Senate debates

Monday, 30 August 2021


Western Australia

1:43 pm

Photo of Sue LinesSue Lines (WA, Deputy-President) Share this | | Hansard source

You'd have to wonder what it is that Prime Minister Scott Morrison hates so much about Western Australians. Is it because we overwhelmingly supported Premier McGowan in the election in March and almost wiped the WA Liberals off the face of the earth? There are two of them left in the lower house in the Western Australian state parliament. Is it because he had to finally back down after he'd supported Clive Palmer's bid to tear our borders down, despite Western Australians overwhelmingly supporting border closures to keep us safe? But gee—he hit the nail on the head last week by calling Western Australians cave dwellers. I tell you what: I would much rather be a cave dweller in Western Australia than be confronting the awful tragedy that's going on in New South Wales right at this moment—although you wouldn't know they had another record number of cases today, because the Premier is just not talking about case numbers anymore.

But I suspect it's the stuff that's been in the West Australian over the last week or so: the 700 messages from a WhatsApp group called The Clan, all Liberals, led by the former Leader of the Government in the Senate, former Senator Cormann. They had been making derogatory remarks about women—for example, calling them sandwich makers—and talking about branch stacking and electing only candidates of their choice. I suspect that's one of the reasons why Mr Morrison is trying to deflect attention away from the WA Liberals.

The second reason will be the appalling report on the WA Liberal Party that was released on the weekend. It makes for shameful reading, and all those from WA on that side should be hanging their heads in shame at the deals, branch stacking and disgraceful behaviour of a tiny group of men led by a former leader in this place.