Senator Rod Culleton's emotional Inaugural Senate Speech
Senator CULLETON (Western Australia) (17:20): I stand here in this chamber today to present my inaugural speech on oath, to deliver my message to the Australian people. What follows will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth before almighty God and the people of Australia.
To senators, veterans, Indigenous elders of this great land and all Australians, Pauline quoted 'I'm back!' My quote is: 'I'm here! Despite all attempts to silence the WA voters' choice, I am here—bright-eyed and bushy-tailed—despite all attempts to deflate my tyres on the drive over from Western Australia.' As one would know, a good farmer always keeps a good puncture kit handy in the ashtray of the ute and a good toolbox in the back. It is true it can be hard to pull up a cocky.
Just reiterating a few housekeeping rules: it appears that during other speeches certain members are leaving the field before the final siren goes, so if any senator wants to leave now is as good a time as any.
I pay tribute to my party leader Pauline Hanson, the PH in One Nation. A good PH balance will grow a healthy Australia, and this 'hung parliament' promises to do exactly that. Being a Nationals voter for 35 years, I am honoured to be a One Nation senator representing my constituents in WA. With the support of my fellow senators Malcolm Roberts, Brian Burston and, again, Pauline Hanson, One Nation is the awesome foursome. We will be your voice in the Senate. We will work with other crossbench senators and both sides of the chamber to ensure Australia is heard and effectively represented.
On my first day of parliament I witnessed members singing out of the same hymn book in St Andrew's cathedral in Canberra. This now needs to be mirrored in both chambers in the Australian parliament. As a farmer, it is true, the only audience I have had to address up until now has simply been a mob of sheep in the yards. If I sound a little rough, rest assured I will apply a little bit of choke until I get up to running temperature.
I want my actions in this place to reflect my own personal experiences, and having been locked in a financial crocodile roll for the last six years with people trying to steal my intellectual property, I have lost all incentive to invent anything again. But I have not lost my incentive to fix the mess so it doesn't happen to others in the future. Prime Minister Turnbull says Australians need to become more innovative. I would say innovation raises a flag to attract large corporations to attack the innovator of a great idea, so let's fix that first.
My inaugural question in the Senate on 12 September this year was to the honourable the Attorney-General and concerned the inconsistencies and unconstitutional behaviour of our courts. I have started in this place as I mean to go on, with my inaugural question aiming right at the middle stump on constitutional issues. That question was unprecedented and referred to the High Court rules review committee. It is on notice that Dennis Lillee wasn't the only best bowler to come out of Western Australia.
The hunted has now become the hunter. Australia is not running on all cylinders and it is desperately in need of a tune up, to simply put the blue flame out and put it into overdrive. This will be done with the support of my team in Western Australia and those of my colleagues who are prepared to put the best interests of this country first. During tough times, my family always stood firmly by me and reminded me that fail means First Attempt In Learning.
One man's fortune is another man's misfortune. I have experienced highs and lows in business, but Australians are fighters, and the attitude that has built this nation is to 'never give up'. The reality for Australians today, however, is that the fight is not being carried out on a level playing field. It isn't a fair go, and the battle is too often against our own governments and those who purport to uphold the laws. For too long in this place, successive governments have defied the Constitution our nation was founded on, and in doing so have ignored their duty of care to the people of Australia. Australians—not a global government pushing UN dictates which undermine our sovereignty—are the defenders and upholders of the Constitution and our laws. It is long past time for an Ausexit from the UN and removal of all its shackles.
Agenda 21 demands, such as deregulating or removing the laws that have provided ethical guidance for foreign corporations in this country, have been responsible for the attitudes we see in our banking institutions, such as 'Can do' or 'We live in your world', when dealing with their clients, as recent inquiries have exposed, and are still being ignored by this government. The reason why the Australian people want a royal commission is the very reason banks don't. It should not be about going to our government and asking for a royal commission; it should be the people's right to demand one.
