Senate debates

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers

Community Sport Infrastructure Grant Program

3:11 pm

Photo of Helen PolleyHelen Polley (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

It referred to how some people may call the Prime Minister 'Scotty from marketing'. I didn't say that—I'm quoting other people—but, quite frankly, when your own colleagues from within the government are asking the questions about what role and identifying the fact that, obviously, the Prime Minister and the director of the Liberal Party were actively involved in communicating with Senator McKenzie, that just reinforces a concern that the Australian people have about this government: that the Prime Minister is all spin. There is no substance there at all, and he will do and say whatever it takes to get elected.

That's what the Australian people are seeing from this Prime Minister—that he can't be trusted. The Australian Defence Force is highly respected on both sides of the parliament. To use the ADF in a political way, which is becoming the norm for this government, is unacceptable—and Australians will find that very offensive. I have a daughter who was in the Defence Force. I have two nephews, one of whom is still serving in the Royal Australian Navy. I find it quite offensive that this government would stoop to politicising our Defence Force. It undermines the respect we have had for our Defence Force in this country for centuries. What I think the Australian people want from this government is some leadership, some transparency. They don't want them to use institutions like the Defence Force for their own political gain—because that will be short-lived; the Australian people will respond at the next election in a way that you won't like. A word of advice: stop trying to cover up for Senator McKenzie— (Time expired)

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