1 year ago




88 SENATE Tuesday, 14 February 2017 Turnbull government says is a rational, fiscally responsible and mature economic approach, then they show just how quickly and abjectly the Liberal Party has surrendered to far-right populism. I would just like to touch briefly on One Nation's 20-year-old Easytax system. I have a copy of the release from 1998 of Senator Hanson's One Nation taxation policy. I note that on 3 September 1998 it was stated: … One Nation believes the only way to resolve the inequities, complexities, disincentives and punishing nature of our taxation system is to start again. … … … … One Nation has a totally new approach to taxation based on a 2% Easytax conceived in 1985 and researched over the last 13 years - a product of Tax Reform Limited. This policy, therefore, has a 32-year gestational period, and it is still not finalised. Professor Quiggin of University of Queensland has indicated that the two per cent tax would destroy small business and see a collapse in government revenue. Is the government really at the point of endorsing a century-old tax system that would destroy small business? Has the government now reached the point where it cannot denounce One Nation's policies? Senator Brandis said we need to respect One Nation because they were elected. Well, what about the Labor Party? The LNP have no problem denouncing us. They have no problem disrespecting voters who voted Labor. Quite frankly, I am quite confused as to why Senator Bernardi has left the LNP to start his own conservative movement, given that One Nation are now at the forefront of the LNP's political decision making. Migration Senator DI NATALE (Victoria—Leader of the Australian Greens) (19:59): We hear a lot these days about the politics of bigotry and hate. We hear a lot about politicians like Donald Trump and, indeed, we hear a lot from the likes of Senator Hanson and Senator Bernardi. But what we do not hear about is how racism and bigotry—how Islamophobia and anti-Semitism—actually affect people with far less power and influence in our community. That is why I will be standing up here in this place week after week and month after month sharing the experiences of these Australians who are bearing the brunt of attacks being made by those people who seek to divide us. Last week I shared Sara's story. She was somebody who was caught up in Donald Trump's attempted ban on Muslim immigration. It had a profound effect on her and her family. This week I want to share the story of another woman—a woman who was born in regional Australia, where she now lives and works as a qualified health professional. She has asked to remain anonymous, and I will refer to her as Laila. Laila is a Muslim, as is her husband and 10-year-old son. She does not wear a veil or a hijab. She gets to know her clients quite well; she works with them closely, often over long periods of time. They get to know her quite well. One day late last year, she was attending to a particular client who she had worked with for about a year. Laila's young son was in the room—he had a day off school—and the client was fine with that. During the session, Laila and the client got to chatting, as they often did. They had a good, cordial relationship. Toward the end of the appointment, the conversation moved on to the approaching Christmas holidays. The client asked Laila what her and her family would be doing for Christmas. Laila replied politely that her family were Muslims and they do not celebrate Christmas, but they were really looking forward to the holidays. Then, out of nowhere, came the response, 'You know, if you wore the hijab, I wouldn't come and see you.' Laila was lost for words, and, as though to emphasise the point, the client added, 'Actually, you know what? If you wore the hijab, I wouldn't even let you in through my front door.' Laila was being told that regardless of who she was and regardless of the relationship she had with her client, if she identified with a particular group this person would not want to have anything to do with her. Laila's mother wears a hijab. Her sisters wear hijabs. Why on earth should wearing a hijab make any difference to the relationship that she and her client had? Why on earth would it make any difference to anyone? She was acutely aware that right throughout this her son was watching it all. What does she say to her son when someone has just told her that, no matter who you are, if you are a visible member of a particular community they do not want to know you. That is what Islamophobia is. As much as we would like to, we cannot stop every person from expressing racism and bigotry. We have protections in law, and we have an opportunity in this place as political leaders to actually show some leadership. Every time people reflect on the Racial Discrimination Act and say that it is not necessary, talk about banning burqas or link asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island to terrorists, they give people license to express these hateful views. We need to make it clear that there is no place in the Australian parliament—indeed, within the Australian community—for racism and bigotry and that Islamophobia has no place in Australian society. CHAMBER