A parliament is not acting in the best interest of the Australian people if it doesn't listen. A royal commission or a re-constituted grand jury is inevitable and it will happen. Justice demands it. In the words of Martin Luther King Junior, 'The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.'
Background: I am a fourth-generation farmer from the upper Great Southern region of Western Australia I attended both primary and secondary schools in Narrogin. While I may have got up to a little bit of mischief as a child, I always defended others against bullies and stood up for what I believed was right. I defended my principles. At the time I started my career in the wool industry Australia was riding on the sheep's back. The wool industry was large, prosperous and well regulated, protecting both the industry and its consumers against poor quality product and exploitation of its farmers and communities. I ventured into that industry, trading on futures and buying the Australian wool clip.
In 1981, I started working at my father's business in Narrogin and surrounding districts, where I was one of 21 employees in his 35-year-old wool-buying business. Yet through privatisation that level of competition was removed. In fact, it has become extinct. Growers now carry the risk and are considered captive to current markets. The term privatisation, itself, is just a con. The reality is that foreign corporations are the beneficiaries of our tax laws and our lack of regulatory structures.
My father's business was on fire until January 1991, when the Australian government announced the suspension and later the abandonment of the wool reserve price. The primary industry minister back then, John Kerin, on 11 February 1991 made announcements which would change the wool industry forever. After being suspended for almost six months the price fell from 870 cents a kilogram clean to 700 cents a kilogram clean. The wool industry had stalled until, through government intervention, it fell further, from 700 to 430 cents a kilogram clean. In other words, another commodity stabilisation scheme had failed, leaving the Australian industry with a stockpile of 4.6 million bales of wool and close to one year's normal production, and a debt of $2.7 billion. A national disaster was the result. It was the biggest economic collapse in this nation's history and, like the recent beef and dairy industry disasters, it was also created by inappropriate government policy.
This period still haunts me today because, like others in the industry, my father's business was dealt a lethal blow. The government then took considerable time to press the reset button, which started the demise of a magnificent Australian industry. Private buying would never perform to that standard again. Government intervention further caused the collapse of the price and also destroyed the livelihoods of producers, traders and decimated rural communities. Our stock was worthless, although growers were granted a supplemental scheme and did not feel the immediate impact at the time; however, my father's business did not qualify for such compensation. As a result, the national wool industry finished overnight. The government was not finished with the industry however, and ordered 20 million sheep to be culled. The sheep were gassed and shot en masse as a result. I remember going to a farm to look at a clip I purchased in Kulin—one on the back—and I thought the main power had failed, as the grower had the generator going. I found that the petrol motor running was being used as an improvised gassing plant. The farmers were running sheep into the back of semi tippers, rolling the tarps over the top, shutting the back tailgates and gassing the young sheep to death—under instructions from the then government! I vomited over the fence, as a lot of the sheep appeared to be still clinging on to life. I saw numerous stray sheep in bush reserves, and many pits dug around the region to dispose of such sheep carcasses. These memories still haunt me today and I can still recall the smell of Phostoxin in the air.
Like then, a national disaster was caused by implementing poor political decisions, made in ignorance, without appropriate research, by politicians who simply refused to go out to the coalface to learn the consequences of their actions or to rectify their initial errors. When it was clear the government policy had failed, where was Plan B? These ongoing and systemic policy failures by governments have accelerated the degradation of rural families and communities, including beef, dairy and sugar. That has seen the decline of rural communities across Australia. Rural Australia runs on passion and commitment. Agriculture runs on hope and faith, and builds the true-blue Australian character that has built this nation—a character that may soon become extinct.
