Senate debates

Wednesday, 3 April 2019


Anning, Senator Fraser; Censure

10:50 am

Photo of Derryn HinchDerryn Hinch (Victoria, Derryn Hinch's Justice Party) Share this | Hansard source

I rise to speak in support of the censure motion against Senator Anning. Early in Senator Anning's unexpected—and I hope short—Senate sojourn, I said here in this chamber: 'I'm starting to think that Senator Anning lies awake at night, trying to think up new ways and words to offend decent, rational, compassionate Australians.' There was his attack on vulnerable women who were terminating a pregnancy. Then Senator Anning attacked other people's rights to die with dignity.

His attempt to politicise the Christchurch mosque massacre, in my opinion, sank to a new level and is worthy of censure in this chamber. To me, it was straight out of the NRA handbook on how gun extremists can benefit from little kids being murdered. I'm actually surprised he wasn't on the sauce and on the plane with Pauline Hanson's treasonous apparatchiks, as they requested millions of dollars from the despicable gun lobby to undermine our gun laws and undermine this parliament and put Aussie families at risk.

Speaking of risk, yesterday in question time, Senator Anning tried to dismiss all of his grotesque comments as freedom of speech, as a part of free speech. Well, Senator Anning, I was a journalist for five decades, and I believe passionately in free speech. But, if you had done some research, you may have checked and found out there is an adage, a rule that journalists follow, and that I hope other people would follow, and that is the rule that you cannot shout 'fire' in a crowded theatre. That is not freedom of speech; that is irresponsible, reckless and totally dangerous behaviour—not free speech at all. And Senator Bernardi was leaning on you and saying the same sort of thing. You cannot shout 'fire' in a crowded theatre, because people may die.

For Senator Anning to get up after Christchurch, after all those people, 50 people, were murdered, and turn it into a political thing—that's what the NRA was telling One Nation, telling Pauline Hanson's people: 'This is what you do. If there's a massacre, you turn it to your advantage. Offence, offence, offence. You turn a murder of kids into a political thing on your behalf. You accuse your opponents, people who are against proliferation of guns, of dancing on the graves of children.' That's what the NRA was saying; that's what One Nation was trying to bring into Australia. So, all I can say, Senator Anning—and I say it quite deliberately—is: You besmirch this place. You should be ashamed of yourself, and I hope you're soon gone.


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