Coalition One Nation Party Preferences
COALITION ONE NATION PARTY PREFERENCES
Mr WHELAN (Ashfield - Minister for Police) [3.31 p.m.]: I move:
(1) this House calls on the Leader of the Opposition to:
(a) accept, without equivocation, the terms of the resolution of this House on 19 May 1998 relating to National Party preferences;
(b) announce a binding agreement with the Leader of the National Party that the coalition parties will put One Nation last in every electorate in New South Wales;
(c) repudiate every Liberal Party branch which indicates, as in Clarence for example, that it intends to defy the parliamentary leader;
(d) declare, that on the coalition "How to Vote" ticket for the Legislative Council, One Nation will be put last; and
(e) announce that in no circumstances whatsoever will either party of the coalition enter into any deals or any "grubby deals", in his own phrase, with One Nation.
The people of this State need a clear, unambiguous statement from the Leader of the Opposition, the Leader of the Liberal Party in this State, indicating once and for all that he, his colleagues and his coalition partners will repudiate the One Nation Party and will, when it comes to election time, put One Nation last. That is what is wanted by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the Jewish community, the Chinese community in my electorate, the Chinese community throughout the whole State and every other community. Every person of reasoning in this State wants the Leader of the Opposition to provide some degree of trustworthiness, rather than casual, off-hand remarks that he will do the best that he possibly can or that he hopes - as I understand he said - that the National Party will fall into line.
In debate earlier today the Premier referred to the attitude of former Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser. I support that attitude. I am concerned, however, about the division that is becoming evident in the New South Wales Opposition. It is clear that Opposition backbenchers are running their own agenda, with the leave and licence of the Leader of the Opposition. I shall refer to comments that are being made by members of Parliament but I shall first highlight what the people of New South Wales are saying and what is being said by the leaders of our ethnic communities. The weekly edition of the Australian Jewish News dated 29 May at page 12 quotes Peter Wertheim, President of the Jewish Board of Deputies, as saying that a preference deal with One Nation would be a pact with the devil.
The people of this State want certainty. They want to be able to trust any leader of a mainstream political party in New South Wales to state with absolute certainty what his or her attitudes will be. That is why the Jewish community is railing against the Opposition. The Jewish community is railing against the Leader of the Opposition for his distinct lack of leadership and for his lack of courage in going to the wall on the issue. His coalition colleagues - and I think particularly of the Leader of the National Party and other National Party members, including the honourable member for Monaro, the honourable member for Murwillumbah and the honourable member for Ballina - are running their own agendas, and all with the consent of the Leader of the Opposition. Those members of Parliament are promoting One Nation and they are promoting division within the community.
This motion, made up of five parts, gives the Leader of the Opposition an opportunity in this Chamber to accept without equivocation the resolution of the House and give clear indications and guidelines to the community. I ask the Leader of the Opposition why he and his party do not endorse what was stated in a press release issued by the Young Liberals under the headline, "Young Liberals call on party to reject One Nation preferences". As argument along these lines has been raised by the honourable member for Monaro and the honourable member for Ballina on occasions, I quote that the Young Liberals have said that Labor may be the traditional enemy but the greatest enemies for Australia today are intolerance,
bigotry and prejudice. Young Liberals have said that, regardless of whether coalition candidates claim to disagree with One Nation, entering into preference deals implicitly acknowledges that Pauline Hanson holds legitimate political views.
Whilst those comments may cause the Leader of the Opposition some angst, I hope that he and other members of the Liberal Party would agree with what has been said by the Young Liberals. I seek the leave of the House to table that press release, so that everyone will know exactly what is being said by the New South Wales Young Liberals. The Leader of the Opposition had ample opportunity to participate in a debate on this matter on 19 May. He failed to do so. That did not stop the honourable member for Monaro, who was interviewed on WIN television yesterday. It was stated that the New South Wales election may not be held until March 1999 but that electioneering in Monaro had started. The honourable member for Monaro was quoted as saying that the National Party had put the Labor Party last for 75 years and there was no reason that the party should change that practice.
The reporter went on to state that the honourable member for Monaro described the One Nation Party as being irrelevant to his electorate. One Nation is not irrelevant to the Monaro electorate, it is not irrelevant to New South Wales and it is not irrelevant to the whole of Australia. As the Queensland State election will show, One Nation is not irrelevant to that State either. One Nation is not irrelevant to my constituents, who represent some 37 different ethnic backgrounds - and I note that at some schools more than 37 languages are spoken.
Mr Hazzard: You’re always racist.
Mr WHELAN: No, I am not. The honourable member for Wakehurst knows exactly where One Nation will be going with regards to the Labor Party preferences. The honourable member for Ballina recently said that the National Party had traditionally put Labor last and that the issue of One Nation preferences did not mean that the party wanted to align itself with anyone who might be racist. He then made the remarkable statement that he did not believe that Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party is a racist party. The honourable member for Ballina said that he does not believe One Nation to be a racist party. Why has the Opposition not disowned him? Why has it not disowned the honourable member for Monaro? Why has it not disowned the honourable member for Murwillumbah, who also made comments of that nature? Why is the Opposition out of step? Why can it not tell those members to whom I have referred that they are wrong, that they do not represent the views of the Liberal Party or the National Party and that they must toe the line?
That is the basic issue confronting the Leader of the Opposition in this Chamber today. The fact is that he has got no say over the Opposition parties in this Parliament. He has no say over the National Party in this Parliament. He is happy to have a bob each way, or a vote each way. The Leader of the Opposition knows that the National Party, through the conspiracy of honourable members representing the electorates of Monaro, Ballina, Murwillumbah and Lismore, leading the push on behalf of their party, is going to get him. He will show what everyone sees in him, that he is a very weak leader. He has not disowned those four members of this House, who have continually and publicly said that they embrace One Nation as a party. Yet we have heard nothing from the Leader of the Opposition, and we will hear nothing from him at all about it today. He should disown those four members, do the lot of them and disown them.
The Leader of the Opposition should tell those four members that he will not support them, that he will go right to the wire, and that he will guarantee that they do not receive endorsement from their party because they have adopted a One Nation preference profile. Why does not the Leader of the Opposition stand up and tell those four members who have defied him that he is not going to endorse them? He does not have the guts and it suits him to adopt a very weak-kneed approach.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! I call the honourable member for Strathfield to order.
Mr WHELAN: The Leader of the Opposition has disowned the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and the Jewish community.
Mr Collins: What are you babbling on about?
Mr WHELAN: Read what they say. Peter Wertheim, President of the Jewish Board of Deputies, said that the Leader of the Opposition is doing a deal with the devil, that a preference deal with One Nation would be a pact with the devil. The Leader of the Opposition, by condoning the behaviour of four coalition members without demur or censure, has announced that they can walk all over New South Wales and say that the National Party and coalition Government will give higher preferences to the One Nation Party. The people of this State do not want the Leader of the Opposition to walk out on this debate like a coward, they want him to stand up and say that those four National
Party members are wrong in espousing such views and that they will not be endorsed by the coalition.