Had the Nationals and other major parties been doing their jobs for farming families and their communities today through proper representation, our farming industries would still be vibrant. The sad reality is that too many rural families feel shunned by their own communities, ashamed to speak out about the unconscionable treatment by the banks, lawyers, receivers, auctioneers and their agents. They feel there is nowhere to turn, and then find that the very politicians who enacted the inept policy decisions that caused the collapse of their businesses are just as quick to refuse help to farming families, and continuously accept large donations from the foreign banking corporations entrenched in this travesty of justice. The Nationals believe that farmers need access to more debt: another band-aid solution. This could not be further from the truth.
Farmers do not need more debt. They do need a rural bank that will work with them, without making adjustments to property values based on one year's weather events or on knee-jerk decisions of government. Farmers' biggest risks once focused on hopes of getting 'plenty of rain to produce plenty of grain'. Now our farmers are paid a price that has no bearing on the costs of production, quality controls or even the retail market prices. With foreign corporate retailers dictating market prices as well as farmgate prices, our farming families are denied any market control or voice. Every year they are locked into a system that extracts more and more from them, and does the same at the consumer end of the market.
Before deregulation, Australia had the lowest grocery prices in the developed world and a quality second to none. Post-deregulation, however, Australia's consumers now pay the highest grocery prices in the developed world, with much of the food on offer imported and devoid of the quality and safety controls that our own farmers meet on their world-class products. The foreign-corporate middlemen extract higher and higher profits at the expense of both farmers and Australian consumers. That must end. Australian farming families and consumers deserve the benefits of their nation's own quality produce.
While the ANZ Bank, as agents to the rural program, proceeded to destroy farmers across the country, I contacted Terry Redman, the leader of the National Party and Minister for Lands and the single shareholder. Terry Redman and his National Party colleagues turned their backs, not only on me but on all farmers, and did absolutely nothing, allowing properties like Yakka Munga and my farm to be stolen by the ANZ bank, aided by a corrupt court system. ANZ Bank and their lawyers sold the Webb-Smiths' property to Burra Energy, a large fracking company. They later ignored further written advice and approved the sale to the Chinese, despite the property having been taken without court orders. The fracking site is only 44 kilometres from a freshwater reservoir near Roebuck Bay, which is located near Broome in Western Australia. How can any responsible government consider that acceptable—environmentally, socially or economically?
The reason that the foreign investors want to buy our land is the very reason why we should not be selling it. It is clear that our governments, through the UN, are supporting a world government that will strip sovereignty, and ensure international—not national—ownership of farms by transnational agribusiness corporations, branded TNCs, and global investor partnerships. This will result in more imports for local consumption throughout our domestic markets, and further destruction of our primary industries and the national economy. We as Australians must remember the sacrifices of current and past Diggers; sacrifices made for all Australians and for all that this nation represents and values.
Before we take the word of a major political party who receives large donations across the board from the big end of town, the foreign banks, the duopoly retailers and others and then just accepts their decision, we must be mindful of the consequences of their treacherous betrayal of our freedoms, our heritage and our constitutional rights. We, too, owe a debt of gratitude to those who have gone before. We, too, have sacrifices that we must make to guard and uphold the freedoms passed from generations long gone. When the government committed Australians to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the G20, despite vehement opposition across the country, did they ever, ever, ever discuss the terms and conditions with the Australian people? Did the government take the proposal to a referendum, as demanded under the Constitution? No, they did not. It appears that all major parties live in hope that the Australian people will abandon their present democracy and their Constitution and let today's politicians formulate a new constitution based on the very imposts they have already forced on the people of this nation in breach of our constitutional rights, and all done without the consent of the Australian people through referendum.
When I attended Senate school recently, I was handed a Senate pack which contained a pocket addition of the Australian Constitution, with overviews and notes by the Australian Government Solicitor. Due to certain disgruntled malcontents trying to remove me from the parliamentary 'poker table' through section 44(ii) of the Constitution—challenging my validity to stand here today as a senator under section 9—under Disqualification, I began to read and appreciate just what a powerful document our Constitution really is. It is the foundation document of our nation and clearly constitutes the Commonwealth of Australia. In this document lies the protections and rules that govern our rights and freedoms.
