Page 3810 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 24 August 2011

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of his correspondence. If Mr Doszpot is to be believed, it was all written months ago. So there should possibly even be a reply by now.

MR HANSON (Molonglo) (5.25): I was not going to speak on this motion but I feel compelled to do so after the leader of the Greens talked about eminent scientists and, because eminent scientists had said something, then we must agree with it. I think that this is probably the rankest hypocrisy I have heard in this place. It is quite clear that, when it comes to the Greens, there are scientists that we can agree with—and we will call them eminent and we will praise them—and say that to disagree with them you must be a right wing nut bag. That is the scientist group that happens to agree with their ideology.

But if there are scientists that perhaps have a different view, then what is their reaction? If there are scientists that they do not like, scientists at the CSIRO perhaps, then what is their response? Let us attack them. Let us smash them up. Let us destroy their work. Let us intimidate them. Let us traumatise their staff. We heard it last week in the debate. The Speaker was talking about the scientists at Throsby and that scientists had said X or scientists had said Y. Therefore, if the scientists have said it, we must follow through on what the scientists had said. So they are selective in what they say.

I find myself agreeing with Mr Barr. There are people in this country, people in this society, who have extreme views who try to intimidate people and try to attack them. We have seen that on the left and we have seen that on the right. And here in the Canberra Liberals we certainly do not endorse that and we condemn anybody from any political party and anywhere in society who would endeavour to intimidate, threaten, attack scientists of any description.

If a scientist is putting forward a view, whatever that may be, then it is our right to disagree with them. It is our right to argue the science. In many areas the science is open for further exploration and debate. But what we see—and Mr Barr has picked it quite rightly—is that there are extremes in society who will attack the scientists. We have seen it on the right, and I condemn that. We have seen it on the left, and I condemn that.

The difference is, and the point here is, that the extremists on the right do not reside in this place. We do not condone their actions. We condemn them. But the extremists on the left reside here. The extremists on the left reside in the form of Mr Rattenbury, Ms Hunter, Amanda Bresnan and Caroline Le Couteur who condone the action of Greenpeace in their attack on the CSIRO.

So why is it that a political party in this place can sit here and say, “We’re going to listen to eminent scientists,” whilst at the same time saying, “We condone or we are certainly not going to condemn the actions of Greenpeace in smashing up scientists”? You are right, Mr Barr. Occasionally you will be right, and this is one case where you are. There are extremists in this society, and I condemn them. The problem is that the chief of those extremists is sitting in the Speaker’s chair.

Amendment agreed to.

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