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Speech: Agricultural Protection Amendment

Speeches in Parliament
Mehreen Faruqi 12 Sep 2019

I just want to make a short contribution and add my voice to what Senator McKim said about amendment (1) on sheet QL133. The government's amendment is to shield more businesses from scrutiny, and this is exactly the scope creep that the Greens have been warning about. Who knows how many other big businesses will be added to this list? It's going to be an endless list, from what I can see.

But we know this government have an anti-protest agenda. They would quash all dissent if they could. We know this government's vision for Australia—they want a country where there is no sign of protest, where no dissent is permitted and where no voices different to the government's exist, because all environmental activists and all animal welfare activists have been gagged and censored.

And shame on the Labor Party for standing shoulder to shoulder with the government on this anti-protest agenda. You came in here. You talked the big talk. You put in additional comments to the committee, highlighting the very flaws in this bill. You made grandstanding speeches in the chamber, and yet you sat there with the government and waved in this anti-protest bill and you're going to sit with them again to expand the scope of this bill. Shame on you.

I end by saying that, sadly, Australia is becoming a poster child for the gagging of animal rights and environmental activists. The Greens will never stand for this. We will oppose every single attempt to silence dissent and protest in our country, and we will be the real opposition to this government's destructive agenda.

The TEMPORARY CHAIR: Thank you, Senator Faruqi. Before I call Senator Watt, I remind all senators to address their comments to the chair. Senator Watt.

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