Before 1901, Australia was not a nation. From conventions, the Constitution was drafted and was then put to a vote by the people of the colonies, in referendums. On reflection, I was faced with the obvious question: why aren't we teaching our children the Australian Constitution in our schools? By doing so, our children would know their rights and understand and defend the Constitution that underpins our laws and freedoms. How would Australians know what is being taken from them if they were never taught about this great gift they have? As I raised in my inaugural question in this chamber, our courts have side stepped their responsibilities under the Constitution and are currently acting in defiance of the foundation rule of this nation—the Constitution. I stand humbled and honoured to have been elected to this place and make a commitment that I will continue to defend and uphold the Australian Constitution as an elected senator, a One Nation senator, and as part of a team that is destined to grow as the people of Australia come to understand just what successive governments have traded away and then stand with us to reclaim it back. This nation stands at a minute to midnight, and our obligation to future generations is no less than those who have gone before us and were prepared to do for us.
When my wife, Ioanna, and I purchased a farm to raise our children in Williams, we wanted them to learn respect and experience the chores required when living on a farm. If our children were disrespectful, they had to pack their own survival kit and go camp outside the front gate of the farm to reflect on their behaviour. It wouldn't take them long to walk back down the driveway and say, 'Dad, I'll mend my ways.' Other than respect, what they learned to appreciate is that grassroots is what reflects the best qualities of life. Instead of discouraging or disparaging the inventiveness and enthusiasm of our youth, our governments should be men and women of vision and inspiration—leaders who can set a standard that provides a model to our youth. This country and its people deserve our very best effort, and our future generations deserve no less.
Australia has been blessed with natural resources and attributes that remain the envy of the world. Our governments need to stop telling and to start listening and learning from the mistakes they have already made. Many today are oblivious of the threats to this nation. In 2003 I invented a revolutionary concept that saw me become an industry leader and also a major threat. It attracted attention around the world and dominated domestic markets. The patent was known and trademarked as 'Grain Keg'. This concept allowed my wife and I to set up a fully integrated farming manufacturing and logistics company to take our homegrown products by direct conduit to end-user markets. In simple terms: paddock to plate. Grain Keg was a leader in OHS risk and enabled bulk product to be introduced to existing feed rooms, and it would save thousands of tonnes of landfill. End-user markets were developed further domestically and right around the world.
In 2009 both Landmark and PCL, my financier, and Mitavite competed for the exclusivity of the Grain Keg Concept. I went with Mitavite and joined forces with the general manager, Graeme Dillon, and national sales manager, Colin Price. But the venture failed due to inconsistent products, which caused major palatable concerns, despite multiple warnings. Mitavite clearly pigeonholed the concept through exclusivity and encouraged paten trolls through Mitavite agents Dean Holzer, Peter Walsh and Jack Vivers to infringe all copyrights to my invention. I will reiterate: I have now become the hunter.
I went back to manufacturing our products through a new site developed in Guyra, New South Wales, and continued on with the servicing rights on the Grain Keg system. During this time, we were unaware that the Australian Wheat Board was self-destructing due to its involvement in the 'oil for food' scandal and was facing litigation of $1.8 billion from international grower groups. They had about as much as chance of flying as a grand piano falling out of a window of a 10-storey building. It was during this period of March 2009 when we purchased another farm. Like others, we were unaware that the AWB could not carry out funding past six months. Yet, many farmers were given an interest-only loan at the time for 22 years. Roland Andrew Davis, better known as the 'toe cutter' at ANZ, stated that the only way growers could get a payout figure was to sign a new ANZ Bank letter of offer—a formality of switching from 'green to blue' and all terms and conditions would remain unchanged 'until your next review'. The majority of farmers just simply signed over to the ANZ Bank, and before the ink was dry they were forced to pay sums of up to $6 million within weeks. Mr President, I wish to put you on notice that farmers don't have a general mortgage; they have a joint venture—meaning, at best, a lender will only lend you 50 to 60 per cent, so the other 40 per cent is the farmer's skin in the game. That is his equity.
