Oh, how a once proud Labor Party has become a pathetic shadow of its former self. Today we are witnessing again the Australian Labor Party coming into this chamber to do the Greens' bidding.
Yesterday the first and most urgent item on the Government's agenda was to remove a Coalition Senator from the chairmanship of a committee and to replace that very good Senator with a Greens Senator who has only been here for five minutes.
That the words "Legal and Constitutional Affairs" be removed and replaced with "Environment and Communications" so that paragraph (a) now reads:
(a) that the chair of the Environment and Communications References Committee shall be elected by that committee from members nominated by minor parties or independent senators.
There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead.
So spoke the Labor Party through its current leader to the Australian people just days before the last election. At a time when the polls were perilously close—they were tight—Labor, its leader and its deputy leader solemnly promised the Australian people that there would be no carbon tax. Suggestions that there would be were dismissed by Labor as hysterical.
It's great to be amongst friends. We are here today to pay respect to one of our past elders. That itself bears voluminous testimony to our theme “Leadership and Conservative Values: An Enduring Legacy”.
May we as a Nation and through this initiative of the NSW Young Liberals ensure that Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Honner's OBE DSO MC legacy endures…
…That his legacy and the legacy of those that served with him are on parade in the modern Australia of the 21st century…
Senator ABETZ (Tasmania - Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (09:43): The coalition opposes the motion which seeks to extend the hours of the Senate. The reason we do that is that the Senate is currently being confronted with an unseemly rush to get a package of legislation through this chamber, a package of legislation that is built on deceit.
The Labor government went to the last election saying 'there will be no carbon tax' and, but for this package of legislation, there would be no need for these extended hours. It is amazing, isn't it, how the Labor Party are able to dress up their deceit of the Australian people?
I seek leave to move a motion condemning the Australian Greens and their leader for failing to condemn the vile boycott, divestment and sanctions, or BDS, campaign against Israel.
Leave not granted.
Senator ABETZ: Pursuant to contingent notice of motion, I move:
That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent me moving a motion to provide for the consideration of a matter -namely, a motion to give precedence to a motion condemning the Australian Greens and their leader for failing to condemn the vile boycott, divestment and sanctions, or BDS, campaign against Israel.
Mr Acting Deputy President, the Coalition believes that this suite of bills should not be submitted to a truncated joint committee as proposed by the Greens and the Labor Party.
If we cast our minds back, for example, to when we had tax reform in this country, four separate specialist Senate committees were used over a period of five months to adequately air the issues at stake.
The Labor Party boasts and would say that it's so-called Carbon Tax reform, that is anything but a reform; if anything, it will deform the Australian economy, is the biggest change and reform ever in Australian economic history.
The response of the Chairman of the ACCC to the Senate's motion concerning the anti-Israel BDS campaign against Max Brenner chocolate cafes is disappointing.
I also note that this motion was opposed by Greens Senators.
By leave, I move: That the Senate take note of the letter from the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.
The coalition has a very proud and long history of supporting timber workers, especially Tasmanian timber workers.
So when the Greens, through their increasingly faltering leader, moved their ill considered motion asking about Coalition support for the Tasmanian timber industry, we on the Coalition side were of course very happy to oblige and support the motion.
Yes, the opposition does oppose the intergovernmental agreement, as does the fine craft and design sector of the industry in Tasmania, as does the Tasmanian Minerals Council, as does the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association, as does Timber Communities Australia (Tasmanian Division), as does the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as does the Tourism Industry Council, as does the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania and as does the Greens donor, the AMWU, and the Australian Workers Union.
If we as a coalition have to side with the trade unions and the business interests and the small sector of this industry then we are proud to stand with them shoulder to shoulder.