Senate debates

Thursday, 7 December 2017


Minister for Employment

10:00 am

Photo of Ian MacdonaldIan Macdonald (Queensland, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

I'm talking about people in the Labor Party, but that may well include you, Senator Hinch, from some of your activities. Senator Cameron's main attack today depends upon allegedly some reporting by a journalist who I've never heard of, representing a news organisation that I think most Australians have never heard of. Senator Cameron uses some allegedly private conversations, which, I have to say, have been denied by the officials involved, so it shows how good the journalist was. But Senator Cameron keeps raising those as his major attack, an attack on honest public servants who can't fight back. That's the sort of bullying you get from Mr Setka, it's the sort of bullying you get from Mr Collier and it's the sort of bullying you get from members of the Labor Party in this chamber who are here only because the likes of Mr Collier and Mr Setka put them here.

To add absolute insult to injury, Senator Cameron then starts attacking the Australian Federal Police. Now, I don't know a parliamentarian, regardless of their political persuasion, who thinks that we are not very well served by the independent Australian Federal Police, ASIO, ASIC and all the security agencies, yet Senator Cameron uses this chamber to attack the Australian Federal Police and start lecturing them about what they should and shouldn't be doing. These people have served governments of all persuasions over many years without any suggestion of bias or of doing anything but their proper public duty, which they discharge so very, very well. Yet Senator Cameron—with his one supporter now left in the chamber—attacks the Australian Federal Police.

Senator Cash is, I am pleased to say—it is not just my opinion; everywhere I go, people mention it—a forthright minister. Everyone who sees her says how direct and honest and open and accountable she is. She has done a wonderful job in all of the portfolios she has been involved in, but particularly in this one, because she is doing what every Australian wants her to do, and that is to expose graft and corruption and criminality wherever they occur, and she does that in spades in relation to the union movement, because that is her portfolio. It's important for Australia. It's important for all of us. Everyone who wants a job and wants to live in this country peaceably needs to know that there is not a group like the union movement who get there because of their bullying, their thuggery and their criminality. I might say that's not all unions, and I acknowledge Senator Ketter, Senator Farrell and the unions they represent, who are, I have to say, more reasonable in their approach. But, in relation to the unions Senator Cameron and my namesake in New South Wales support, the thuggery in the union movement has to be exposed. Senator Cash knows that.

I note in passing that Senator Cameron's major attack on the government is now supported by three other male senators, one of whom has to be here because he's the whip. This shows that not even the Labor Party are serious about this attack. The sooner we can get on with the real business of this Senate, the better this nation will be served.


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