Page 288 - Week 01 - Thursday, 10 February 2022
If the Greens were actually buying up big in December before the campaign period started—if that was Mr Braddock’s strategy, so that they could get away without having to report that—if you did that and then used that product during the campaign, you may well be in breach of the act. I do not know if Mr Braddock has kicked another own goal in this place by declaring the way the Greens do their business.
Mr Deputy Speaker, imagine if the Liberals did this. I want you to imagine that the Liberals went to the last election and came out with a profit of $170,000 or $180,000 of taxpayers’ money and then we opened a shiny new office, went in there sipping champagne, congratulating ourselves, saying how wonderful we were and saying that we were going to use this profit, this windfall, this great success, to fund the federal campaign. Can you imagine the outrage? Can you imagine the hyperventilating you would get from the Greens?
This would be front-page news. Twitter would go into meltdown. TikTok—Mr Deputy Speaker, you will be on TikTok—would be going into meltdown. But the Greens do it and then they come into this place and say, “No, no, no, we are doing it for the greater good, to help people with training and for their jobs. We are ethical.”
Mr Braddock decided in his speech, as well, to smear hardworking Labor businesses in the clubs sector. He read out a bit of a list that some say is some sort of hit list for him—no doubt, a Greens hit list—of people because they donated. Some of them donate to the Liberal Party, some to the Labor Party, some to the Greens.
Somehow, for the Greens, who took a $50,000 donation from the CFMEU that runs pokie clubs all over town and is engaged in forestry and mining, that is okay. That is ethical somehow for the Greens. But if a local community club was to donate the use of one of their rooms for a Liberal Party meeting, that is outrageous. Again, it is this double standard that is extraordinary. It is disappointing that he chose this opportunity to smear some of those hardworking local businesses.
I am disappointed, I must say. I am not surprised that the Greens did not want to pay the money back, not surprised at all. Maybe they could sell one of their investment properties to cover some of these costs, or one of their holiday homes could be sold. But, no, no; I guess that is too much. It is much better to take it from the poor old people of the ACT, the taxpayers. I am not surprised that they rail against the top end of town, but it seems that the Greens have become the top end of town. They have become the top end of town, the privileged elites that they decry. They are the people with all the property portfolios. They are the people that clean up at elections. They are the people that open shiny new office buildings. It is extraordinary, their ability to criticise what they themselves are.
I must say that I am disappointed by the Labor Party. I thought, given some of the statements, the strong statements that were made in the committee hearings, that the Labor Party might have the courage of their convictions to actually hold the Greens to account for once. Just for once, Mr Deputy Speaker, you would think that the Labor Party would be on the side of the ACT taxpayer, rather than on the side of their shabby little parliamentary agreement with the Greens.