philosophy on this one.