Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Discovery of Formal Business
No, they certainly do not vote that way. Australians want champions, not cowards. Let me be clear: black lives do matter; all lives do matter. Deaths in custody are a tragedy. They are happening, yet not in the numbers bandied around. In fact, Aboriginal deaths in custody, according to the government's own data, occur at a similar rate as non-Aboriginal deaths in custody. Getting to the truth is the very thing for which this Senate was designed. Truth must be our currency.
On Friday I listened to the Prime Minister refuse to talk about these matters. I understand Senator Cormann taking his orders from the Prime Minister. What I don't understand is why Senator Wong would go along with it. Is Labor now taking instruction from the Prime Minister? Just how deep is the Liberal-Labor duopoly? For the last year, I've stood in shock at the number of times Labor, Liberals and Nationals have crowded themselves onto the opposition benches to vote down a worthy crossbench initiative. With this process, the people's elected representatives have been silenced.
Senators must decide: do we do grubby deals to silence senators just to preserve daily talking points or do we follow the spirit and intent of the rules developed over 120 years to ensure all voices are fairly heard? George Orwell said, 'If liberty means anything, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear,' even solid data.