Senator BERNARDI (South Australia) (10:53): In adding the voice of the Australian Conservatives to the congratulations on your election as President, I’d like to acknowledge and recognise that you are a student of history and that history is what essentially guides us in this chamber and in this parliament. Not only is there the letter of the law in the standing orders; there’s also the intent of them, and I think the intent of when they were framed, the conduct and manner in which they are upheld, the convention, effectively, and the spirit in which we engage in our business here are all invested in the presidency of the Senate.
Your predecessor, I thought, got the balance very right. It’s no secret that he is a good friend of mine, and I thought he handled his job with a mixture of a sense of humour—the spirit in which it was intended—in the robust debate here but also upheld the dignity and principle of this place.
Mr President, in a very challenging time for the standing of parliament, I think it is a wise choice that the Senate has made in electing you as the President of the Senate. It is one that will help to re-establish some dignity based upon the historical principles that have made us one of the great democracies of anywhere in the world.
So I congratulate you and I look forward to working with you. I’m sure you’ve already noticed that some of us appreciate the role of convention, so you haven’t had to make any dubious rulings already!
Chamber Senate on 13/11/2017 Item PARLIAMENTARY OFFICE HOLDERS – President Speaker: Bernardi, Sen Cory/ Parliment of Australia Transcript used for News reporting.