Senate debates

Thursday, 14 May 2020


COVID-19: Economy

4:55 pm

Photo of Malcolm RobertsMalcolm Roberts (Queensland, Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party) Share this | Hansard source

As a servant to the people of Queensland and Australia, I want to have a chat with Australians through a series of basic questions. Do Australians know that 120 years ago our country led the world in per capita income? We were the richest. Yet from 1923 onwards, we deviated from our Constitution and from the basics that made our country successful. We deviated more after 1944. That accelerated under Labor and Liberal-National governments in 1975 and 1976, and especially from 1996 onwards.

Even before the virus, our country was in an economic mess. The fundamentals showed that. Yet, despite the extra debt created by this virus, we can get out of this mess and rebuild our success, providing that members of parliament understand the key issues that Canberra caused and that we need to reverse. I stand by my initial call to go hard and quick on managing the virus. Much was unknown about it, and developed nations were reeling from it with high death rates and collapses of medical systems. At the same time, I pointed to other nations whose response has been far more effective than ours, in terms of far lower death rates and far, far lower economic impact—Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong.

As I said in the Senate in March and April, there's no manual on how to respond to this. Yet basic questions must be asked. We trusted the government with an open cheque and we promised accountability. I promised to hold the government accountable and am doing so, although sometimes without answer. I will continue to do so. It's my job. We all need to be realistic. Ecuadorians voted for no restraints and its citizens are burning bodies in the streets, bodies are stored in plastic bags in the streets, and people are collapsing and dying in the streets. In New York City morgues are spilling over and refrigerated trucks are standing by, and hospitals are overwhelmed. Yet in the same nation Florida is doing much better. Why?

As for the COVIDSafe app, our initial investigation showed the app was secure, yet the storage of data was a risk. I would not download the app because I don't trust government. The privacy bill today fixes the storage issues—yet now we learn that the app is an invasion of privacy, after hackers showed it is not secure and can be used to spy on people. I don't trust government. In this speech I will show why I do not trust Liberal or Labor governments especially the 1996 to 2007 federal government—for which, I confess, I voted. After seven years research following that government, I concluded it was one of the greatest wreckers of our nation and bypassers of our Constitution.

As citizens and as taxpayers, let's have a discussion. I'll ask some basic questions, and people can answer for themselves. To people who say that a small percentage of the population dying doesn't matter and who want to stop all isolation: are you willing to name one or two close friends or family members you're offering up to die to save our economy? If so, can you speak their names aloud. Isn't preserving and protecting life every government's No. 1 job? Can we put a dollar value on the sanctity of life? No.

Now let's ask what constituents are wondering—or, indeed, shouting. Isn't it true that the government relies on Neil Ferguson's pandemic models and predictions at the Imperial College London for the basis of its management of COVID-19? Isn't it true that Neil Ferguson leads a 50-strong team at the Imperial College London with ties to the UN's corrupt World Health Organization? Isn't it true that American officials admit Ferguson's modelling influenced the USA's response? Did the government know that in 2005 Ferguson said that up to 200 million people could die from bird flu, yet between 2003 and 2009 only 282 people died worldwide from bird flu?

Did the government know that, based on Ferguson's advice, the British government estimated that swine flu would lead to 65,000 deaths, yet in the UK only 457 people died, with a death rate around one-twentieth of Ferguson's prediction? Did the government know that Ferguson's 2001 modelling on foot and mouth disease was severely wrong and that his advice to cull animals on neighbouring properties without symptoms cost the British economy 10 billion pounds? What about Ferguson's 2002 prediction that between 50 and 50,000 people would die from mad cow disease and that there would be possibly up to 150,000 deaths? There have been only 177 deaths in Britain. This guy keeps getting it wrong, badly. Experts internationally have discredited the Imperial College's modelling assumptions. Have models from Ferguson's college been subjected to external scrutiny? Why was widespread testing such as Taiwan's or South Korea's not modelled? Ferguson's Imperial College model saw Sweden having 15 times more deaths by 1 May than actually occurred. Why did Ferguson break his own recommendation to maintain a significant social distancing indefinitely until a vaccine is developed? Why, as warned in my letter of 16 April to the Prime Minister, was no second advisory team funded to critique the primary team? Why not have a blue team, and also a red team to check the blue team's work? Did the government put blind faith in a foreigner without understanding despite his record of huge catastrophic errors and failures?