They want the Leader of the Opposition to say how much he disagrees with and disowns the views of the Leader of the National Party and that if necessary he will divorce himself from them. But the Leader of the Opposition lacks the guts and gumption to do it. He has no say in this Chamber, in his own party room or in the coalition because he will not do anything to bring those four renegades to book. He does not even have a coalition. How many more such members are there? Where does the honourable member for Strathfield, who represents a large ethnic population, stand in this matter? He is doing nothing about it, but he is supporting this very weak man, the Leader of the Opposition.
Mr Hartcher: On a point of order. I can understand the sensitivity of the Leader of the House but he is required to observe the standing orders. I submit that he must address his remarks to the Chair. He should not engage in across-the-table dialogue with members of the Opposition.
Mr WHELAN: I keep getting rudely interrupted.
Mr Hartcher: There is no-one more skilled in the procedures of the House than the Leader. He knows when not to be interrupted.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! I have already called the honourable member for Strathfield to order. He will cease interjecting. The Leader of the House is attempting to direct his remarks through the Chair but he is being distracted by interjections from the Opposition benches.
Mr Hartcher: To his passionate tirade.
Mr WHELAN: I do feel passionate about it because my constituency has changed during the 25 years that I have been in this Chamber.
Mr Hazzard: On a point of order.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! There is no point of order. The member for Wakehurst will resume his seat.
Mr Hazzard: I am entitled to seek your attention on a point of order.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The member for Wakehurst is not entitled to do so without leave. The member will resume his seat.
Mr WHELAN: There is a precedent for the very weak attitude of the Leader of the Opposition in this Chamber. I have never forgotten it. On the firearms issue he uttered one mealy-mouthed line in the bush and then expressed a completely different attitude in the city. He is attempting to do exactly the same now on this issue.
Mr Hazzard: On a point of order.
Mr WHELAN: What do you want me to do - stand and applaud you?
Mr Hazzard: The terms of the motion are quite clear and make no reference to firearms. I ask that you bring the honourable Minister back to the leave of his motion, which is clearly and unfortunately racist. I ask you to direct the Minister to make no reference to firearms in this debate.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The Chair cannot direct the Minister not to refer to firearms.
Mr WHELAN: Before I was rudely interrupted, I was describing the stark parallel between the position taken by the Leader of the Opposition on guns, namely one version for the bush and one for the city, and the position adopted by him on One Nation preferences. He was not prepared to take up the gloves in the 19 May debate but he issued an equivocal statement subsequently because he was forced into it.
Mr Hazzard: On a point of order.
Mr WHELAN: If you are trying to take my time, I will move an extension.
Mr Hazzard: This is not a matter of taking time, but of pointing out that the Minister is driving a racist debate. The Minister is going right outside the leave of the motion. He is seeking to make reference to the firearms legislation, which is not before the House, in an overzealous desire to drive this Parliament into an unacceptable racist debate. The Minister might want to do that but he has to address the terms of his motion, which do not mention firearms.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! Paragraph 1(e) of the motion is couched in broad terms. Among other things it calls on the Leader of the Opposition to announce that in no circumstance whatsoever will either party of the coalition enter into any deals with One Nation. That paragraph of the motion obviously entitles the Minister to talk about the policies of the One Nation Party.
[Extension of time agreed to.]
Mr WHELAN: I said when I started this debate that the motion is about trust. The Leader of the Opposition holds a position of trust and the people of this State are looking to him for
leadership. The community want to trust him as Leader of the Opposition when he takes up a stance on an issue. At best, he has four renegade backbenchers, but is he is not prepared to do anything about them or to say that they should be disendorsed. New electorate boundaries have been announced today. It is time for the Leader of the Opposition to take this ample opportunity to say to the people of New South Wales that he rejects the four members who have gone public with their views.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! I place the honourable member for Wakehurst on three calls to order. If he again attracts the attention of the Chair I will direct the Serjeant-at-Arms to remove him from the Chamber.
Mr WHELAN: The best that can be said about the Leader of the Opposition is that he is ducking for cover.
Mr Collins: Go back to the start.
Mr WHELAN: I am talking about trust, and about your leadership. If the Leader of the Opposition reads the motion, he will find that it talks about his relationship with the Leader of the National Party.
Mr Collins: Get it off your chest.
Mr WHELAN: I do not have to get anything off my chest. I wish that the Leader of the Opposition would show guts and tell the National Party where it belongs. He cannot walk out of here saying that he has one version for the city and a different one for the bush. If he cannot control his backbench, he has a problem. I do not have that problem. At least four members of his backbench reject him and denounce him by saying that they believe One Nation should be given a higher preference than any other party. Members of the Young Liberals in New South Wales say that he should show courage of leadership and reject One Nation.
Mr Collins: Read the release.
Mr WHELAN: I quoted what the Chairman of the Jewish Board of Deputies said. He said that your deal with One Nation is like doing a deal with the devil.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The Leader of the Opposition will have the opportunity to take part in the debate at the appropriate time.
Mr WHELAN: On 19 May this House debated the so-called statement by the Leader of the Opposition that was going to put the record straight. He considered contributing to that debate, but not a peep was heard from him. He has not put the record straight in relation to those four members. Has he told the Young Liberals that he agrees with them and has he made a public statement about that?
Mr Collins: Yes.
Mr WHELAN: I want that tabled. That statement must be tabled in this House so that the fraud contained in it can be made clear to the electorate. The Leader of the Opposition is a fraud and is duplicitous in everything he stands for. He has one message for the city and another message for the bush. This motion is about courage of conviction, about him making a decision to reject those four National Party backbenchers whom he refused to denounce.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! I call the honourable member for Strathfield to order for the second time.
Mr WHELAN: If the Leader of the Opposition had the courage of his convictions, he would get the Leader of the National Party into his room and tell him that those members are not going to be endorsed by him as leader. In one sense I am sorry that I did not add to the foot of this motion the words "agrees with his decision not to endorse them". The motion is a serious one. If the Leader of the Opposition is serious, he should stop being ambiguous and ambivalent and state categorically that those four members do not have his support and will not be endorsed by him or under his leadership. Show some ticker, Peter; show some courage.
Mr COLLINS (Willoughby - Leader of the Opposition) [3.52 p.m.]: People who live in glass houses should not throw stones. It was the Labor Party that instigated the white Australia policy. It is the Australian Labor Party that in this Chamber today plays the race card. The history of Australian politics shows that every party that has tried to play the race card came unstuck and foundered on the rocks of racism. That is where this Minister, also known for the other Rocks, deserves to founder, because that is where he belongs. My views on racism are extremely well known and I am happy to remind the House of them. I will do this chronologically, starting with 17 October 1996. In my first address to the Liberal Party State convention, the Liberal Party’s most important event of the year, I said:
(2) separate questions be put on each of the paragraphs of the motion.