Roland Andrew Davis also forced farmers to increase their personal injury and their death cover. When ANZ approached me to sign over to the ANZ they wanted all fixed and floating charges over the intellectual property, which was a new condition to the loan. I was the only farmer, as I did not sign. It was clear that both the ANZ bank and Rabobank were the main external funders and all the hedge providers that provided the money for the rural program, and Landmark, simply sat there as a Trojan Horse. The ANZ bank took it upon themselves to create new bank accounts that were foreign to my company and, upon completion, immediately defaulted my companies. This literally blew the tail feathers clean out of the backside of not only my own companies but also many other farmers around the country, and we had to flap like hell to keep elevated. However, some could not. Some hit the deck.
In attempts to avoid the ANZ bank taking down farmers, we literally stood up and took them head-on. The downside of the ANZ action was that it clearly put blood in the water, which invited other companies to also attack and go after my intellectual property in the Australian Keg Company. The company was forced to fend off a patent action where the quote from the lawyers exceeded $914,000. I was forced to go to the UK to sell the licence in Britain through Dodson & Horrell. Although they wanted it, it was hindered because, as an inventor, I could not guarantee the outcome of the patent challenge on one of the companies that held it that was currently before the courts; hence we had to fund this attack ourselves. And guess what? We won.
Upon my return, we were to appear before a registrar in the Supreme Court of Western Australia. We did not understand the ANZ had become an introduced virus infecting our businesses. It had taken over by stealth, as it had with many other farmers. Permanent Custodians Ltd was my true lender. On 28 May 2013—a date of infamy for this nation's courts—my wife and I appeared in the Western Australian Supreme Court before Registrar Whitbread, who denied us both the right to speak and awarded our farm, along with our life's work and assets, to be handed to Permanent Custodians Ltd, and Landmark as well.
Registrar Whitbread could have simply said, 'Mr and Mrs Culleton, this action is about you losing both your family farms and businesses, so I will grant a short adjournment for you to go down to the registry and fill out a form 6 to enable you to enter an appearance.' Registrar Whitbread chose not to clarify our situation to us, despite her being aware that both my wife and I were clearly inexperienced in court and court deficit. I learnt that day that the real law is called common sense law. Under that rule you only have three days to appeal. This rule 62 rule 4(a) is a guillotine order, which the Western Australian Supreme Court proudly does not allow to have set aside. On that day the Western Australia Supreme Court had proudly shut its doors on my, my wife's and my children's inheritance.
Through these actions of our state courts, I have come across people with severe mental and physical health issues. This includes people who have attempted self-harm and suicide. I have witnessed this on the frontline around Australia. In a meeting at Winton in Queensland with Bob Katter and Alan Jones, I gained an understanding of how many victims the ANZ bank had claimed Australia wide. The disturbing reality was that this was grossly wrong, and I was determined to stand up and fight, protecting not only my own interests but also many others who did not feel they had the strength or the knowledge to fight. I grounded my fleet, including my logistics company and the east coast milling enterprise.
I heard a very good analogy yesterday, a Monty Python analogy, come out of the chamber. I would like to apply my own Monty Python analogy in the chamber today: 'It's only a flesh wound. Come on, I'll fight you, you bastards.' And fight we have! Since Winton we have been able to keep many farmers on their properties, to keep producing and providing wealth for our economy. We have also been able to withstand the full assault of receivers, who were supported by multiple armed police officers and SWAT teams who held us at gunpoint, openly threatening farm owners as the receivers came to properties to evict us farmers. These illegal actions—I have just got to use a bit of choke here guys; I am running a bit rich—were exposed nationally on the 60 Minutes program in April 2015. Those same police officers have alleged that the receiver's car was stolen, even though they had the key and were filmed locking the vehicle before they left.
