Senator HANSON I’ve listened to comments in this chamber this morning from Senator Brandis, Senator Bernardi and now Senator Carr. The whole fact is that One Nation does not take the view of either side but looks at a clear debate on this. Listening to this debate this morning, I think Senator Brandis and Senator Cory Bernardi have made some very strong arguments with regard to this. I was listening to Senator Carr and his last comment, on the Prime Minister making the comment, in relation to Senator Dastyari, ‘Which side are you on?’ I think it’s quite important for the Prime Minister to ask that question. Why shouldn’t he? I think it’s a very important matter.
Let’s look at it. There are allegations of seeking donations from a foreign power. Also, the fact is they have received moneys for bills or remuneration. This is a serious matter. As Senator Brandis said, we have had people lose their positions in this parliament under section 44 of the Australian Constitution, and they should be here. But, here again, Senator Dastyari has been looked after by the Labor Party. These issues were raised last year—over 12 months ago—and now they’re being raised again because of investigative journalists. Now he has admitted, again, that he’s done wrong. But the Labor Party thinks that this is a big blow-up, this is a distraction. I know for certain that, if the shoe were on the other foot, they’d all be on those benches there and they would be criticising, as they have done every time, with anyone else in this chamber other than themselves.
Let’s deal with the facts. To actually hear Senator Carr say about our trading partner China, ‘How dare we question this because they are our largest international trading partner’—that alone sends shivers up my spine, as it would for many other Australians. What has that got to do with it? Why do international students have anything to do with it? They should not. This is the heart of our democracy, and people of Australia are fed up with the politicians. They are asking me all the time—they are concerned about political donations from foreign powers and the buy-up of our land by foreign ownership. What is happening to our country? We’re losing our infrastructure—we are losing everything—and they are questioning: ‘Are there deals being done by our politicians and by our governments?’ They have a right to ask that question. So for Senator Carr to make these comments—I am very, very concerned about that.
When Senator Dastyari made his comments this morning, I don’t take those crocodile tears, because that’s all they were. When he makes a comment on the impact that it’s having on his children—a six-year-old—I know about the impact on children. I’ve copped it for 20 years from political parties and the media and know the impact that’s had on my children. But he says that there is an impact on a six-year-old in the schoolyard in less than 24 hours? I don’t think that’s the case whatsoever, so I don’t accept his crocodile tears.
This is very important. It’s not a distraction either. Let’s go to the facts of that. The Leader of the Opposition, the leader of the Labor Party, Bill Shorten, rang Senator Dastyari and asked him—actually, he didn’t ask; he dumped him. He dumped him from the junior role as deputy whip and Senate committee chair. Why? Because he knows he’s wrong—that’s why he was dumped, because the Labor Party knows.
This is not all about the coalition taking the stance because of next week’s polls and all the rest of it. This is very important, and it’s not the first time it’s been raised. Are they going to reward him? This is a big question. Are they going to reward Senator Dastyari by having him lead the Senate ticket for New South Wales at the next election? Is he going to be top of the ticket, which will assure him of getting his seat back in this parliament? His allegiance is questionable. I do not believe that he should have his place in this parliament, considering other good senators have lost their positions here. Yes, this needs to be debated. No, I don’t think that it’s a distraction from the bills and there are more important things. Pointing the finger at the other side for the things that have happened in this chamber I think is weak and pathetic. Deal with the issue. If the shoe fits then wear it.
Senator HANSON: I stand to support Senator Brandis’s motion. I believe there needs to be accountability in this chamber. Senator Dastyari has not explained himself. I find the Labor side to be so hypocritical. They are so ready to point the finger at One Nation at any time on accountability issues, especially Senator Murray Watt. They are constantly going at One Nation. So I believe that, in all fairness for the chamber, there should be an explanation here. It is a protection racket. Why don’t they just let him explain himself and satisfy the people not only in this chamber but in all of Australia. Where is your accountability now in this—in protecting someone like your senator?
The PRESIDENT: The question is that the suspension motion moved by Senator Brandis be agreed to.
Chamber Senate on 30/11/2017 Item STATEMENTS – Dastyari, Senator Sam Speaker: Hanson, Sen Pauline