Senate debates

Tuesday, 31 August 2021


Hanson, Senator Pauline

1:49 pm

Photo of Murray WattMurray Watt (Queensland, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Northern Australia) Share this | Hansard source

I rise to speak about some very mysterious things that seem to be happening in Central Queensland, particularly in Rockhampton. This weekend, the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin reported that Senator Pauline Hanson had secured $8 million of federal funding for a new hospice in Rockhampton. This is a good project. I've actually met with the proponents of this project myself. But the question must be asked: why is it that federal government funding—Morrison government funding—is being announced by a One Nation senator?

The last time I looked, Rockhampton was in the electorate of Capricornia, held by government member Michelle Landry. Why is it that Ms Landry is not getting to announce government funding but instead Senator Hanson is getting to announce that funding? In the article in the Morning Bulletin, Senator Hanson claimed that she had been the only federal representative to make representations to the government for this hospice, which again begs the question: what is Ms Landry doing? She's not making representations for this funding. She's not getting to announce this funding. Instead, it's Senator Hanson who's getting to announce this funding.

Senator Hanson claimed that her efforts and her funding announcement came as a result of discussions that she had had with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. Again, this raises the question: why is Senator Hanson getting to announce $8 million of federal government funding? Is this part of some deal that she has with the federal government? We know that Senator Hanson is the most reliable ally that the LNP has in this chamber, voting with them almost every single time. Is this what she gets in return—the ability to go out and announce government funding, instead of the government's own members?

The issue became even stranger yesterday, when a media release appeared on Michelle Landry's website claiming that she had delivered the funding. Two days after it was reported in the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin that Senator Hanson delivered the funding, now Michelle Landry is claiming the funding. There are only two options here: either Senator Hanson is lying, or Michelle Landry is being sold out by her own government.


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