I present the second advisory report of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters on the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017, and I move:
That the Senate take note of the report.
I would like to pay tribute to Senator Cormann for calling out Labor on its policy position. Senator Cormann is someone—and people in this chamber may not know this—who, when the Berlin Wall was falling, drove with some university friends across to Berlin to watch the wall fall down and watch those East Berliners, those East Germans, run to freedom. We in this place have got to remember our history, and we've got to remember the part that the Labor Party has played in the history of Australia in terms of its failures at socialism. They admit over there that sometimes they're not very good socialists. That's because they're incompetent at everything they do, whether it is socialism or capitalism.
Many people and many organisations assist those who have served and those who are serving in the defence of our country, and their families. One organisation that I've had a bit to do with is the Defence Force Welfare Association. On Monday, their longstanding national president, Colonel David Jamison AM, announced his retirement. I met with David and his colleagues numerous times on a range of issues that impacted the Defence and veterans' community—from an Australian defence covenant, to recognition of awards for service and helping with veterans' super and veterans' support. David and his colleagues have met many people in this building and you would have seen him as a regular in corridors blue, green or red. I have always found David to be a genuine servant for the interests of Defence personnel and veterans. He has worked towards practical outcomes to improve life for them and their families. So tonight I want to pay tribute to David for his service and thank him, however briefly, for all his work and all the counsel that he's provided on behalf of the veterans' community.
The best way for the economy to work in the interests of working Australians is for there to be a Liberal-National government. When you have a Labor government, they destroy the economy. If you look at the history of Australia, and I encourage those on the other side to look at what happens when Labor get into power, they destroy the economy. They're not nasty people; it's just that they're not very good at things to do with money. They get in there, and it all becomes a bit too much for them, because they don't have the experience and understanding of what you need to drive the economy to help working Australians.
We have done more than any other government to ensure that multinationals pay their fair share of tax. I want to go back to basics. I think low tax is good and lower taxes are even better. I think small government is good and smaller government is even better. I think freedom is good and more freedom is even better. When it comes to the history of the world and of Australia, when the four horsemen of the apocalypse come, which they surely will, we are going to be divided into two camps: those who believe in freedom and those who do not; those who believe in giving people the liberty to look after themselves and those who want to chain them up through the regulations of government.
I wish to add my condolences to those expressed this afternoon in this chamber in remembrance of former senator Russell Trood from Queensland. I did not serve with Russell, but I was the campaign director in 2010 who failed to see get him re-elected—a failure which, I am happy to report, he did not hold against me personally. Looking up at former senator Mason there, in relation to the story of the preferences from the Sex Party, which has become either the truth or an urban myth about how we got Senator Mason over the line, I wish that perhaps the Sex Party had got more votes and we could have got Russell Trood over the line.
It is a pleasure to speak in this matter of public importance debate and to look at the hypocrisy we have already seen in terms of mediocrity in a mere 10 minutes of this debate starting. When I think of mediocrity, I look opposite and I see a sea of mediocrity. It is something that scares me, because the Labor Party, the opposition, are the government in waiting; they are the alternative to my government. When I look at the Labor Party I am scared, I am fearful, because, if we fail to win the next election in 2½ years time, these knuckle draggers opposite, these oxygen thieves, will have their fingers on the levers of power.
It is a great honour to be a senator for Queensland, and it is a great honour to represent the people of Queensland, whether it is dealing with the yellow crazy ants of Far North Queensland or being the patron for the restoration of the World War II igloo on the Atherton Tablelands. It is a great honour, and the LNP carries the torch for all Queenslanders. You only have to look at our Senate team and the senators who represent the LNP to see that we are a diverse team with a lot of senators who bring skills and abilities to the table that are sadly missing in the Labor Party.
Across the ages—through peace and war—the flame of freedom and liberty has shone in the world. In the darkest of times, when it seems that there is only turmoil and sorrow, that flame endures and burns its brightest—its light a beacon calling to men and women of honour, who seek the good and the right. That flame—like the Eternal Flame of Remembrance—is the essence of the human spirit: the birthright of all to seek a better life for themselves, their families and their country.
I wish to speak this afternoon on the evils that pertain to the nanny state. In the eternal war against the Left, our opponents take many forms—unwashed student socialists on campus, latte-sipping hipsters in trendy inner-city hangouts, bureaucrats, leftie journalists, and Labor and Green politicians in their ivory towers of condescension. The one thing they all have in common is their hostility towards the fundamental principles that we fight for as warriors of freedom: the liberty of the individual, a free market, small government and low taxes. As I have said before in this place, the simple statement by the Irish politician and freedom fighter in the middle of the Second World War, James Dillon, that 'democracy, freedom and liberty must always be defended' rings loud as a battle cry for those of us who stand for this axis of enlightenment.