Tony Abbott On One Nation

This is the Hansard transcript of Tony Abbott’s speech in the Adjournment Debate in the House of Representatives.

Adjournment Debate, Hansard, July 1, 1998.

Mr ABBOTT (Warringah–Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs) (7.05 p.m.)–As the member for Werriwa (Mr Latham) well knows, politics sometimes makes for odd bedfellows, and even the best of us get saddled with our own personal Judas. I do not judge the Labor Party by Mal Colston. Years ago it would have been quite improper to judge the Nationalist Party by T.J. Leahy, and the member for
Werriwa should not judge me by David Oldfield.

Today the member for Oxley (Ms Hanson) released her party’s immigration policy. The first question that she faced at the subsequent press conference was the use of a tax haven by One Nation Ltd’s part-owner and national director, David Ettridge. She refused to take any questions on this subject, but these are the questions which One Nation’s supporters across Australian want her to answer. How can the party which claims to be against tax avoidance and which claims to be against get-rich-quick scams by white shoe brigade spivs have as its national director someone who does not pay his tax and uses tax havens?

It was also noteworthy in today’s press conference that David Oldfield chose to keep a low profile. The puppet master might have withdrawn behind the curtains, but he is clearly still pulling the strings, as more and more One Nation members are realising. People are getting the message that Pauline Hanson is being used by the two Davids and that David Oldfield is using Pauline Hanson as his personal Trojan horse to enter the Senate.

More and more One Nation members are getting the message. Peter Archer, their former regional director in New South Wales, said that Oldfield is in it for power, Ettridge is in it for money and Hanson is in it for ego. What is happening is that people are understanding that Oldfield, Ettridge and Hanson are engaged in a strange menage a trois. But where is it leading the nation? What type of people are running One Nation? Today we had Mr Ettridge talking to the Australian. The newspaper stated:

Mr Ettridge said membership numbers and details were kept secret from One Nation members.

“It’s nobody’s business but ours,” he said.

It also reported:

“We don’t want branches getting into the data base because it is not important for them to have it. It is quite important that they shouldn’t have it,” he said . . . Mr Ettridge said branch office holders had to sign a “pledge of loyalty” and an undated letter of resignation, which had been used to get rid of six members.

You have to ask yourself what kind of paranoid, halfway to Waco, Texas, world–what kind of weird existence–do the leadership of One Nation actually have. Yesterday, David Ettridge told the Australian Financial Review:

I did not receive any money from World Vision. World Vision was contracted with Global Communications. I am an overseas principal of Global Communications, which is owned by Mr Ross Boland who is an expatriate living in Vanuatu.

It is typical of David Ettridge and David Oldfield that they will use a half-truth to conceal a big lie. World Vision did in fact pay David Ettridge’s company, Global Communications, but today made clear to my office that all the cheques went to PO Box 775 in Manly. World Vision did not send cheques to Vanuatu and World Vision did not know they were in some way or form paying Ross Boland. This is typical of the web of deceit woven by David Ettridge and David Oldfield.

The big question is: what is going to happen to the $500,000 in taxpayers’ money that they are entitled to after the Queensland election? The registered agent of the One Nation party is presumably David Ettridge, and there is nothing at all to stop David Ettridge using this money to travel to Vanuatu, presumably to visit Ross Boland, to collect the cheques which he reckons went to a one-roomed house in a village without any electricity.

This is not a time to mince words. I say in this parliament that Oldfield and Ettridge are chronic and habitual liars, and I again call on the ASC to investigate whether David Ettridge has used the incorporation of a company in Vanuatu as a device to get around Australian bankruptcy law.


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