Who is accountable for the Ruby Princess cruise boat debacle causing a high proportion of Australia's infections and deaths? Isn't it true that the senior Border Force officer on duty on the boat order the captain under section 64 of the Customs Act to not disembark customers? Is the government aware that he then told a more senior officer of the direction he gave to the Ruby Princess captain and that the more senior officer overruled the previous order, and passengers disembarked? We've been given the name of the more senior officer who reportedly reversed the order. Would the government like to know his name? Would the government like to know further information about the breaking of Customs laws at the scene? It has previously been reported that before disembarkation a person from the Department of Home Affairs contacted Border Force officers. What was the nature of instructions or information in that contact? Why did the more senior officer authorise the bulk disembarkation of the passengers despite evidence of coronavirus outbreak on the ship?

Now let's turn to Victoria. The Cedar Meats abattoir is associated with one-third of Australia's cases. Why did the Victorian government enable this? Outbreaks at aged-care facilities represent 60 per cent of deaths. Why did we not change strategy to that of Taiwan, which has a similar population to Australia's, had earlier and greater exposure to China, is more densely populated than Australia and yet only has had only seven deaths compared with our 100? Why can't we keep the sick and vulnerable isolated—as I mentioned on 23 March and 8 April in the Senate and in my letters to the PM—and allow the healthy to return to work as normal under a regime of testing, as successfully done in Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong, with their low death rates and a healthy economy? How many died from the coronavirus and how many died with the coronavirus?

Let's turn to discuss leadership. Are the following traits of effective leadership? Not sharing the data? No. Not trusting the people with the plan of where we're going? no. Repeatedly stating the phrase 'six months hibernation' early on? No. Is all states going in separate directions evidence of a lack of data, lack of unity, plenty of political interference or of a national cabinet not working? Why do state and federal governments seek to control people arbitrarily? Why are footballers like Bryce Cartwright risking their careers and their family livelihood because the Queensland state government forces them to be infected with a compulsory flu shot? No-one can link it to the coronavirus yet the state government makes it a condition of restarting our rugby league competition. Why are triggers in state and federal road maps to exit isolation not based on objective data but are simply a matter of political opinion? Does the government expect that Australians will be sent home in three to six weeks time to curb the second wave of COVID-19 outbreaks or the third or the fourth? How will that be enforced? What does the government's model that shares basic assumptions with Neil Ferguson's Imperial College models say about the number of times isolation will be ordered and released? Doesn't it say there will be outbreak spikes needing future isolation? Quoting from the UK government's official declaration Health Department:

As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a High Consequence Infectious Disease … in the UK.

Yet it remains a threat, doesn't it? I know that, albeit much lower than originally thought.

In my first corona speech, on Monday 23 March, I named the virus the Chinese Communist Party-UN virus because of the UN's culpability in giving wrong and contradictory advice and making dishonest statements. I later called for inquiry into the Chinese Communist Party's role in the pandemic. Why did the Prime Minister recently call for the UN's failed and corrupt World Health Organization to be given the power of weapons inspectors, especially after the World Health Organization lied about the corona? Recently, last October, Scott Morrison called for a review of what he said was 'unaccountable internationalist bureaucracy'. Yet, around 1 May, this Prime Minister said, 'Australia will do what is in our interest, in the global interest.' Why does he now contradict himself a second time? Which of his statements is the truth?