On 28 October 1996 the Sydney Morning Herald reported:
We must resist those who seek to divide Australia.
The Australian reported:
Collins told a Liberal conference it was up to political leaders across the country to reject the views of people such as Ms Hanson.
On 28 October 1996 the Daily Telegraph reported:
Collins calls on Liberals to foster a mature and tolerant society where a fair go extends to all.
What we see being played out in this Chamber today is the politics of social division, the race card. That subject has been raised by the Minister for Police not for bipartisan purposes, not in the public interest, and not to try to build a spirit of consensus in this Parliament or in the community. He has played that race card for the cheapest, grubbiest, most tawdry and politically opportunistic reasons that the Labor Party could possibly drum up. It does not surprise me that the Minister for Police, having made his earlier disgusting comments, now slinks out of the Chamber in his usual gutless manner to which we are accustomed. The Premier has not been present for this debate. He absents himself from every significant debate of public interest. He is not game to show his face in this Chamber but he leaves the grubby work to others. I will continue with my chronology against racism. On 21 July 1997 I wrote a supporting letter for an anti-One Nation Internet site, established by youth representatives of the Jewish community, as mentioned by the Minister in earlier debate. I wrote for that Internet site:
Collins attacks the "politics of creeping social division advocated by Bob Carr and others".
On 31 August 1997 the Sunday Telegraph stated in Stephen Loosely’s column:
Each of us should be disturbed by the prejudiced attitudes upon which the policies of the One Nation party are based.
Stephen Loosely, former Labor Senator for New South Wales and former State director of the Labor Party for New South Wales, understands my position and has understood it since 1997. He understands that I reject the Hanson agenda. On 7 May 1998 the Sydney Morning Herald stated:
Collins has rejected "the Hanson agenda".
On 8 May the Sydney Morning Herald editorial reported:
Collins supports Premier Kennett’s statement attacking Queensland Liberal decision to preference One Nation.
On 9 May the Daily Telegraph reported:
Collins would not follow the Queensland Liberal Party’s example.
Also on 9 May the Australian reported:
Collins rejects One Nation as it was at "one end of the political extreme".
Again on 9 May the Sydney Morning Herald reported:
Collins said he would "do everything in my power to urge the State Executive of the Liberal Party not to give preferences to One Nation".
On 10 May the Sun-Herald reported:
Collins said "There is no room for racism and intolerance in Australian politics".
On 11 May the Daily Telegraph reported:
Collins said "One Nation must be placed last" and Collins "strongly opposed" dealings with the far right.
On 12 May the Sydney Morning Herald reported:
Collins would strongly urge the Liberal Party to put One Nation last.
On 18 May the Australian reported:
Collins opposes Hansonite agenda.
On 19 May the Sydney Morning Herald reported:
Collins says "One Nation will be last on how-to-vote cards".
On 20 May the Sydney Morning Herald reported:
Collins declares the Coalition would not engage in "any grubby preference exchange with One Nation".
On 26 May I told Parliament that the way to send that clear message is for major parties to place One Nation last on their how-to-vote cards. My record is clearly understood by the people of this State, by the media of this State, by the press gallery of this Parliament, and by the ethnic press of New South Wales who attended here in significant numbers this morning to hear what I told the press gallery of this Parliament a week ago: that is, put One Nation last; there is no room for racism on the Australian political agenda. I say that repeatedly and I say it on behalf of my party, which I am proud to lead. I say it on behalf of all decent Australians and I will continue to say it repeatedly.
Ms Meagher: What about the coalition? Can you say it on behalf of the coalition?
Mr COLLINS: As for the honourable member for Cabramatta interjecting -
To restore some order let me draw the attention of the House to the honourable member for Cabramatta, whose Canley Vale branch includes Phuong Ngo and two others who face serious criminal charges, which I will not go into in this place. The Cabramatta branch - the largest ALP branch in New South Wales - is comprehensively stacked. The honourable member for Cabramatta lives in fear of that branch, and rightly so.
Ms Meagher: Are you alleging that all Asians are criminals? You’re a racist.
Mr COLLINS: The honourable member for Cabramatta would know all about branch stacking. She knows what sort of people are attracted to her party, as she has attracted them. She is a disgrace. But it does not end there. The Labor Party is trying to play the race card. It is interesting to look at the record of the Premier, who, as usual, is absent during this important debate, in which I am glad to participate. I do not think the Premier participated in a previous debate on this issue recently. The Premier’s attitude to certain key tenets of One Nation policy is interesting. One thing that comes through loud and clear from One Nation is its abhorrence of Australian immigration, which it constantly attacks. I find that particularly disturbing and completely disagree with it.
Today the House saw the spectacle of the Premier parading up and down telling a story about one Minister who was ratting on the Government’s attempt to deregister a club which the Premier said would be closed. That Minister is also absent from the Chamber today. Interestingly, the Premier’s attitude is that Australia’s migrant intake should be cut. An article headed "Cut migrant intake: Carr" in the Sunday Telegraph of 20 October 1996 stated that Premier Carr had called for a cut in the migrant intake to reduce population pressures on cities.
Mr Photios: Was that Hanson or Carr?
Mr COLLINS: That was Carr. An article headed "You’re just like Pauline, Carr told" in the Daily Telegraph of 28 October 1996 stated:
Collins "believes preferences should not be directed to the [One Nation] Party".
Interestingly, the Premier espouses a key tenet of One Nation policy: that all our problems will be solved by cutting the migrant intake. Who says that? One Nation says that. Who else says that? Premier Carr says that. The Premier of New South Wales, more than any other State leader in Australia, says that problems will be solved by cutting the migrant intake. His attitude is that Sydney does not want more migrants because they will contribute to overcrowding and environmental problems. But wait, there is more. It does not end with One Nation. After One Nation and the Australian Labor Party there is the group Australians Against Further Immigration.
Mr O’Farrell: Who supports them?
Mr COLLINS: One might well ask who supports Australians Against Further Immigration. That political organisation has something in common with the Premier - support for migrant intake reduction. That is one of the Premier’s passions. Indeed, at a population seminar some months ago the Premier said that cutting the migrant intake would solve many problems. That was music to the ears of Australians Against Further Immigration. Honourable members should be aware of the associations between the Premier and Australians Against Further Immigration. I note with interest what the New South Wales Labor Party did in the by-election for the Federal seat of Lindsay in western Sydney, which was contested successfully by the Liberal candidate Jackie Kelly some time after the 1996 Federal election.
The Lindsay seat in western Sydney is not far from the State electorate of Cabramatta. Indeed, during the Lindsay by-election campaign the honourable member for Cabramatta probably helped the Labor Party give preferences to Australians Against Further Immigration ahead of the Liberal Party. But it does not end there. In the last Federal election AAFI was put ahead of the coalition in the Federal seat of Brand in Western Australia. The member for the Federal seat of Brand is the Federal leader of the Labor Party, Kim Beazley. Members opposite say that they are people of principle. However, if the principles they espouse one day are not popular, they make up plenty more as they go along.
