Tuesday, 2 April 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for , Senator McKenzie. When asked why the Nationals have refused to put One Nation last, the minister said: 'It doesn't mean we condone racism. You can walk gum and chew at the time.' Can the minister explain to the Senate what she means in this context by 'walk gum and chew at the time'?
You raised a very good point, and so I would like to take the opportunity to reflect on that particular response that has just been quoted to me in the chamber, and it is about walking and chewing gum at the same time. That is actually what I should have said.
Honourable senators interjecting—
Government senators interjecting—
As I said to an earlier question from Senator Chisholm, our state divisions make that decision. I'm confident that there will be a variety of preference arrangements in different National Party seats right across the country, because we are the party of localism. We know that regional Australia isn't homogenous and what is right for Central Queensland may not be right for the Central Wheatbelt in WA. It may not be the same thing that the Victorian division believes is appropriate for the seat of Indi. So every single state division will take their own time to consider the candidates who put their hand up in the variety of seats and make their decision around the state executive. I'm one vote on the Victorian division state executive, but that's the process our party goes through every single election and we won't be changing it.
I think you misunderstood my answer, Senator Watt. I said that each division will take their own decision. I don't have a crystal ball, nor would I presume to direct state divisions on what they should do. Our process is clear; it is unchanged. And, closer to the election, you will all know what the National Party will be preferencing in which seat.