At my property in Guyra, while protecting my assets and myself from attack by a cranky tow truck driver, a single tow truck key valued at $7.50—that is what I valued it at—was deemed stolen, and is resulting in further court action. However, the truth will come out. And a warning: what I have to say next may be a little bit distressing. If I had to choose between being publicly disgraced by the media or removing a loaded gun away from a boy's hand, I would choose the first option again and again. I would rather be humiliated than risk losing another life. I can deal with that; he should not have to. During this experience I have witnessed cases where receivers have violated farmer's wives, children's mothers, and have forged signatures. As a result, growers have had in excess of $15 million worth of cattle removed from their properties and not one cent has gone off their debt to the bank. And yet they are still paying the loans. The cattle have been stolen by the banks' agents. One had the audacity to send the freight bill back to the farmer! It is this arrogance that is pushing people over the edge.
I have also spoken to a number of people wanting to take their own lives. A grower, watching this speech up there right now in the public gallery, tried to end it all by tipping 20 litres of petrol on himself and walking into an open fire, all because of the ANZ bank. He was in a coma for six months. And what about Jimmy Wayland's son who shot himself with a .222 in his first year home on the farm? Rabobank, this must end! The Waylands had to leave their son on a driveway of a farm for two days with a sheet over him until the coroner got there.
These growers were never a distressed asset and had perfect farming operations—as I did—but the government came in and shut down their live cattle trade and left them easy prey for the banks. Just the same as they did to the wool industry in the nineties.
During the last week's banking inquiry held by Mr Turnbull—which we all call the 'banker's belly scratch'—I was sent a note from a lady who was fighting with Rabobank. It was a suicide letter, because, after watching the news on the pathetic inquiry, she had given up all hope. So while the bankers were saying sorry, I say sorry does not cut it. Bank advertising needs to have warning signs like 24 cigarette packets do: 'If you take out this loan, be warned it could have health implications or cause death'.
Despite all the multiple warnings in my own case, all company assets which had no relationship with the land, were taken by my purported buyers, Graham Arthur Harding, and Matthew and Jesse Ford were put on notice that the properties 'to be bought' by them were not for sale. They were also put on notice that the farms contained assets of other companies that had no relationship with ANZ Bank or PCL. Despite these multiple warnings, they pushed ahead, conferring with ANZ Bank and continued to proceed with the purchase. The ANZ Bank sold the properties, 'walk in, walk out' on instructions of VNW real estate, Steve Vaughan and Hugh Ness.
They sold a magnificent asset for one tenth the price—including, 2,000 tonnes of grain stock worth well over a $1.2 million dollars. So they got it for nothing—and all the family furniture and belongings, which included our children's sports medallions. The ANZ Bank had acted unlawfully not only to us, but to a large number of growers around the country. We have yet to have our clearing sale. It was said that over 4,000 farmers had been sent to the wall by ANZ Bank. It was the biggest assets-for-Asia grab in this nation's history. ANZ Bank and the other major banks, including Rabobank, have clearly performed financial terrorism on the people of this country and they will be held to account.
A royal commission or a grand jury will happen. I appeared on 60 Minutes to show Australia what was happening to our farmers around Australia. The old saying, 'A picture speaks a thousand words', worked. This can be viewed on my website and my Facebook page and I urge all Australians to revisit it. It is called 'Farmers fighting back'. You will see that the ANZ Bank's receiver agents were clearly caught on camera in the kitchen of Bruce Dixon's farm, saying, 'We're not here to head-bash you,' and 'We can get the tactical response group in to remove farmers'. My proud son filmed that exchange and saved not only Bruce's 26 farms but many farmers and small businesses around Australia. We also saved his life.
