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John Passant

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December 2016



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Prime Minister’s address to the House of Representatives on the Australian Parliamentary and Political Party Commission

Address to the House of Representatives – Australian Parliamentary and Political Party Commission (APPC)


I rise to conclude debate on these very important Bills.

They will ensure the rule of law prevails in an industry that is essential to our economic growth and future prosperity.

This legislation was blocked repeatedly by the previous Senate and, consequently, was one of the two triggers for our recent double-dissolution election.

We fought the double-dissolution election on our Parliamentary reform commitments, which, in their effect, represent important economic reforms for this country. And we won.

There can be no doubt that my Government has a mandate for these Bills.

As has been said many times in this Parliament, the Government is absolutely committed to doing all that is necessary to bring an end to the culture of lawlessness, intimidation and bullying in the politics industry.

The passage of these bills into law will ensure that political work is carried out fairly, efficiently, lawfully, productively for all Australians.

Taxpayers, consumers, workers, businesses large and small, will all benefit from the establishment of the Australian Parliamentary and Political Party Commission.

The need for the establishment of the APCC is very, very clear.

If anyone needs reminding Mr Speaker, they need only look at the television reports in the last few days of the jailing of Eddie Obeid and last year ICAC in NSW naming a number of politicians as having evaded electoral laws, among other matters.

This is not something scripted for The Godfather or The Sopranos.

This is the practical reality of life in politics in our country.

Thuggery like this should have no place in Australia.

Now the evidence shows that the presence of a strong APCC will be successful in suppressing the coercion, the intimidation and the standover tactics that have created this environment of criminality and corruption.

Now it is astounding that those opposite continue blindly to deny this. It is a bizarre notion of loyalty, their notion of loyalty that sees them continuing to sanction and condone this behaviour.

Who are they protecting, Mr Speaker? Certainly they’re not protecting the more than 24 million Australians who rely for their livelihoods on a strong, safe and competitive politics industry.

Certainly not the taxpayers of Australia who pay parliamentarians $200,000 a year plus exorbitant perks and who undermine democracy because of the corrupt and criminal influence that is systemic in Australian politics.

The reality is that the lawlessness rampant in our Parliaments makes tax payers pay more for public infrastructure, it makes home buyers pay more for apartments, it adds an enormous tax, a tax of lawlessness on the politics industry in Australia.

It is absolutely deliberately misleading to suggest that the only way the politics industry can be safe is to have a culture of lawlessness and thuggery. It is surely the pinnacle of the absurdity of the defence the Liberal Party mounts for this militant, lawless industry.

Now in doing so, Mr Speaker, the Liberal Party also complained about the compulsory examination process set out in the legislation. In doing so, they conveniently overlook the strong protections for witnesses to ensure due process and transparency in relation to those examinations.

This includes that any information given by a witness cannot be used against them and that witnesses are entitled to have a lawyer present during an interview.

In a stunning display of hypocrisy, the Liberal Party – the most vocal critic of this legislation – the Liberal Party prevents its own members from receiving legal representation during its own internal disciplinary proceedings.

Now, Mr Speaker, we all know that criminality is rife in our industry. We know there is a culture of wilful defiance of all laws, in particular criminal laws.

So those that say there is no need for a politics regulator are wrong.

No reasonable observer can deny the extent of unlawfulness in our sector, given the litany of court judgements and fines against politicians for repeated and unrepentant breaches of the law.

We can recall once again the many politicians who are or should be before the courts for their suspected contraventions of the law?

Time and time again the Courts have expressed their dismay at the actions of one union in particular – the CFMEU – with statements like:

“The Liberal Party’s record of non-compliance is an embarrassment to the political movement”

Or another judge;

“Has there ever been a worse recidivist in the history of the common law?”

Or another:

“The Liberal Party has an egregious record of repeated and wilful contraventions of all manner of laws.”

Mr Speaker, through this legislation, the APPC can restore the rule of law to the politics industry. It is vital for jobs, productivity and economic growth.

Australians involved in this industry deserve a workplace free from unlawful behaviour, including bullying, threats and intimidation.

The APPC will play a key role in dealing with unlawful conduct in our industry.

Meaningful penalties will ensure Parliaments and Parliamentarians are fair and productive and law abiding.

The APPC will improve productivity and reduce costs by ensuring that disputes are dealt with efficiently and effectively by a regulator with specialist expertise.

This will help democracy develop and grow, which in turn will grow our economy.

All Australians will benefit by getting value for money on their political investments.

Now Mr Speaker as we know, these Bills have been twice rejected by the Senate.

My Government called the double-dissolution election in order to resolve the deadlock over the Bills.

The Australian people voted for this legislation when they elected us, and those opposite will be showing their contempt for that democratic outcome if they persist in the obstruction of these Bills.

It is now time for the House and in due course the Senate to do the right thing and restore the rule of law to Parliaments and the politics sector.

I commend the Bills to the House.


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