Tuesday, 3 August 2021
The architect of our Parliament House, Romaldo Giurgola, gave the Australian flag pride of place in his design—a flag the size of a double-decker bus, atop an 80-metre pole, with supports that bring together the House of Representatives and the Senate. The symbolism is clear: the Senate and the House of Representatives hold up our flag, not the other way around. Any person who comes into this place who does not then look up and feel awestruck by where we work and by the responsibility we have as senators has no place being here. The Australian flag flies above us for direction, not decoration. We're directed to remember those who were here first and the millions who have come since—immigrants who have come to this beautiful country of ours to make a better life for themselves and to lift up all Australians in the process, including the Italian-born architect of Parliament House—which I imagine explains why there is all the marble.
We are directed to remember that we represent people, not corporations, yet the winners from 18 months of COVID-crony government are not everyday Australians. The winners from crony government are foreign multinationals—big pharma. Never in the history of this beautiful country of ours has government policy so comprehensively abandoned those we represent in favour of those we do not. When government needs to deploy the military to maintain control of its own people, to effect a social outcome rather than a medical one, there is only one description—martial law. How this government acts in the coming months will decide whether a second description should be added—treason. Dividing Australians by any arbitrary measure, including vaccination status, flies in the face of everything our flag stands for, of everything this nation stands for. We will not be divided. We have one flag, we are one community and we are one nation.