Yes, it is true that over 40 police officers attended the Dixon farm. We were told: 'ANZ Bank is now in possession. You have only days to remove your items and equipment'. Who can do that in a farming operation? As a result, this clearly did not happen. That day reverberated a message to the banking industry right around Australia and there have been many beneficiaries from our actions in that program. Our farmers have been given their properties back. What bank goes around spending shareholders' money repaying all their bills, paying out their local accounts and giving their properties back and saying, 'Gee, I made a mistake.'
The police locked the receiver's car and left with the keys, which was all recorded on national TV that day. I have since been personally charged with stealing a motorcar that the receivers left behind at Bruce Dixon's that day. Twenty-two police officers have been called before the Western Australian Magistrates Court to give evidence against me. I still scratch my head and wonder how I got past so many cops that day. It has only just dawned upon me how talented I must be.
We need to keep things simple, respect others and activate our personal powers and tell the courts to smarten up. Family Courts, in which the legal vultures are feasting on the carcasses of the marriage vows, are treated as a joke, and this court needs to be reviewed now. We say 'don't drink and drive' because every life is worth saving, yet our Family Courts are driving 27 young healthy Australians every week to suicide. It is the solicitors' fees and potential trauma that is the very reason they do not want marriage reconciliation.
I am about to wind up. You have now been made aware of this as the custodians of these people. In fact, they may have voted for you. They, through their vote, entrusted you to act in their best interest. I, along with One Nation, want a moratorium to be placed immediately on the Family Court and not another life to be lost.
You are here for the Australian people, not for the corporations. Many ask: 'We have a constitution? What's that about?' These questions are feedback from a large sample of the Australian population and I was one of them until Senate school. The penny dropped. We all need to be aware of what we have, because, if we are not, we will never know if someone is stealing it or taking it off us.
This puts in doubt whether the shaping of Australia is in the best interests of the Australian population. An ignorant population is one that is easily manipulated by the use of lies, by omission and with false statements and promises. Trust in our country has eroded. Life does not have to be this tough for the Australian people.
Like farming, you only get a small window of opportunity. My vision for Australia is to give Australians a future. This can be done very simply by having governments and laws adhering to the Constitution. From the Constitution, the people's gift, we can invoke or revoke, correct and reform and re-establish. We can raise capital back through our primary industries, and by doing so we will sporn opportunities to rehabilitate manufacturing back on our shores.
The PRESIDENT: Senator Culleton,
Senator CULLETON: I am nearly there. I am nearly there. Trust me.
The PRESIDENT: You need to be nearly there.
Senator CULLETON: Other nations are envious of what we have. It is clearly God's land. I would like to see government-backed banks, a reintroduction of co-ops—and build a society that values and cares for the most vulnerable.
To conclude, if the judges do not respect law, how then can they establish law and order? If the Constitution is the grand express motorway, why would you take the road full of potholes and road works? Yet this is what our lawyers are doing. Does no-one care? People's hard-earned life assets are just stripped and the courts are the ones that drag out cases for years and make people homeless. I can say from my own experience: you would not want to break down in the desert with only one water bottle with a lawyer.
I stand in this chamber with respect for all those who share this responsibility and privilege as senators—and I do respect you all, Senators. I challenge each and every one to remember section 51 of the Constitution, which states that the parliament exists 'to make laws for peace, order and good government'. I put Australia and this chamber on notice. It is time those elected to the Senate did exactly that. There is an answer and a simple fix: bring back the Constitution and bring back our real laws.
To end, I want to say thank you to my biggest supporters: my incredible wife—just a bit more choke here guys—Ioanna; my sons, who have been galvanised heroes, James and William; and my beautiful daughter, Abbey. Without your support, I would not be standing here today. I said I would go in and fight for us and others as long as I did not lose the respect of my children and you have supported me right through. You are all my heroes. I would not be the man I am today if it was not for the love that you have shown towards me. I am a proud father, brother, husband and son. To Ron and Leslie, who are watching me now and who I am very proud of, I love you dearly. And for all the farmers: I said I would come here and when I made it simply say: and well may we say God save the Queen, because nothing will save these bankers! Thank you.