The real clincher is the view of the Premier and AAFI on immigration, which was evident in the Federal seat of Lindsay during the by-election and in the Federal seat of Brand during the Federal election. However, it does not end there. At the last State election the Labor Party gave its preferences to Australians Against Further Immigration candidates
in no fewer than 12 electorates. Indeed, I have a newspaper article, together with an amazingly reconstructed photograph of the Premier, which states that the Premier said that one answer for the future was to put Australians Against Further Immigration ahead of the coalition in no fewer than 12 electorates. I shall go through the list of electorates in which coalition preferences were directed to Australians Against Further Immigration.
Australians Against Further Immigration, an anti-immigration group, fielded candidates in 20 seats. In half those seats the ALP put AAFI above the coalition in its preferences. Those seats were Blacktown - represented by the Minister for Education and Training, who is absent from the Chamber; according to the Premier, his is a good migrant story - East Hills, Eastwood, Miranda, Moorebank and Northcott. This is where it gets interesting. The list also includes the marginal electorates of Bathurst, Gladesville, The Entrance and Murwillumbah. Labor members are prepared to prostitute their principles when it suits them. Any time there is a vote to be bought they will do whatever it takes, in true Graham Richardson style - whatever it takes.
Australians Against Further Immigration has the endorsement of the Premier of New South Wales and the State director of the Labor Party, John Della Bosca, in all those seats. Many of those seats, including Gladesville, are key marginal seats that can determine the outcome of a State election. In other words, the Labor Party is prepared to cut a deal with the devil if the deal gets it across the line. That shows what sort of party Labor is. The line of sleaze that members opposite advocate must be seen to be believed. I seek the leave of the House to table my press release of 12 May.
Leave not granted.
On 12 May my condemnation of One Nation was spelt out for everyone to see. I adhere to those comments to the letter. I was delighted to read the press release of Jason Collins, State President of Young Liberals. He is no relative of mine, but he is indeed a kindred spirit on this issue. I commend him and the Young Liberals for their determination. My press release of 12 May, which I have been refused leave to table, was headed, "Collins: One Nation Should Be Last". It stated:
Opposition leader Peter Collins yesterday compared Premier Bob Carr to maverick independent MP Pauline Hanson for his call to cut immigration.
The One Nation party should be placed last on how-to-vote tickets in next year’s State election, NSW Opposition Leader Peter Collins said today
. . . "There is no room for racism and intolerance in Australian politics . . ."
The press release ends with the words:
"I am not interested in a grubby preference deal with One Nation."
I want to highlight a small matter of logic. Before preferences can be allocated in an election, the candidates must be known. Candidates are not known until nominations have closed, at which time the Electoral Office will report who has been nominated. When all the information is available the Liberal Party, the National Party, and possibly even the Labor Party - unless of course it somehow knows beforehand who the candidates will be - will determine where preferences will be allocated. I propose to move an amendment to the motion that will test the bipartisanship and anti-racist sentiments of those opposite. I move:
"That is the position I will make known to the State executive of the Liberal Party when the matter of preferences for the State election is determined later in the year."
That the motion be amended by leaving out all words after the word "That" with a view to inserting instead:
(1) condemns racism in all forms;
(2) declares its commitment to reconciliation with indigenous Australians;
(3) declares its support for multiculturalism;
(4) rejects any attempt to introduce race as an issue in New South Wales politics; and
The honourable member for Keira would surely have to support paragraph (2). The amendment will test the genuineness of the members of the Australian Labor Party; it will expose them for the frauds they truly are. Rejection of the amendment will be symbolic to the ethnic and Aboriginal communities of New South Wales of the tawdry, grubby and dishonourable motives of the Australian Labor Party in New South Wales. I put the Government to the test and commend the amended motion to the House.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! I shall give the amendment close consideration to determine if it is in accordance with the standing orders.
Mr IEMMA (Hurstville) [4.12 p.m.]: The challenge for the Leader of the Opposition is certainly leadership. That is the only test he has failed. The test is not about his amendment or waiting to find out which electorates One Nation
candidates or other candidates will contest. The Leader of the Opposition does not need to wait for One Nation candidates to announce in which electorates it intends to nominate candidates before he makes his statement about where coalition preferences will go. He can follow the example set by his interstate colleagues Jeff Kennett and Richard Court by stating that in whatever New South Wales electorates One Nation candidates nominate they will be put last on the Liberal and National Party tickets and that the coalition will not profit from One Nation party preferences.
The electoral boundaries are clear. The Leader of the Opposition can show true leadership by meeting the challenge and issuing a directive. He does not need to say, "I will urge my party", "I strongly oppose", "I agree with the opinion that they should be put last", "I will not profit from grubby preference deals". All he need say is, "As leader of the coalition and as leader of the Liberal Party I will instruct my State executive that wherever One Nation raises its ugly head in the March election next year it will be placed last on the Liberal Party ticket and on the National Party ticket."
The Leader of the Opposition not only leads the Liberal Party. He offers himself as the alternative Premier of the State. He must show true leadership for the team he leads, that is, the coalition. He is the leader of the coalition. Therefore, he must also show leadership to the National Party. It is not good enough for him to urge his State executive to take action, to congratulate the Young Liberals and give the House a rundown of all his anti-racist statements and condemnations of One Nation. He must lead his party, and not hide behind the State executive, the Liberal Party or the National Party. He can say to his coalition partners that the statements he makes in metropolitan Sydney will be supported by statements and action in country New South Wales and that he will instruct his coalition partner, the National Party, that it must follow suit. It is not good enough that he says one thing in metropolitan areas and the National Party is allowed to say something else in country New South Wales. For consistency and for the sake of principle, he must haul into line those who want to profit by One Nation’s racist preferences. He should show leadership by making the National Party tow the line.
During the contribution of the Leader of the Opposition not one National Party member was in the Chamber. That was a telling absence. Not one National Party member offered support for the leader of the coalition, the man who offers himself as the alternative Premier. Not one of the four National Party members who have said they will put One Nation ahead of the Australian Labor Party on how-to-vote tickets was present during his speech. Not one National Party member offered moral support for the Leader of the Opposition; not one of them is on the list of speakers for this debate.
A few members of the Liberal Party sat beside and behind him, but not very many. That is very telling. It suggests a secret deal. At the press conference today it was revealed that the message being spread by the Liberal Party in metropolitan electorates is that it hopes to put One Nation last, it is urging its members to work against One Nation, it will make a principled stand against racism, but it will not take the action that is needed, that is, issue a directive that One Nation will be placed last on coalition how-to-vote cards. All over country New South Wales the National Party is feeding on the racism that has been fanned by Pauline Hanson and her supporters. One would have thought the Leader of the Opposition would have taken the opportunity during the course of this debate to make a stand.
