Claire Moore (Queensland) 3.19pm
The one promise I make at the start of this contribution is that I will not use the word 'paradigm' at any stage during the next five minutes- From this point on, I will not use that word. One thing that has remained clear in the debate that we had in this place around question time and afterwards is that the major resource that seems to be used often by those on the other side continues to be the media, particularly the Australian newspaper. We heard this afternoon when Senator Ronaldson began his contribution, which I believe was supposed to be on the questions that were asked in this place, that he immediately quoted from a recent article in the Australian and went straight down that path of quoting on the issue of the day. In the following contributions we have heard so far in this debate we have had a series of attacks-attacks on individuals and on process. The one thing that has become clear and that I think has been the leitmotif of the contributions we have heard so far is that those on the other side are extremely disappointed at the result of the election. I think I can take it as a clear understanding that they are disappointed. What they have actually said is that they do not like the result. As a result of that they are throwing abuse at the people on this side, and they also keep going with this really sad personal attack on what they describe as the 'unholy alliance' between two parties who have made an agreement to work together in the process of forming government. It is not an 'unholy' alliance.
One of the very good things about the recent election is that the people of Australia actually found out about the process and what it takes to form government in the House of Representatives. I do not think anyone, apart from the parties, who understood that you need to have 76 seats, actually understood the importance of the figure of 76. Now the community knows that, and there seems to be some sense that there was something wrong and unholy about the way that a government has been formed by taking a number of votes from different areas to actually come to the number of 76. It was a process that was being gone through by both sides of the chamber. Both sides were trying to seek alliances to come to 76, and the end result is that we now have a government that will have a great deal of scrutiny-and that scrutiny is important. On the issue of the carbon tax, what has happened is that the Prime Minister has now, in terms of working in government, instituted a process which will go through the chambers of parliament. We do know that there is concern about getting the advisory committee together and it will not, at this stage, include all parliamentary contributors because there seems to be some trouble with people in the opposition taking their role in that committee. The process will be that there will be clear debate around all the issues to do with climate change, including the issue of carbon tax, which has been in the community and in discussion. We had Senator Boswell today quoting from the business groups that put that there. We will have a process in the House of Representatives and in the Senate, and it probably would not be too far to claim that there could well be some committees on this process. We will look very closely again at all of these issues.
All of that is the way our democracy operates. We have the process, we have people contributing, we have the chance for debate and then it goes to a vote-a vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate which will determine the result which will determine the future of our policy and what will happen in our community. Then the people of Australia will have the chance at the next round of the electoral cycle to see whether they support that process or not. It is not going to be such a different process; all it will be will be allowing the democratic practices of our parliament to proceed, and that is a good thing. We might not always like the result-we have had some disappointment about the result of the election already expressed this afternoon. I expressed some disappointment at the results of some of the votes in this place at the last parliament.
Nonetheless, the procedures continue and the final people who will have the say will be the community and the people of this country, because they will see how our parliamentary processes operate and how any alliance between any groups will function to benefit them. That is not such a hard concept, and we must continue to play our role in that whole process.