Senate debates

Monday, 20 June 2011


Australian Greens

10:21 pm

Photo of Helen KrogerHelen Kroger (Victoria, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

With only three parliamentary sitting days left before the composition of the Senate changes on 1 July, I am filled with trepida­tion at the implication of a strengthened Labor-Green coalition. With the Australian Labor Party and the Greens holding the balance of power in the Senate with the arrival of three further Greens senators, I look forward to and anticipate the level of scrutiny that I hope will be applied to the Greens agenda.

I hate to say it, but there is a stale aroma wafting at the Senate doors: it is called communism, that political ideology which has been tried, tested and failed to the detriment of millions of people. Whilst the clock counts down to 1 July, radical extremism must be left at the door.

The Greens have been masters of disguise and artisans of deception. What they sell is rarely what they deliver. The leader of the Australian Greens outlined the priorities for his party prior to the last federal election. It included repealing the Northern Territory euthanasia laws, the return of death duties and, disturbingly, the cessation of public funding for private schools. If a heroin injecting room in your neighbourhood is something which interests you, then the Greens are the party for you. They may appear to champion only environmental causes, but the reality is far removed from this. The most recent demonstration is their influence in ensuring a carbon tax is front and centre of the Gillard government's agenda.

Karl Marx died in 1883. It would be reasonable to suggest that the Greens move­ment has been trying to revive his spirit ever since. The Greens have not accepted that com­munism has failed and that it is anathema to the Australian way of life, and they clearly have not learnt the lessons from the collapse of socialism in Soviet Russia and East Germany. An obsession with the class struggles which Marx referred to in his writings has meant that the Greens are more concerned with the redistribution of wealth and punishing wealth creators than in the daily issues that confront Australians. If the Greens think that 'Communism is the riddle of history solved,' then they desperately need a reality check.

At the 2010 general election, the people of Australia elected three new Greens senators and the first Greens member of the House of Representatives in Mr Adam Bandt. My point this evening is simply to highlight that with great power comes great responsibility, and given the Greens recent track record we know that the mantle of public scrutiny may be too heavy a burden for them to carry.

Recently, we witnessed a hostile Senator Bob Brown attacking the fourth estate for applying the same standards to them that apply to the two major political parties. His response could only be described as extraordinary; behaviour we would see in the junior school playground from the kid who does not get his own way and cries foul: 'It wasn't me! I didn't do it! I'll tell my mum on you!' When ABC journalist Chris Uhlmann, asked, 'Didn't you say in 2007 that "We had to kick the coal habit?"'—quoting directly from an opinion piece authored by Senator Brown—the senator quickly responded by describing the ABC as the 'hate media'.

Regrettably for Senator Brown, his problems do not end with the fourth estate. He has bigger problems brewing at home with his own party. One of those senators elect, Ms Lee Rhiannon, has already receiv­ed critical attention for her interest in an extreme radical social-engineering agenda. It is Ms Rhiannon who was an aggres­sive supporter of the boycott divestment sanctions motion that was passed by the Marrickville council. This Senate recently passed a motion condemning the BDS movement and the Marrickville council for pursuing such a racist charter that would undermine the strong bipartisan support for a two-state solution. It was interesting to read that while the Senate was discussing this Ms Rhiannon was giving an address about how to strengthen Australian solidarity with Palestine. But when you have suckled on the teat of the Communist Party who could be surprised?

It has been reported that in November 2002, in the week prior to protests against the World Trade Organisation in Sydney, Ms Rhiannon spoke in support of the protesters and organised a public conference on civil disobedience at the New South Wales par­liament. It has also been reported that Ms Rhiannon was critical of the activities of the police during the violent S11 protests and that in May 2009 Ms Rhiannon was the main speaker at an award ceremony described by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba as an act of allegiance to Fidel Castro.

I am disgusted and outraged that a person who seeks to represent the Australian public would choose to support such extreme and subversive political causes. These reported activities are diametrically opposed to the values which our society believes in and which this parliament strives to maintain and uphold. That is why I applaud the member for Melbourne Ports, Mr Michael Danby, who has recently announced that he will not preference Greens at the next federal election in his seat of Melbourne Ports. This very same position was taken by the Victorian division of the Liberal Party for the recent state election in Victoria last November, when the Greens were crowing—and I would suggest that that would be under­stating their predictions—about a possible victory of four to six lower house seats. They had already factored them into their count. The Liberal leadership made an honourable decision not to preference the Greens. It was one based on the platform and values of the Liberal Party, and it was a decision that was lauded and recognised by Victorians and which saw them win a majority government.

In conclusion, I do not believe that there is any place for selling out your soul for short-term gain. The reality is that all Australians are suffering the consequences of a Labor-Green government, a mistake that we must make sure that we never see or is made again. Let's not forget: if you go to bed with a dog you must expect to wake up with fleas.

Senate adjourned at 22 : 29