It is timely that the motion has been moved today, the day after Pauline Hanson’s extraordinary speech last night, which was purported to be the opening of her Queensland election campaign. This was the opportunity for the Leader of the Opposition to finally nail this issue with a clear and unequivocal statement that as the leader of the coalition he will do two things: first, immediately instruct his members that One Nation candidates who nominate will be placed last on Liberal Party how-to-vote cards in metropolitan electorates and, second, instruct his coalition partner, the National Party, to do the same in respect of One Nation candidates who nominate in country electorates.
Last night Pauline Hanson exceeded anything she has said or done in the past when she delivered one of the most extraordinary and appalling speeches that any politician has ever made in this country. What she said about indigenous Australians blew away any reservations anyone might have had that One Nation is not a racist organisation or that she is not an out-and-out racist. One media report today carried the big bold headline "Deranged". That was an apt and accurate description: Pauline Hanson is deranged. The alternative Premier in the biggest and most important State in this country should have taken the opportunity during his press conference for members of the ethnic media to say enough is enough so far as Pauline Hanson is concerned and that enough is enough so far as standing behind his party is concerned.
The Leader of the Opposition should stand in front of his party. He should stand up to the National Party and say that One Nation candidates will be placed last on coalition how-to-vote tickets. The Leader of the Opposition should say that he will
not cop any more excuses. He could have used the opportunity to make the clear unequivocal statement of a leader. He would have earned considerable respect today if he had stated that One Nation candidates will be placed last so far as the coalition is concerned. The Leader of the Opposition should bear in mind what happened on Sunday when he attended the Italian National Day festivities and heard the Prime Minister jeered. Three jeers for John Howard - on arrival, on introduction and on departure!
That was an indication that the Prime Minister has turned his back on Australians of Italian descent who had hoped for his support. That is exactly what the Leader of the Opposition has done to Australian- Italians, to the Aboriginal community, to the Jewish community and to many other communities in this State. What he witnessed on Sunday night should have been an indication that the time has certainly come for a clear and unequivocal statement that the Liberal Party and the National Party will not give their preferences to Pauline Hanson. The four recalcitrants in the National Party who have already issued statements that One Nation will be placed ahead of the Australian Labor Party in their respective electorates should have been pulled into line, but they were not. That is the test that the Leader of the Opposition has failed in this House: the test of leadership.
The Leader of the Opposition should not hide behind the Liberal Party State Executive or consult the party’s State director. He should make a statement of principle. He will not do that, firstly because of the views of the National Party and, secondly, because some members of his own party do not believe that One Nation should be placed last on how-to-vote cards. If what happened last night has not convinced them, nothing will. A deal has been done that will allow members of the National Party and some rebel Liberals to run around their electorates saying one thing while the Leader of the Opposition mouths statements about how appalling Pauline Hanson and her supporters are but does not back them up with any show of strength. That proves that the Leader of the Opposition will fail the leadership test in March next year.
Ms FICARRA (Georges River) [4.28 p.m.]: It is incredible! The Carr Government’s budget was delivered yesterday. One could be forgiven for thinking that the Government, in the year leading up to the State election, would be trumpeting how wonderful the budget is - even though media commentators, including Ross Gittins, John Laws and Alan Jones would not agree - about its numerous policy directions and about all the good news it has to tell us. But it has not; it has trotted out the Hanson bandwagon. The Government believes it can continue to manipulate the ethnic and Aboriginal communities with that type of rubbish. It is trying to divide the State. All the Government wants to do is score points and divide the community.
The honourable member for Hurstville, who is looking for a new electorate - he is welcome to come to Georges River at any time - comes from an ethnic background, as do many other members on the Government side of the House. How dare they try to divide our community by using cheap political stunts! The honourable member for Hurstville talked about the Italian National Day celebrations on Sunday. I know, Mr Speaker, you were there. I have a great deal of respect for you, Mr Speaker. Many of your constituents have an Italian background. Indeed, many come from where my family comes from, the Eolien Islands. I know you make a trip there every year and I know exactly what table and what seat you use at the Bartano. The honourable member for Cabramatta should be reminded of the significant contribution made to this country by the people from the Eolien Islands. She will remember the remark she made in public and for which she will have to apologise.
I should like to deal with the hypocrisy of this Government. The House has heard from the Leader of the Opposition about the disgraceful deals made with Australians Against Further Immigration. Representatives of that organisation stood in my electorate of Georges River. I have always supported multiculturalism. I have been a member of the Australian Chinese Forum for 17 years. I welcome all our newcomers to Hurstville. I spent 15 years on Hurstville City Council and have served as the mayor. I am proud of what we have done in the St George area. I am proud to represent the Leader of the Opposition on the New South Wales Reconciliation Committee. The honourable member for Keira is also a member of that committee. I am proud that we can work in a bipartisan spirit to improve the lifestyle of New South Wales constituents.
Yet, even though the Opposition tries to play it by the book - ethically, morally and in a Christian fashion - it is subjected to these ridiculous capers, these political potshots. Members of the Government should not believe their actions will influence ethnic communities. Ethnic communities are not stupid. They are no longer able to be manipulated by the Labor Party. Various television programs have dealt with branch stacking in the ALP. The honourable member for Cabramatta and the honourable member
for Hurstville know that they have been involved in that in their own electorates. The manipulation of the Italian, Lebanese and Asian communities is disgusting. It has all been recorded. It is not happening only in Victoria. It is happening in New South Wales, so much so that Sussex Street has had to put a freeze on it. Members of the Government use and abuse ethnic people, but do they ever give them any decision-making role? Do they involve them in anything? Absolutely not. It is all very well to get someone to sign a cheque, to make a cash donation, or to sign up hundreds of ethnic members after bringing them in by the busload, but I know exactly what members of the Government are doing.
The ALP has demonstrated its racist views at by-elections when it has put Australians Against Further Immigration ahead of the Liberals, and members of the Government now tell us that we should put Pauline Hanson last. We will put Pauline Hanson last, and the Leader of the Opposition has put on record all the times that he has said that Pauline Hanson will be put last. I feel confident that the party executive will follow the direction set by the Leader of the Opposition. Everyone knows that is how the party structure works - Liberal Party, Labor Party, National Party. We all work in the same way. The Labor candidate in the electorate of Lindsay, Ross Free, put V. Townsend, the candidate for AAFI, ahead of the Liberal Party on his how-to-vote card. He put Jackie Kelly, the Liberal candidate, at No. 11 and AAFI at No. 9. Is that not farcical? The Federal Leader of the Opposition, Kim Beazley, has tried to score political, racist points. When he stood in the electorate of Brand in Western Australia he put AAFI ahead of the coalition. He put the AAFI candidate at position No. 6 and the Liberal candidate at No. 8. What hypocrisy!
