Tuesday, 28 November 2023
Statements by Senators
Leader of the Opposition
The opposition leader is known to many Australians. He's the man who requires no introduction—you know who: he who shall not be named. His views over many years are on the public record. We know Mr Dutton boycotted the apology to the Stolen Generation in 2008—
Yes, Acting Deputy President. The reference that was just made by Senator Polley was towards the opposition leader. He should be referred to by his correct term, not by the smears and innuendos that were just made by Senator Polley. She should withdraw.
Order, Senator Hughes, I think that's a debating point. But I will remind senators that when referring to colleagues and members in the other place that they used their correct titles in doing so. Senator Polley, please continue.
I'm very happy to withdraw any language that is offensive to the standing orders.
He described Mr Malcolm Fraser's decision to allow Lebanese Muslim refugees into the country in the 1970s as 'a mistake'. Here's the man who said his Labor opponent was 'using her disability as an excuse'. He called the two children of the Biloela family 'anchor babies' to incite another immigration war. He claimed refugee women were faking rape—
I think that is right, Senator O'Sullivan. Senator Polley, may I ask again that you withdraw any language that offends the standing orders and to continue with your contribution being mindful of some of the points of order that have already been raised.
Thank you. The claim that refugee women were faking rape claims to get out of mandatory detention is disgusting, and I thought everyone in this chamber would support that point of view. He alleged that Victorians were scared to go out for dinner because of 'marauding African gangs'. This is the man who is the opposition leader.
He allegedly cancelled work morning teas held in the defence department. Some say he resembles the man who shall not be named in likeness and in spirit. Mr Peter Dutton is a man of division. It is all known by the Australian community. He takes pleasure out of trying to destroy his opponents, whether they're in this place or the other place.
On the point of order, there was quite some discussion in the last sitting week, I think, about personal reflections and imputations. There was a series of personal reflections and imputations that week which went a long way further than what has normally occurred. However, the correct response is not for there to be such a narrow interpretation of personal imputations that you can't say anything negative about a political figure at all. It's something that will have to be reflected upon, but I don't think it should unduly limit senators' contributions in its place.
Thank you, Senator Ayres. Senator Polley, I'll call you in a moment. In the nature of getting this matter dealt with, I might refer these particular questions to the Clerk and to the President to look at how broadly we want to define these limitations on what can and can't be said. Senator Polley, I will call you for the remaining 17 seconds of your statement—Senator Brockman?
When you refer it to the President, can you point out that this contribution was a direct contribution about an individual member of the other place. It was not about the Liberal Party; it was a direct attack on an individual.
I think I've made my point. The point is that the Australian community know how divisive Mr Peter Dutton is, and Australians deserve so much better.
Opposition senators interjecting—
Obviously they're very touchy on that side of the chamber. I'd be touchy too, if he were my leader, because he's not fit to be the Prime Minister of this country. (Time expired)