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.
I regret that I did not meet Nancy Wake, but I am glad that I did not meet Nancy Wake in the first 16 years of my life.
She once famously said, 'I killed a lot of Germans and I am only sorry I didn't kill more.' Nancy Wake was Australia's most decorated servicewoman and one of the most decorated allied servicewomen of World War II. She was a true heroine in every sense of the word. Her courage and resourcefulness in a wartime France saved thousands of allied lives.
The Senate post 1 July 2011, its implications for Australia, and the Greens as a political party
As of the 1st of July Australians will be relying on the House of Representatives to block the excesses of the Senate … Who would ever have thought?
I am sure our Founding Fathers never envisaged such an outcome. Nevertheless it is a good reminder how a bicameral system provides vital safeguards.
SPEECH TO THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP
HYATT HOTEL, CANBERRA
Australians know something is very wrong with the productivity of their nation when a command economy offers to show us how to do business here in Australia…
…and, that was the humiliation to which our nation was subjected when our Prime Minister - the architect of the new workplace regime was in China recently. There we had China ‘offering’ to build our infrastructure.
My sharply honed forensic instincts make me suspect that amongst some gathered here this afternoon, there may be a cohort that was disappointed with the Coalition’s approach to workplace relations at the last election …
Some things never change.