Tuesday, 8 November 2016
I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 97 standing in my name for today relating to political donations, before asking that it be taken as a formal motion.
I move the motion as amended:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) since 2013-14, former Senator Day has donated over $500 000 and forgiven a loan of $1.47 million to Family First,
(ii) an independent auditor's report in 2013 found Home Australia Group's liabilities exceeded its assets by nearly $31 million, and
(iii) over 200 customers have been left with unfinished homes; and
(b) calls on the Family First Party to return all money received from Mr Day and his companies so that money can be used to pay creditors.
The government understands that the matters about the Home Australia Group are being looked at by administrators. The government does not propose to become involved in the mechanics of these matters but will respect the process involved. Political donations are again being looked at by the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, and the government does not propose to pre-empt the committee's findings.
While we oppose this motion, we most certainly agree with its intent. Australian families have been hurt by Bob Day's dodgy business dealings. They have been hurt by his vote in this place as he voted against workers and the most vulnerable in our community, and they have been hurt by a government that sought to shelter Mr Day in exchange for his vote. From a grant for a vote, to an office for a vote, this government has done all it can to keep Mr Day in this place. I am confident that, now this matter has been referred to the High Court, these families and small businesses will have their opportunity for justice. It is a shame that this government failed to act on Mr Day, leaving families and small businesses in the lurch.