In the State election where did the Labor Party rank AAFI candidates in marginal electorates such as Bathurst, Gladesville and The Entrance, and in other electorates such as Blacktown, East Hills, Eastwood, Miranda, Moorebank, Murwillumbah and Northcott? Residents in many of those electorates are from non-English speaking backgrounds and they find Australians Against Further Immigration and what it stands for offensive. What did the Labor Party do? In each of those seats it put the AAFI candidate ahead of the coalition candidate. The Government thinks the Opposition will not remember these things. Members of the Opposition have long memories, and we will remind the Australian electorate, particularly in New South Wales, about that. Yesterday’s edition of the Melbourne Herald Sun published and article which said, among other things:
(5) calls on all parties and members to work and support the foregoing objectives."
Pauline Hanson’s political assault on Victoria has begun.
Her One Nation party is set to contest more than half the state’s seats at the looming Federal election.
One Nation has 15 candidates prepared for a snap poll and is recruiting heavily to fight as many seats as possible, despite low public support in Victoria.
They are the friends of the ALP. The article continued:
Ms Hanson has forged an alliance with Victorian leaders of the Right-wing organisation, Australians Against Further Immigration.
She has appointed AAFI co-founder Robyn Spencer Victorian leader and national immigration spokeswoman.
What does Premier Carr think? Perhaps he would prefer to talk about American history; he is more interested in American history than in Australian history. He is the one who wants to limit immigration. The article continued further:
Ms Spencer believes all new migrants should learn Australian geography and history.
One Nation’s move into Victoria is bound to create bitter local fights with the conventional parties.
What stand will the ALP in Victoria and the rest of Australia take in relation to Australians Against Further Immigration? Their little mate Robyn Spencer is now the adviser for the One Nation Party and its national immigration spokesperson. An article in today’s Sydney Morning Herald is headed, "State leader attacks ‘violent racist slurs’". The article was written by Robyn Dixon and it states:
Federal Victorian Liberal MPs yesterday intensified pressure on their state division to take a tougher moral stand against Ms Hanson.
This is the same Robyn Spencer that the Labor Party dealt with when it was doling out its preferences. It is the same Robyn Spencer from AAFI that the Labor Party preferred before the coalition candidate. According to the article some of her views are as follows:
Robyn Spencer lacks the trademark Hanson quaver in her voice but apart from that, the new One Nation leader in Victoria is a Pauline Hanson clone.
She expresses the same defensive alienation, the same defiance against the main parties and like her leader, she claims to speak for a great, silent, resentful majority.
Asia that Australia was becoming less tolerant would damage Australian trade in farm commodities and would hurt Asian tourism, Mr Kennett said.
That is exactly the same view taken by the New South Wales coalition. Government members believe that National Party representatives do not understand what it will mean for the farmers they represent. Of course they do. They know the degree of damage being done by Australia’s trade imbalance. Mr Kennett has been consistently outspoken in his criticism of One Nation. Ms Spencer accused Mr Kennett of being arrogant and out of touch, delivering his views from on high without listening to the anger of ordinary Australians. Ms Spencer is mad, just like Pauline Hanson. Ms Hanson chose Ms Spencer from the anti-multicultural policy group, Australians Against Further Immigration, to lead One Nation in Victoria. This is the same Robyn Spencer that the ALP colluded with in the allocation of its preferences.
I turn to the Italian National Day celebrations because I know, Mr Speaker, that you were there. The honourable member for Hurstville told outrageous lies about the reception our Prime Minister received. The Prime Minister was received in an overwhelmingly positive fashion. I was sitting to the left-hand side of the very large overseas passenger terminal at Circular Quay, where the celebrations occurred, and I know about the handful of people who were booing and I know with whom they were connected. That was a cheap Australian Labor Party stunt that backfired. It was recognised by all Australian-Italian community leaders to be a cheap stunt. The lack of respect was embarrassing to the Australian-Italian community, to the Italian Consul General, and to virtually all of the parliamentarians who were there.
Stupid gimmicks and set-ups such as that do no good. A handful of people were given a signal and then booed on cue, whereas up to 20,000 people cheered wildly as the Prime Minister spoke - in fact, the Prime Minister had to stop his speech on several occasions to deal with the applause. Stunts such as that one will backfire on the Labor Party. I warn the honourable member for Hurstville that ethnic communities can no longer be manipulated. Members of the ethnic communities are well educated and they will decide for themselves. They will examine party policy and they will not be manipulated as they were in the past. The Liberal Party is very proud to have members of Parliament and endorsed Liberal councillors of Australian-ethnic background. We are proud to have in our midst the Hon. Helen Sham-Ho, the first Australian parliamentarian of Asian background.
Many Liberal Party members are making strong attempts to have elected our first Aboriginal member of Parliament. It is my hope that after the next election we will be able to stand proud and say that we do have an indigenous member of Parliament. Unlike the Labor Party, which uses and abuses those of ethnic background and trots out garbage that has been heard for a long time, the Liberal Party will include members of ethnic communities, give them responsible decision-making positions and involve them in policy formation. We will not use them in branch-stacking exercises and we will not speak to them in a condescending fashion. I spend a great deal of time attending Australian-Lebanese, Australian-Italian and Australian-Greek functions. I also spend a great deal of time with the Vietnamese community, including the Vietnamese Women’s Association. I could relay a whole list of ethnic associations with which I am associated.
Within the ethnic communities there is an awakening, a slow awakening that comes through education. Second- and third-generation Australians are reading and judging for themselves. There is no place for the bad old days of manipulating ethnic communities because they do not understand. When my parents came to Australia and worked in fruit shops they voted for Labor because everybody else voted for Labor. After we, their children, were raised and educated we asked them why they voted for Labor. On examination of party policies, it was evident that there was no reason to vote for Labor. There is a grand awakening throughout the land, and the Labor Party is worried. That is why it tries cheap stunts such as the Hanson stunts. Those stunts will not work, not in New South Wales. The coalition is united. It is very keen because 27 March 1999 will be the coalition’s day.
Mr Iemma: Tell us about the pigeons.
Ms FICARRA: I could tell the honourable member a great deal about pigeons. Animals and animal codes are very important. What a hotch-potch the Minister for Local Government made of the cats and dogs legislation. I do not wish to trivialise this debate, because it is too important for that. This debate is important to ethnic communities, which want reassurance that politicians are not playing games but are looking after their welfare. It is important to indigenous Australians, who want to be given a voice not only in determining housing and health policies but in the parliaments. Everyone knows what the Premier thinks about migration. The ministry for ethnic affairs and the ministry for youth affairs have been pushed aside.
The Premier is hardly seen at ethnic functions - he makes an appearance when a few thousand people are gathered, and then he quickly leaves. The ethnic communities are able to judge for themselves. They can see the difference between the great job done by the ministry for ethnic affairs when the coalition was in office by the Hon. Jim Samios in the upper House and by the honourable member for Ermington, who consistently supports ethnic functions even though he now has responsibility for the shadow transport and tourism portfolio.
Mr Iemma: Tell us about Sunday.