Tuesday, 14 February 2017 SENATE 89 Our job in this parliament is very clear. We need to make sure that everybody in this nation understands that they are welcome here and that we are a nation that is inclusive, that celebrates our diversity and that welcomes people from all around the world—those different cultures and those different nations that have sought to come and make Australia their home. If we are to remain the most successful multicultural nation on earth, it is incumbent on each and every one of us to stand up and to speak these truths to ensure that, when members of parliament express hateful and bigoted views, whether privately or in public forums like we have seen over recent weeks, we stand up loudly and clearly and say, 'Racism stops with me.' Jones, Hon. Peter, AM Senator SMITH (Western Australia—Deputy Government Whip in the Senate) (20:04): I make this contribution to this evening's adjournment debate with mixed emotions. I am saddened by the fact that the individual I am about to pay tribute to has now passed away, but, at the same time, I am enormously humbled and grateful for this opportunity to talk about his enormous and lasting contribution to Western Australia. I think it is very important that Liberals make every effort to recognise the contribution of those whose life's work leaves an enduring imprint and legacy not only on their own political party but also on the community they work so tirelessly to serve. In the case of Western Australia, the Honourable Peter Jones, AM, who sadly passed away last month, is someone who well and truly earned a place in the great pantheon of WA Liberal heroes. Peter's name is probably not well known to those living outside of Western Australia. To the extent that there is an awareness on the east coast of those who have effectively created the modern state of Western Australia in an economic sense, it is generally limited to names like Sir David Brand and Sir Charles Court. Yes, they were political giants, but naturally they did not work alone and their governments could not have achieved the things they did without the assistance of loyal and talented ministers. I do not think it is overstating the case to say that, were it not for the life and work of Peter Jones, WA would have been a vastly less prosperous and less dynamic place over recent decades. Peter was not someone given to boasting about his own centrality to the economic transformation of Western Australia. Indeed, he was not given to boasting at all. His quiet humility was amongst his finest qualities. Peter Jones was born in Tasmania, moving to Narrogin in WA's Great Southern region in 1968 where he became a successful wool, meat and grain producer. In 1974, his respect within his local community resulted in his election to state parliament as the member for Narrogin. Although originally elected as a National Country Party MP, his capacity for hard work and creative thinking quickly won the respect of the newly elected Liberal Premier, Sir Charles Court. After little more than one year as a member of state parliament, he was promoted to the ministry. In fact, between his ministerial appointment in June 1975 and the defeat of the WA Liberal government in early 1983, Peter Jones held a total of 13 portfolios. Little wonder he was colloquially known as 'The Minister for Everything'. In a career that included service at various times as the minister responsible for housing, education, tourism and the environment—all crucial portfolios—it is nonetheless probably Peter Jones's period as Minister for Resources, Development, Mines, Fuel and Energy that will prove his lasting legacy. The crippling oil crisis of the late 1970s and accompanying economic downturn hit WA's resources sector especially hard. It is widely recognised that, without Peter Jones's skills as a negotiator, the giant North West Shelf gas project, which was a game changer for WA, would likely have collapsed and never begun gas production. Likewise, Peter was among the first to understand the central role Asian markets would play in WA's future prosperity. This was evident from the very first days of Peter's parliamentary career. His maiden speech, delivered on 7 August 1974, displays an appreciation for the importance of engaging directly with Asian markets to better understand their needs: I would like to refer to one other aspect of rural marketing; that is, we do not know enough about our customers and what they really want. One of the reasons for my trip in Japan was to deliver a speech to a businessmen's association there. After I had completed this very pleasant task, a considerable number of questions were directed to me. These questions really brought home the lesson that we do not know very much about our customers. For example. I was asked how much I knew about the Japanese distribution system, financial arrangements, and the dietary habits of the people whom we wish to buy our products. I had to admit that I knew very little, and it was quite obvious that whilst the Japanese knew a great deal about us and our production and business methods. we knew very little about theirs. I assure members that when I returned here I made a very strong recommendation that we must make every effort to know more about those with whom we deal and what they want from us. So said Peter Jones in his first speech to the Western Australian parliament in 1974. The fact that, as a newly elected MP, Peter Jones saw fit to include those sentiments in his first speech is very instructive. He clearly saw cross-cultural understanding and engagement as crucial to WA's economic expansion, and it was a principle that informed his approach to policy development throughout his ministerial career. CHAMBER

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