Senate debates

Thursday, 12 November 2020



9:39 am

Photo of Simon BirminghamSimon Birmingham (SA, Liberal Party, Minister for Trade) Share this | Hansard source

Serious issues have been raised in the course of this week. Serious issues deserve serious investigation and serious consideration, and there are processes in place to deal with them. Sadly, all too often in this building when serious issues are raised, people also seek to turn those serious issues into political opportunism, political stunts and political tactics, and that is what we are seeing from the Greens this morning. Rather than respecting processes that are in place for individuals to work through—the Department of Finance or other legal avenues and opportunities that are available to individuals—if they so choose, instead, based on some media reporting, the Greens decide that it's time to pursue political opportunism.

The government won't support the Greens in their politically opportunist approach. The government won't support the Greens when they choose to simply grandstand on issues. The government won't be bowing or buckling to the idea that the Australian Greens have some sort of moral authority that is superior to everybody else in this building.

Senator Waters is trying to change the government program for the day, and the government program for the day includes legislation important to the nation. The first order of business for the day is the National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Strengthening Banning Orders) Bill 2020. I note the fourth order of the day—the Recycling and Waste Reduction Bill 2020. These are important policy issues, and important issues that affect all Australians who look outside and beyond the politicking of this building and who look outside and beyond the types of gestures that we get from the Australian Greens; these policy issues actually deal with helping the day-to-day lives of Australians.

Our government is getting on with dealing with the day-to-day issues that affect Australians. In the midst of a global pandemic, Australia has managed to stand tall. We've responded with a health response to keep Australians safe. We've managed to stand tall with an economic response to ensure economic security for Australians. Just last night we were dealing with, again, cheap politicking from the Australian Greens, and at that time the Labor Party as well, in relation to support we were providing to try to get young Australians into work, into jobs. What all of these issues—our health response to the pandemic, our economic response to the pandemic, the JobMaker program, NDIS legislation, and recycling and waste reduction legislation—have in common is a government focused on policies that matter for Australians.


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