Ms FICARRA: The coalition had a great line-up on Sunday. Coalition members outnumbered Labor Party members. Coalition members consistently outnumber Labor at ethnic functions, because we care. Coalition members care about the ethnic communities not only in an election year but all the way along. The honourable member for Hurstville can rest assured that the coalition will always be involved with ethnic communities - just as it is changing the face of the St George area. I welcome the boundary changes in my electorate. I take this opportunity to be parochial. I welcome the opportunity to represent the rest of the Hurstville city area, particularly Hurstville itself, to Beverly Hills and to Kingsgrove. The society there is a multicultural one with which I have well-established links.
Many Opposition members have links with the ethnic communities and will maintain those links. The Government will not divert the coalition from keeping the Carr Government honest, including keeping it honest about Labor Party preferences. What did the Labor Party do with Australians Against Further Immigration? Liberal Party members know what the Labor Party has done in the past. The ethnic communities know Liberal Party members personally, they know us as a party and they trust us. The ethnic communities cannot be misled. Never again will they be allowed to be manipulated as the Labor Party manipulated them in the past.
Mr MARKHAM (Keira) [4.47 p.m.]: I support this motion. In debate earlier this afternoon the Leader of the Opposition said that I, as the member for Keira, would support some of his amendments. I would have no problem in doing that, because I will condemn racism in any and every form anywhere. I do support multiculturalism. It is my belief that the Parliament has shown its colours well and truly in supporting reconciliation. In that sense, I have no real problem with the amendments. One party in the Parliament has not shown a real understanding of the hurt that One Nation is causing to indigenous Australians. The front page of today’s Sydney Morning Herald reported the despicable person from Queensland speaking in the Federal Parliament last night. The article states:
But the Victorian Premier, Mr Kennett, has hit out at One Nation, urging Queenslanders about to vote in their State election to send a message of support to Asia. He said the "intolerant and divisive" views of One Nation must be rejected, "Vocally, forcefully and repeatedly". The view in
Deranged? I think she is a bloody idiot. She is more than deranged to make such a suggestion. While ever there is a person in the Parliament of this country carrying on in the way she is, Australia will be and will remain a laughing-stock of the international community. The Federal member also talked about sovereignty last night. An article in the Sydney Morning Herald states:
Ms Pauline Hanson last night put native title and Aboriginal rights at the centre of the Queensland election campaign, accusing the Coalition and Labor of conspiring to create a separate Aboriginal state.
Ms Pauline Hanson injected fear of international human rights treaties into the Queensland election yesterday, claiming that a draft United Nations statement on indigenous rights would destroy Australia’s sovereignty.
How unbelievable it is that a person one would want to believe to be a sensible human being could make such a stupid statement. A representative of the people, in the Federal Parliament of this country, made an absolutely disgraceful, inhumane attack not only on indigenous people but on migrant people of this country. Worse still is the attack on Australians who she must think are as stupid as she is. I believe the coalition partners, through their leader, should tell this Parliament and the people of New South Wales that every one of their candidates will put One Nation last on their how-to-vote tickets.
The members of the coalition should support the Leader of the Opposition in that stance and until they do, as far as I am concerned, not one National Party member can be trusted. Until the leader says that will be done, every one of them will be under suspicion of being racist. People in the community are saying that and will have that view. In the Australian newspaper under the headline, "Lib fear turns to loathing", a political editor, Dennis Shanahan, says in part:
She said the "treaty" was "a treacherous sell-out of the Australian people", and involved "the collusion of Aboriginal separatists, the UN and the disloyal and self-seeking globalists in our midst".
Liberals from around Australia are arguing that the federal Liberal Party should act quickly on the preference issue and be prepared to put One Nation last.
The Prime Minister is gutless. He could have killed off this argument and killed off One Nation and its
leader two years ago. But he did nothing about it. He let her gain credence within the parliamentary system of this country. She is an absolutely despicable human being. I want to hear from the Leader of the Opposition that all candidates who run in the next State election will put One Nation last, irrespective of from which party they come. I believe One Nation’s attack is on indigenous Australians and people who have settled and given their life to this country.
I will not be at all surprised if the leading lights in the Aboriginal community throughout this country indicate strongly that if political parties do not come out at Federal, State and local government levels and condemn this woman for what she is, those political parties and individuals will be condemned along with her. The Leader of the House has moved this timely motion because elections are going to be held throughout this country in the near future: Queensland on 13 June, Victoria shortly, New South Wales in nine months and a Federal election to be held between now and March next year, but more likely in September-October this year.
Leaders of all political parties at the Federal and State levels should spell out their intentions loud and clear. This afternoon the Leader of the National Party should advise us that he will tell his executive and candidates to put One Nation last on their how-to-vote tickets. Until the Leader of the National Party does that, suspicion will remain about every National Party member of this Parliament and every National Party person even at the rank and file level. We will continue to be suspicious of his motives.
I will not say much more other than to reinforce my view that if members of this House are genuine about seeking reconciliation, they will realise that while ever that damned woman is in the Federal Parliament reconciliation is a long way off. That is why every political and community leader must condemn her and her One Nation party. I will not let the name of that woman pass my lips because it is so disgusting, and that is why I have not used her name tonight. I am sure that everyone knows who I am talking about because I believe she should be shunned with total silence by the people of this country.
Mr MacCARTHY (Strathfield) [4.55 p.m.]: I support the amendment moved by the Leader of the Opposition. I do so as the proud representative of the electorate of Strathfield, which is one of the five or six most cosmopolitan electorates in this State Parliament. On my behalf and as a member of the Liberal Party I apologise to no-one for our position on race questions. The Leader of the Opposition made the point that the white Australia policy, which was a creature of the Australian Labor Party some 100-odd years ago, was abolished by the Liberal Party.
Other points in the Liberal Party’s favour include that it was the Liberal Party that first put a person of non-English speaking background into the Federal Parliament, namely, my good friend, former Senator Milivoj Lajovic. It was the Liberal Party that first put an Aboriginal into the Parliament, in the person of Neville Bonner, a great Australian. It was the Liberal Party that first put a person of Chinese extraction into the Parliament in the person of the Hon. Helen Sham-Ho. The Liberal Party does not need to apologise to anybody. In my maiden speech in this Parliament almost two years ago I made my attitude and that of the Liberal Party clear on such matters. I said of the Liberal Party:
Some States, individual MPs and even Liberal ministers have publicly declared One Nation will go last in preferences, but John Howard maintains that the decision will be made later by State executives.
That was and is my heartfelt view of how we should approach questions on race, religion and colour. I have my religion, but anybody else’s religion, race or colour is his or her own, and I respect that. I defend the right of everyone to have an equal place in Australia. Like the honourable member for Keira, I will not mention that lady’s name - in fact, I hesitate to call her a lady. I have wasted no opportunity, when relevant, in every public forum in which I have been involved to make my abhorrence for that person, her party and her racist policies quite clear. I place on record in this Parliament that together with my colleagues I reject those views. I support the amendment moved by the Leader of the Opposition. I will read it again onto the record because it should be supported. It states:
We do not care if your parents were born here, or in Europe or in Asia. We do not need quotas to bring women of talent into Parliament. We represent everyone, and we aim to create an environment in which all have an equal opportunity to achieve their potential.
