“We want our country back,” Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has told Tony Abbott, during a speech to the Senate in which he invited the prime minister to visit Western Australia during the Senate election campaign.
Ludlam advised Abbott “to leave your excruciatingly boring three-word slogans at home”. He listed a series of issues – Manus Island, the ABC, homophobia, working conditions, the shark cull and the NBN – to warn Abbott not to take the votes of Western Australians for granted.
“People have been keeping a record of every time you have been given the opportunity to choose between predator capitalism and the public interest, and it is bitterly obvious whose side you are on,” Ludlam said. He said that “every time you open your mouth the Green vote goes up.”
It’s “game on”, Ludlam said of the Senate election which has arisen out of the loss of ballot papers in last year’s poll. “We want our country back.”
Ludlam spoke to a deserted Senate chamber during the Adjournment Debate.
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Hansard transcript of Senator Scott Ludlam’s Adjournment Debate speech on March 3, 2014.
Senator LUDLAM (Western Australia) (22:09): Tonight I rise to invite Prime Minister Tony Abbott to visit the beautiful state of Western Australia. I do this in good faith, because we are only a matter of weeks away from a historic by-election that will not just determine the final makeup of this chamber after July but also will decide much more of consequence to the people of Western Australia, whether they are thinking of voting for the Greens or not. Prime Minister, you are welcome out west, but this is a respectful invitation to think carefully about what baggage you pack when you make your next flying campaign stopover. When you arrive at Perth airport, you will alight on the traditional country of the Whadjuk Nyoongar people, who have sung this country for more than 40,000 years. This is 200 times the age of the city that now stands on the banks of the Derbal Yerigan, the Swan River. Understand that you are now closer to Denpasar than to Western Sydney, in a state where an entire generation has been priced out of affordable housing. Recognise that you are standing in a place where the drought never ended, where climate change from land clearing and fossil fuel combustion is a lived reality that is already costing jobs, property and lives. [Read more...]