Page 1522 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 1 June 2022

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MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: I understand, Mr Hanson. Given that I am warming the chair for Madam Speaker, this is what I will do. Madam Speaker ruled earlier in the day that use of the term “laundering” was not appropriate. Mr Parton, did you use the term “laundering” while I was speaking with the Clerk? If you did, I would ask you to withdraw.

Ms Cheyne: He used “washing machine”.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: “Washing machine”, I think you would agree, is a slur. Noting that a ruling has not been made previously on “washing machine”, they are—

MR PARTON: Let me just withdraw. Allow me to withdraw, please.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Parton. Save me from myself. You may continue.

MR PARTON: We are not the ones that are making this claim; it is the ABC that are making the claim. There would be very little doubt that Dr Paterson’s own election campaign was in part funded by money that originally came from poker machines—that is, at least, according to the ABC.

When it comes to my amendments, my eyes are firmly on the crossbench. I have to concede that I am a little taken aback by the amendments that may be coming from the Greens in this space, because I fully expected that the first two paragraphs, the “notes”, would actually be knocked back by the Greens. I am pleased to see that, at least in this amendment form, they are likely to remain there. That is good.

I note that there has been mooted a substantial change to the last “calls on” and that the Greens at this stage are not keen to condemn ACT Labor for pocketing millions of dollars, directly or indirectly, from gambling companies over many years. With reference to that, Mr Assistant Speaker, can you imagine the song and dance that would be made in this chamber if the ABC suggested that the Canberra Liberals had benefited from $12½ million of gambling donations? Can you imagine how triggered the Greens would be? There would be such a song and dance in here if it was about us—but not so much if it is about Labor.

Despite Mr Rattenbury’s and Dr Paterson’s apparent concern about gambling harm and all of those being affected by the evils of gambling, it remains to be seen where we are going with amendments, because I think it is still a fairly fluid situation. I dare say that there are parts of this amendment that will be erased, and it will just be a case of “let’s pretend it was never there”. Let us pretend that it never happened—that it was just fake news on the ABC. Let us put the ABC in the same category as Fox News and say, “It was just fake news.” “Just keep smiling for the cameras and pretend that everything is okay. The Liberals don’t have the numbers, so we can rewrite history whichever way we want to.”

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