That the motion be amended by leaving out all words after the word "That" with a view to inserting instead:
(1) condemns racism in all forms;
(2) declares its commitment to reconciliation with indigenous Australians;
(3) declares its support for multiculturalism;
(4) rejects any attempt to introduce race as an issue in New South Wales politics; and
I do not believe that anyone in the Government can object to that motion. If the Government is serious about discussing this issue in a truly bipartisan and cohesive manner, and not causing needless division in this State, the Minister for Police will withdraw his motion in favour of the amendment moved by the Leader of the Opposition. The Leader of the Opposition has prepared a concise statement that all decent Australians can support. The Opposition calls on the Government to show its colours and support its motion in a true spirit of bipartisanship.
Ms MEAGHER (Cabramatta) [5.00 p.m.]: I move the following amendment as an addendum to the motion moved by the Leader of the House:
(5) calls on all parties and members to work and support the foregoing objectives."
After paragraph (1) of Mr Whelan's motion, add:
(a) condemns racism in all its forms;
(b) declares its commitment to reconciliation with indigenous Australians;
(c) declares its support for multiculturalism;
(d) rejects any attempt to introduce race as an issue in New South Wales politics; and
On 19 May the Leader of the Opposition had an opportunity in this House to send a clear message to the people of New South Wales that he was not going to allow One Nation racism and intolerance to get a foothold in the New South Wales political system. He had an opportunity, as the senior member of the coalition, to make it clear that a vote for the coalition was not going to flow on and become a vote for One Nation. He missed that opportunity. He walked out of this House after refusing to take the opportunity to assure the people that the Liberal Party would not support One Nation. The Leader of the Opposition stands condemned for failing to assure the people that the coalition will not help One Nation candidates be elected to Parliament. He had the hide to tell the House today that he participated in those debates.
That demonstrates his dishonesty, because all he is prepared to do is put out a press release stating that he hopes that the Liberal Party will decide to put One Nation last in any preference allocation. Hope is not good enough. As the senior member of the coalition the Leader of the Opposition should be able to assure the House that he has a commitment from the Liberal Party that One Nation and the National Party are not one and the same thing. But he failed to do that. On 19 May the National Party had an opportunity in this House to distance itself from the policies of Pauline Hanson. The performance of the Leader of the National Party on that occasion was a disgrace. He hid behind the skirts of the redistribution. For some reason he had to know the shape of the electorates before he could make a statement of principle that One Nation and the National Party were not the same deal. He failed his constituency on that occasion.
One can assume from his performance in the House that the Leader of the Liberal Party has an arrangement with the Leader of the National Party, a deal that allows the Leader of the Liberal Party to woo his urban electors to reject Pauline Hanson but allows the Leader of the National Party to trot around in the bush and not alienate Hanson supporters. That is what is going on: a secret arrangement, a grubby deal. Members of the Opposition are prepared to put cheap political gain ahead of the reputation of their country, both domestically and abroad. They are prepared to jeopardise the markets of their National Party constituency, Australia’s markets in Asia, and its standing in that region for cheap political gain. It is about time they were exposed for that arrangement, and they should be condemned by the people of New South Wales.
This is not the first time they have had an arrangement for a separate message in the city and a separate message in the bush. That tactic was used with gun law reform when there was one message to appeal to city voters and another for the bush so that the National Party could hang on to its rural constituencies. It is not good enough; it is dishonest politics. This is the most important issue currently dominating national debate, it is about the fabric and harmony of our community and deserves the attention of this House and an honest commitment from the coalition. I commend the motion to the House and call on the National Party to give a commitment to reject One Nation.
Mr WHELAN (Ashfield - Minister for Police) [5.04 p.m.], in reply: I thank honourable members for their contributions. The questions that I asked the Leader of the Opposition are still outstanding. I asked him to denounce the four members of his party who have praised the efforts of One Nation and said that they would give One Nation preferential treatment. I have asked the Leader of the Opposition to show courage of conviction and leadership, and he failed to do that. I thank the honourable members for the electorates of Cabramatta and Hurstville for their contributions. I advise the honourable member for Cabramatta that the Government will accept the addendum she moved. This is an important debate. Today will not be the last opportunity for it to be raised in the House on behalf of the community. The community
of New South Wales will not want anything other than unambiguous statements by the Leader of the Opposition, who has to make up his mind whether he leads a united Opposition or, as we know it, a divided Opposition.
Question - That the words stand - put.
The House divided.
(e) calls upon all parties and members to work and support the foregoing objectives."
Ms Allan Mr Martin
Mr Amery Ms Meagher
Mr Anderson Mr Mills
Ms Andrews Ms Moore
Mrs Beamer Mr Moss
Mr Clough Mr Murray
Mr Crittenden Mr Neilly
Mr Debus Ms Nori
Mr Face Mr E. T. Page
Mr Gaudry Mr Price
Mr Gibson Dr Refshauge
Mrs Grusovin Mr Rogan
Ms Hall Mr Rumble
Mr Harrison Mr Scully
Ms Harrison Mr Shedden
Mr Hunter Mr Stewart
Mr Iemma Mr Sullivan
Mr Knowles Mr Watkins
Mr Langton Mr Whelan
Mrs Lo Po’ Mr Woods
Mr Lynch Mr Yeadon
Mr McBride Tellers,
Mr McManus Mr Beckroge
Mr Markham Mr Thompson
Mr Blackmore Mr Phillips
Mr Brogden Mr Photios
Mr Chappell Mr Richardson
Mrs Chikarovski Mr Rixon
Mr Collins Mr Rozzoli
Mr Debnam Mr Schipp
Mr Ellis Mr Schultz
Ms Ficarra Ms Seaton
Mr Glachan Mrs Skinner
Mr Hartcher Mr Slack-Smith
Mr Hazzard Mr Small
Mr Humpherson Mr Smith
Mr Jeffery Mr Souris
Dr Kernohan Mrs Stone
Mr Kinross Mr Tink
Mr MacCarthy Mr J. H. Turner
Mr Merton Mr R. W. Turner
Mr O’Doherty Tellers,
Mr O’Farrell Mr Fraser
Mr Peacocke Mr Kerr Pairs
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Amendment by Mr Collins negatived.
Amendment by Ms Meagher agreed to.
Paragraph (1)(a) of the motion agreed to.
Paragraph (2)(b) of the motion agreed to.
Paragraph (3)(c) of the motion agreed to.
Paragraph (4)(d) of the motion agreed to.
Paragraph (5)(e) of the motion agreed to.
Mr Whelan: The House should note that the Opposition parties have walked out of the Chamber.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The Leader of the House is out of order. He may not interrupt until I have completed putting the questions.
Motion as amended agreed to.
Mr Carr Mr Armstrong
Mr Knight Mr Beck
Mr Nagle Mr Cochran
Mr Tripodi Mr D. L. Page