Senate debates

Thursday, 27 June 2013



1:56 pm

Photo of Jacinta CollinsJacinta Collins (Victoria, Australian Labor Party, Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations) Share this | | Hansard source

I move:

That the sitting of the Senate be suspended till 2 pm.

Photo of Michael RonaldsonMichael Ronaldson (Victoria, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Veterans' Affairs) Share this | | Hansard source

What an absolute outrage that you have given four minutes to a military superannuation bill. This is a slap in the face for veterans. And you are now seeking to suspend proceedings for four minutes. You stand utterly condemned. You have rammed through bill after bill. You are an absolute farce and you will be treated accordingly. How dare you guillotine a bill in relation to military superannuation arrangements? We do not care what your internal issues are; we care about proper process. We do not care that you are a bad government. The Australian people will deal with you, as they should. Two hundred and sixty gagged bills, and you sit there mute.

Every time I read in your newsletters that you are concerned about veterans, I am going to remind them, every day between now and the election, that this is what you did when given the chance to speak about our veterans—and you have denied them the opportunity to hear what we have to say about the bill and Senator Xenophon the chance to speak on something that he and I know is extremely important, and that is processing times. Processing times are not being met, despite this government having 120 days as one of its KPIs. So we will just dismiss the concerns of those veterans who, quite rightly, are deeply concerned about processing times!

You can sit there and you can change leaders and you can gag debate, but the one thing that will not change is that you are a complete and utter farce. You are treating this chamber with contempt, you are treating the Australian people with contempt and you are treating Australia's veterans with contempt. You constantly fail to recognise the uniqueness of military service. You have had three opportunities to give DFRDB and DRFB recipients fairer indexation and each time you have found every reason to oppose those. They should be getting fairer indexation now because, last year, you had the opportunity to do something about it. You have let them down, despite your promises to the contrary. You will be judged and condemned by your actions today. You will be judged and condemned by your actions over the last two weeks

You and I both know that when you are more worried about yourselves than you are about the people you represent you will be treated accordingly by a community that is sick and tired of your self-indulgence and sick and tired of your changing leaders for your own cheap political and domestic purposes. You are a bad government. New leaders do not change the dynamics of bad governments—

Photo of John HoggJohn Hogg (President) Share this | | Hansard source

Order! It being 2 pm we will proceed to questions without notice.