Skip navigation

Speech: Liberal Opposition

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: I rise very briefly to support this motion. I note that it calls on the Liberal Party to be a legitimate opposition. I observe that in this place we spent countless hours wasting time, I believe, because of lies told to the community about Australia Day and ANZAC Day supposedly being cancelled by previous legislation of this place when it was patently not cancelled.

Indeed, I note the words of the Leader of the Government in this place who reflected on the angst this caused with the RSL, particularly in late December and January just past, in the summer break. Minister Maher spoke to the President of the RSL in South Australia, Mr Dave Petersen, who had spoken also on radio talking about his frustration that veterans were calling him late into the night thinking that ANZAC Day had actually been completely cancelled. When it was explained to the RSL and Mr Petersen what had actually happened, he then posted on the RSL website:

The new legislation, despite suggestions otherwise, was not intended to, and did not, strip ANZAC Day of its name. Rather the legislation is for the administration of public holidays regarding industrial relations law (i.e. how much someone gets paid for working on ANZAC Day).

The RSL's attempts to console their members—because they would have been rightly outraged had we in this parliament somehow cancelled ANZAC Day—needed to be even further clarified by this parliament revisiting that legislation to give comfort to the public of South Australia that the Liberal Party's lies over summer were not true. So if you want to talk in this place about wasting parliament's time that is my first example that leads me to give support to this motion today.

The second example is the so-called picnic tax. I have read out in this place the letters from Judy Potter, the chair of the Botanic Gardens relevant body—I cannot remember the exact title of that—

The Hon. I.K. Hunter: Board.

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: Thank you, the Hon. Ian Hunter—the chair of the Botanic Gardens board, who wrote not once but twice to the member for Bragg asking him to literally stop lying and saying there was going to be a picnic tax when there was never going to be a picnic tax, again causing fear and trepidation in the community through illegitimate means.

I note also that it is hard to tell the difference these days between the Liberal opposition and One Nation at the best of times, with not just the wizard of woke, who got rid of gender-neutral language some decades ago, the Hon. Rob Lucas, but all sorts of shenanigans where they are far less likely to talk about the cost of living than they are to be talking about culture wars. It is hard to recognise the moderates in this Liberal Party that we find before us, and certainly those days of talking about a blue-green alliance are long gone.

I note also the resignation from the Liberal Party in the other place of the member for MacKillop, citing dark factional forces, and I ask the Liberal opposition in this place whether those dark factional forces are a useful thing to bring to the floor of parliament or whether they are better kept in the back rooms of the Liberal Party machine.

It is a strange sort of machine right now. I make no comment on whether or not Senator Alex Antic or Senator Anne Ruston are at the top of the ticket. That is for the Liberal Party to decide in their wisdom. It was done through democratic means. But what I would say is that we have spent a lot of time talking about these things and very little time talking about policy in the Dunstan by-election.

I would love to have seen the Liberal Party back the Greens' call for the Kent Town pocket park, which would be the only piece of green space for the residents of Kent Town, who are closed in on all sides by a lack of green space and are desperately calling for all political parties to quarantine that little bit of Bureau of Meteorology land to give them some space so that they can have a bit of shade, give their children somewhere to crawl or toddle on the grass, and enjoy what nature has to offer in that particular part of the electorate. But no, for the seat of Dunstan, what we have seen in this place is the tabling of the Labor candidate's personal Gmail correspondence between herself and her husband. That was certainly, I think, not a legitimate political tactic.

I also call out and note that in conversations about whether or not the Greens should support this motion, I was asked whether we would support a similar motion on the Labor Party. I point to, and I can see, two members here on whom I have voted no-confidence motions: three times for one member and one time for the other member. It is time now to co-design a new engagement paradigm and bring the standards of this place up to ensure that picnic tax lies, ANZAC Day lies and lies about supposed culture war intentions of benign pieces of legislation are no longer the standard debate in this place and that we get back to the business of things like the cost of living and the climate crisis.

With that, the Greens will support the motion, strange as that may sound. The wording of the motion is something that we can see our way clear to supporting because, at the moment, the Liberals are not a legitimate opposition. It does not reflect, of course, on the Hon. Nicola Centofanti, who is currently one of the few Liberal members of parliament who I do have a reasonable amount of respect for. It does, however, reflect on the way that this Liberal opposition is currently operating with other members of this parliament, and so I think it is a legitimate wake-up call.

Continue Reading

Read More

Speech: Parliamentary Committees Bill

April 12, 2024

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: I rise to speak to the Parliamentary Committees Bill 2024, a bill that provides for the establishment of various parliamentary committees, defines the powers and duties of those committees, makes related amendments to various acts and repeals the Parliamentary Committees...

Read more