WHO Pandemic Treaty Debate [Senator Anne Ruston]
Livestreamed yesterday 27 March 2023 Full Debate on YouTube | Rumble-Clip
Senator Ruston: Thank you very much, Madam Acting Deputy President. And, can I acknowledge the extraordinary important role the committees of this place play in making sure that we have got the most robust process that we can to investigate issues that are important to all Australians.
Often with the role of the Senate, is undermined by the kind of contribution that we just heard from Senator Shoebridge, to be coming in here and being lectured by somebody, simply because they have a contrary view to somebody else in this chamber and somehow suggesting that they’re a lesser person and using derogatory terms in which to describe them, I think actually reflects very badly on Senator Shoebridge, more so than those people that have sought to put forward this particular motion.
Can I also say to Senator Roberts who obviously feels very strongly about this particular issue and others that have made a contribution about the importance they think of shining light on issues that have significant impact on Australia going forward and particularly our places we sit in the global environment. So I thank you, Senator Roberts, for bringing forward this important issue, and I believe that as a Senate, we shouldn’t be standing in the way of shining scrutiny on at very important issues.
We are never all going to agree, , but the minute we start shying away from having a genuine debate, getting the experts in, which is how the committee process works, then I think that we are letting the Australian public down and not delivering what this particular chamber, I think has been designed in the first place to do so.
Senator Roberts, the Coalition will be supporting your reference because that’s exactly what it is. It is a reference. It allows us the ability to be able to go into more detail and investigate the very important concerns that have been raised by everybody in this chamber about the particular issue that is the matter of substance of this reference.
So, I would also put on the record that the coalition government will never, has never, and will never enter the future compromise the interests of Australia or its sovereignty in anything that it does, and we would make sure that we would be very, very strongly of that view right the way through, because we support transparency.
This is something that’s really quite interesting when you consider that the platform on which those opposite were elected to this place, they weren’t at the election, and they trumpeted transparency from the hilltops.
But I’ve got to tell you, it is really quite extraordinary that since we have been in this place, there has been nothing that has been less transparent than this Albanese Labor government. We stand for transparency on the side of the chamber and for that reason, that we will be supporting the reference as we often and almost always do. Thank you.