Speech – MATTERS OF URGENCY – Donations to Political Parties

2 March 2016

Senator O’SULLIVAN (Queensland—Nationals Whip in the Senate) (16:53): I will take up the invitation to follow the money. As I have said often in this place—

Senator Cameron: Make the pledge!

Senator O’SULLIVAN: Doug, kick your shoes off, sit back and have a listen. Who is Zi Chun Wang? He donated $850,000 to Labor. Do not go, Senator Cameron. I will pause to give you time to get back to your office and turn your television on. You need to listen to this. There was $12,000,057 from the organised crime outfit of the CFMEU. There was $4.5 million from the ASU and $9 million from the AWU. You want to talk about connecting money and influence; we are happy to have the conversation with you. Some of these are criminal entities. There are 81 CFMEU representatives currently before the courts for standover tactics, blackmail and extracting money from industry, affecting the productivity and jobs of this nation. And what do they do? They take it with this hand, transfer it to this hand and slide it over to the Labor Party. Let’s keep going. I do not even know who the SDA are. Can someone help me out? It is an acronym for some union. They donated $15 million. The TWU donated $7.2 million. The CEPU donated $4,400,053. The HSU donated $1.4 million. The NUW donated $5.9 million. It goes on and on. United Voice donated $10.5 million.

But forget about the trade union movement because we already know the dirty connections between the Australian Labor Party and the trade union movement. Doug, I will yield some of my time to you so you can stand up and tell me who Zi Chun Wang is. He donated $850,000. What about the Australian Kingold Investment Development Company? They donated $600,000. And you are on your pegs here talking about tax reforms that have to do with developments. We have Australian Chinese Business Elite Awards Pty Ltd. Doesn’t that sound like a great, upstanding commercial corporate citizen? If that is not a $1 company, I am not here, but it donated $260,000. You might, at your next opportunity, tell us what Wei Wah International Trading Pty Ltd trade in. I think they might trade in favours with the Australian Labor Party. They donated $200,000. It goes on and on. I can hardly find a name that is not Chinese here. Mr Zhaokai Su—I am sorry to him if I have not pronounced that right—donated $70,000.

The Yuhu Group—I would like to run into the Yuhu Group—donated $60,000. Hong Kong Kingson Investment donated $50,000. Truly, this sounds like the evolution of the first democratic party of the republic of China, and you want to talk about influence. I would like you to get up and deny some other time that these entities are not connected—that they are not brothers, sisters or subsidiaries—because the information that is published is not enough. You are right about one thing, Senator Cameron: we need transparency. That is what we need. We need serious transparency in this space. We have situations with our friends in the Greens. The Wotif founder, Graeme Wood, donated $1.6 million in a one-off donation to a political party. You cannot avoid influence when that occurs. You will not find these numbers with the Liberal Party or the National Party—and I know a thing or two about this.

Senator Lines interjecting

Senator O’SULLIVAN: They have brought you down here to try to drown me out. I tell you what, I will lift it up a decibel or two. What we have here is the fact that the Australian Labor Party is owned, lock stock and barrel, by a collection of trade unions, some of them almost organised criminal entities. There are ways you can deal with that, Senator Cameron. If they are not organised criminal outfits, support us as we bring the legislation into this place for the ABCC and also for the registration of these entities. Of course you will not. In the whole time I have been here, every day I call out to you, Doug—or Senator Cameron, through you, Mr Acting Deputy President—to condemn them. Not once have you condemned them. When the evidence is hard and cold and fresh from our ministers, what happens is that you sit there silently with your head on your chest.

The organised criminal activities of the CFMEU are well published—they are no longer allegations—and here they are on the list of donors to the Australian Labor Party. What might be useful Senator Cameron and others in the party to do the next time they get up—I have not heard these condemnations, might I say, but I accept what the senator has said—is look squarely down the barrel of the camera and tell the CFMEU and everyone in Australia that you are not going to take one more red cent, not a razoo, off the CFMEU to fund the ability of you people to return to your seats.

It is breathtaking that you would pick the subject of corruption and influence from donors. It is unbelievable, Doug—sorry, Senator Cameron. I have only 10 minutes to run through the list. Ten minutes is clearly not enough. We are talking about amounts of money that are breathtaking. Since 1995 it is $100 million. Actually, I am being unkind. I should be accurate in here: it is $98,951,511.11. You pick a spot anywhere you like. Run a ballot amongst yourselves. I am happy to do the against case; you do the for case. Let us get a couple of old soapboxes in the middle of Sydney or Melbourne or you can come out to my patch at Charleville and let us see whether people believe that $100 million buys you influence or not. It does not just buy you influence; you have the full ownership. You get a lifetime warranty with a hundred million bucks. I promise you cannot find any other cohort who would blow whistle up the kilt of our collective parties in the coalition with those sorts of donations. It goes on and on. I say to you, Senator Cameron, it would be a hell of a lot more if many of the officials—

Senator O’SULLIVAN: I am telling you now, it would be a lot more if most of these union people did not clip the ticket on the way through. They have big bills to meet, themselves—house payments, buying houses, going to bordellos, rich wine—it goes on and on. Many of these people are unsavoury individuals. Long before you want to start trotting out questions about transparency and putting caps on donations, the first thing you need to do, on behalf of my coalition—I have been given no right to do this but I am going to do it anyway—I say to the people of Australia: we will never take one dinar off organised crime, not one. One of you, whoever is making the next contribution, needs to stand up and repeat that. I know you cannot. I know you will not. The $100 million from the trade union movement, I have to be honest, I am only human: if they rolled out $100 million to my mob I probably would have been absent from the chamber today. I probably would not have come in. I probably would have had to think long and hard about it. But it is not my mob that is taking the money. I agree with you all, particularly Senator Cameron when he says we need to have a long, hard look about the patronage that comes with the big donations. You and I could make a two-man committee, Senator Cameron, and we would come back to this place with recommendations. When we do there will not be one single trade union left in the legislation if they take into account my contribution to the report.

This is atrocious. It is embarrassing. You shouldn’t just condemn them. Anyone can get up here and say. ‘I’ve told them not to be bullies. I’ve told them not to threaten people. I’ve told them not to rip off their members. I’ve told them not to misappropriate the funds.’ Anyone can do that. I can do that. It takes courage, a courage your mob does not have, to stare down the barrel and tell them you are not going to take one more lick of those trade unions that are organised criminals. It is easy to do. You will fit it into a sentence with six or seven words in it. If you are having a struggle with the narrative pop around to my office and I will help you draft it.