Senate debates

Wednesday, 9 November 2011


Suspension of Standing Orders

4:18 pm

Photo of Cory BernardiCory Bernardi (SA, Liberal Party, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary Assisting the Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

It is an extraordinary thing when the worst fears of the Australian people are confirmed by the vainglorious and narcissistic motion that we have before us. It is offensive to the Australian people that this parliament seems to have nothing better to do than debate the pious and sanctimonious words put forward by Senator Bob Brown and Senator Milne because they missed a photo opportunity. In the last 3½ or four minutes, we have heard all about upholding the standing orders, from the party of hypocrisy—the party that will not acknowledge the magnificence of the chair in this chamber when they enter and leave, the party that will not acknowledge people's formal titles in Senate inquiries and hearings, the party that will not acknowledge standing orders. For the benefit of this chamber, let me put this to you:

A resolution of the Senate allows the media to photograph any senator in the chamber provided that they have the call.

Might I remind Senator Bob Brown that yesterday he did not have the call. He stood up and was champing at the bit, trying to grandstand by cuddling with his cabal over there, who have sent this country down a path from which there will be no return while they remain in power. But let me remind them that it is in breach of standing orders.

Senator Bob Brown has come up with this confected outrage and some contrived complaint against Senator Heffernan, who because of his generosity and magnanimous heart was simply going across there to acknowledge that we had been defeated in a challenge. But, in the rudeness, the shrillness and the smugness of the Greens party, they refused to acknowledge Senator Heffernan. I saw him. I watched him. He turned around and looked at the chamber; he looked to the chair and he acknowledged the chair humbly. I can only imagine what he said to himself: 'Why won't they talk to me? I'm just trying to be generous.' But what has happened as a result? We have this hypocritical, vainglorious and narcissistic motion come into the chamber. It is only right that the Australian people would be questioning why this is happening. If there has been regrettable activity in this chamber, might I say much of it rests with the Greens party.

If you want to know about bad behaviour in and out of this place, we need look no further than Senator Bob Brown himself. This is the man who feigned bankruptcy or impending bankruptcy to collect money from the public for legal bills, around $300,000—