Page 287 - Week 01 - Thursday, 10 February 2022
Certainly, this is a theme that we see—and you probably get it as well, Mr Deputy Speaker—where there are issues of concern out there in the community from Labor Party members who think, “Wow, it is the tail wagging the dog here. It is the Greens running this government.” You see that this is a Labor Party that is not prepared to call the Greens out, ever, even on an issue like this. Even on an issue like this they are not prepared to call them out. I think there will be people watching this who will be pretty disappointed—and I am talking particularly about members of the Labor Party—and who will think that they are squibbing this. They are not meeting the right ethical standard.
I did agree with Mr Steel, though, when he referred to individual candidates that might do this and he described this as personal profit. It is profit. As much as Mr Braddock is trying to decry that and say it is not, as the minister said, it is profit. The minister used those words. Indeed, the ACT government response agreed that public funding “should not necessarily provide individuals with an opportunity to gain profit”.
Everybody knows what is going on here, and Mr Braddock’s spin that this was not profit is ludicrous. Indeed, he seems to think that—again, this is the Greens double standard—if they spend money during an election it is for the greater good. They were helping people. They employed people. They were doing it for the greater good, helping out people with their employment.
But if the Liberal Party or, no doubt, the Labor Party spend money, it is just grubby and evil. I think they believe it—the double standard that they apply. I think that, when they do something, they think they are doing it for the greater good, that it has a moral virtue to it. But when someone else does it, they must have evil intent. This is how the Greens, between the six of them, can own nearly a dozen properties. Fifty per cent of the Greens own either an investment property or a holiday home. Then they come into this place and decry that. They argue against it. They say that people should not be doing that.
It is extraordinary, the moralising you get, the double standard you get from a party that are able to conduct themselves in a certain way—take a swift $170,000 or own a whole bunch of homes or whatever it is—but then attack other people who do that. An organisation that gets JobKeeper, if they had a profit that they might have put on their books, have got to pay it back, according to the Greens. But if the Greens make a profit, they do not have to pay it back—an extraordinary double standard, consistent with their ongoing behaviour.
What was interesting was that Mr Braddock did suggest that the way the ACT Greens got around having to declare electoral expenditure was to front-load all their expenditure. I do not know if the ACT Electoral Commission is watching this, but it is pretty clear that under the Electoral Act the definition of electoral expenditure is clearly defined. Front-loading all that expenditure and what is used during the election campaign is not necessarily just one expense.