Why did Lib-Lab governments at federal and state levels sell assets to the Chinese Communist Party? They sold electricity assets, essential assets, and subsidised the Chinese to install solar panels and wind turbines in Australia that are destroying our electricity grid and sending jobs to China. Why did the government sell the Port of Darwin to the Chinese or sell Murray-Darling Basin water to Chinese companies under the 2007 Howard-Turnbull Water Act? Senator Patrick called five times for an inquiry into the relationship between Australia and China. Each time I spoke in favour, and each time the Labor and Liberal-National Parties voted against the inquiry. Why?

Why is New South Wales Labor now praising China, demanding welfare payments for foreign students, wanting more taxpayer subsidies for arts programs for the wealthy? Does the government know that the Chinese Communist Party is close to the UN and pushes its policies? Why does the UN's World Health Organization, with its close relationship to the Chinese Communist Party, never mention Taiwan, the stand-out successful performer for managing COVID-19? When will state and federal Lib-Lab governments give us our lives back and our basic freedoms? Anything that is needed with the permission of government is not a freedom.

Corporate bonds—let's consider them. A Liberal senator recently mentioned his deep concern about our Reserve Bank of Australia buying corporate bonds. That's a transfer of wealth from taxpayers to foreign companies, and a transfer of risk from those companies to we taxpayers. Why? The former deputy commissioner of taxation Jim Killaly said in 1996 and in 2010 that 90 per cent of Australia's large companies are foreign owned and since 1953 have paid little or no company tax. The 14 largest companies in our country are foreign owned. Why do Lib-Lab governments encourage companies to use our assets and exploit our resources yet pay no company tax?

This is not the first time Liberal-Labor-National policies have cost the people billions of dollars based on no real data. Consider these areas of policy failure now hurting Australians: energy; stealing farmers' rights to use land that they own but can't use; water policy and the 2007 Turnbull-Howard Water Act that pushed farmers aside and put compliance with international agreements to the foremost priority; over-regulation with red tape, green tape and UN blue tape; and UN control of World Heritage areas, fishing and immigration. Even Sydney's Warragamba water dam supply is under UN control, effectively. Immigration policy is under the UN Human Rights Council and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. The Iraq War was based on the furphy of weapons of mass destruction that did not exist. Public money is blown with no empirical data or justification again and again.

Former Western Australian Premier Richard Court's book Rebuilding the Federation documents in detail the dismantling of our nation. COVID-19 has exposed our weaknesses because we have adopted the globalist policies of interdependence that make us dependent on others. We have lost our independence and now depend on foreigners. COVID-19 has exposed that we lost our manufacturing security. UN treaties, protocols, agreements and declarations in Lima in 1975, in Rio in 1992, in Kyoto in 2005 and in Paris in 2015, and many others, have stolen our national sovereignty and destroyed our governments, our productive capacity, our economic resilience, our independence and our security.

When will Labor, Liberals and Nationals stop blowing billions of dollars without data? In this case, on COVID-19, it's $320 billion. This is why I do not trust Liberal-Labor-National governments. We need to celebrate Australia's people, resources, opportunities and potential. We need to recognise that what Liberal-Labor governments have done since 1944 is selling us out—literally selling our future. We need to get back to basics, return to reality, to bring back our country. It's common sense. All people need, all we want, is to be heard and to be given a fair go.

We need leaders who use our assets—the people's assets—for our people, our country. We need people to stop believing in big government, believe instead in ourselves, our country, and take back our rights at the ballot box. The people are the rulers; our Constitution says so. The first step in bringing back our country is to admit the causes of its economic destruction and then end the treason to bring back our country, personal freedoms and rights under our laws, values and culture. Liberal-Labor governments over the last 76 years have handed over our sovereignty. To regain our high standards of living we need to bring back Australia. Voters need to take responsibility at the ballot box and elect trustworthy representatives who truthfully use solid data to serve our country. The people will then trust elected MPs to serve our nation.


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