Pettiness and petulance of Senator Brown


Senator IAN MACDONALD (Queensland) (16:28): What more really needs to be said after that speech, except perhaps to defend Senator Heffernan and say what an effective representative, in every sense of the term, he is for the people of New South Wales. Senator Faulkner is correct. We are debating a motion to set aside the whole program of the Senate so that we can debate and vote on this ridiculous motion from Senator Brown.

Senator Brown's talk about anyone disobeying the rules is so hypocritical it makes me almost breathless. Senator Brown of course made his career by breaching the law. Even as recently as the Convoy of No Confidence came down from the north and from all over Australia, Senator Brown was reported as saying what a hopeless lot they were: 'They have not blockaded anything.' According to Senator Brown, unless you are breaking the law you are no longer relevant.

I have been here long enough to remember when it was a requirement to wear jackets into this chamber. Senator Brown would continually come in here without a jacket for no other reason than to break the law. It was drawn to the attention of the chair

Senator Bob Brown: Mr Deputy President, I rise on a point of order. I ask that any suggestion that I have come in here deliberately or otherwise to break the law be withdrawn. But I would also remind the chair that the chair ruled that there was no requirement for a jacket to be worn in this place and that the senator is quite wrong in his assumption about that matter.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: There is no point of order, Senator Brown.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: Of course not. That simply shows the pettiness and petulance of a precious person who thinks that he has rights and privileges that nobody else has.

I want to draw to the attention of the Senate another instance of Senator Brown's direct conflict with the rules of this Senate. The rules of this Senate quite clearly say that the chair must be acknowledged. Senator Brown has never acknowledged the chair at any time. But there was an occasion a few months ago when that was drawn to the attention of the chair.

Senator Bob Brown: Mr Deputy President, I rise on a point of order. The senator has asserted that I have never acknowledged the chair at any time. That is entirely false.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: That is not a point of order, Senator Brown; it is a debating point.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: On the occasion that I am talking about, this behaviour was drawn to the attention of the person in the chair. The chair politely said to Senator Brown: 'Yes, that is the rule. You must understand, Senator Brown, that you do have to acknowledge the chair under the standing orders.' Senator Brown on three occasions subsequently walked out the door and deliberately did not acknowledge the chair.

This particular motion from Senator Brown is beyond the pale. It shows what sort of person is leading the Greens political party at the present time: a person who has made his career out of defying the law, the lawmakers and the rules of the game. For him to bring this motion is absolutely despicable. It would be laughable if it were not so tragic that one of our members should have the sort of disposition that means he has to be photographed and, if he is not, he complains.

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