Senator Cory BERNARDI (South Australia): I move:

That the Senate—

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(a) notes that political activist organisation GetUp!:

   (i) was seed-funded by organisations closely connected with Mr George Soros, a renowned globalist and funder of socialist politicians and causes,

   (ii) has provided and received support for left-of-centre political parties, trade unions and other organisations, and

   (iii) has actively campaigned like a political party, and in every such instance, against right-of-centre politicians during election periods; and

(b) affirms that GetUp! is deserving of greater electoral regulation or scrutiny, given its impact upon our political process, economic development, support for litigation against major job-creating projects, border protection policies, national security, sovereignty and our institutions.

Senator GALLAGHER (Australian Capital Territory—Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator GALLAGHER: Labor will be opposing this motion. Electoral regulation, particularly in the form of determining whether third parties have met the requirements to be determined as associated entities, is a matter for the Australian Electoral Commission. The AEC is an independent body, one vital for the operation of our democracy, and Labor won’t be supporting any undermining of this independence. This motion comes after a long line of attacks from conservative members in this place—

Honourable senators interjecting

Senator GALLAGHER: some of them interjecting now—bitter that people might actually organise and campaign against their terrible decision-making. I’m not sure who Senator Bernardi is referring to when he states GetUp! sides with left-wingers, but, judging by the fact that they’ve previously supported his good factional friend Stephen Marshall in South Australia, Labor understands his apprehension.

Senator BERNARDI (South Australia): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minutes.

Senator BERNARDI: I just clarify that I don’t have any factional friends in South Australia. There is a faction of one in the Australian Conservatives, and so I’d ask Senator Gallagher to correct the record.

Senator DI NATALE (Victoria—Leader of the Australian Greens): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator DI NATALE: There was a time when upholding the democratic principles was the key tenet of conservative thinking, but not anymore. What we’re seeing is an unprecedented attack on civil society not just from Senator Bernardi but, indeed, from the conservatives in the Liberal Party. We saw that unprecedented attack in the raid of the AWU offices, where we had the media there before the police arrived. We’ve seen the attack on civil society organisations in the ban on foreign donations—for example, organisations like Oxfam, who would be prevented from advocating for more aid to poorer countries. This is an assault on democracy. Of course, if we’re talking about taking money to advance causes, let’s look at the roll call of organisations that are lining up to fill the pockets of the LNP.

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales): I seek leave to make a short statement.

Leave not granted.

The PRESIDENT: I put the motion. The question is that notice of motion No. 582, standing in the name of Senator Bernardi, be agreed to. I think the ayes have it. The final notice of motion is No. 585, standing in the name of Senator Whish-Wilson.

Senator Siewert: Sorry, did you just call it for the ayes?


Senator Siewert: The noes have it.

The PRESIDENT: I didn’t hear.

Senator Siewert: You said the ayes have it.

The PRESIDENT: No, Senator Siewert, I called it, and no-one asked for a division. Are you seeking leave for me to put it again?

Senator Siewert: Yes, thank you.

Leave granted.

Chamber Senate on 16/11/2017 Item MOTIONS – GetUp!? Source Parliment of Australia Website, Transcript used for Reporting the News

The Senate transcript was published up to 16/11/17. The remainder of the transcript will be published progressively as it is completed.

Scorching Hot News will keep followers updated as this unfolds in the coming weeks, It appears Bernardi has LNP Conservatives and One Nations support.