Greens senator Lidia Thorpe should be required to address allegations of her conflict of interest on the floor of the Senate chamber in full public view.
One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson said Senator Thorpe’s brief speech in the Senate today did little other than raise further suspicions she had something to hide from the Australian people and their representatives in Parliament.
“Senator Thorpe pointedly noted there was no evidence she had communicated sensitive information to the ex-bikie boss with whom she had a personal relationship,” Senator Hanson said. “She did not otherwise address the allegations in any meaningful way.
“How could there be readily available evidence when you use encrypted messaging and regularly delete those messages? For the Australian people and the Parliament to be satisfied Senator Thorpe did not pass on sensitive information, any devices on which these messages were exchanged should be handed in for an investigation.”
Senator Hanson said the referral of Senator Thorpe for an inquiry by the Senate privileges committee risked keeping the matter behind closed doors.
“You’d be forgiven for thinking the Labor government – which desperately needs the support of the Greens for its legislative agenda – was seeking to protect Senator Thorpe from public scrutiny over this matter,” she said.
“However, just as former Labor senator Sam Dastyari was required to attend the Senate and explain his links to foreign donors, so should Senator Thorpe be required to give a far more comprehensive explanation of her actions. To that end, in addition to submitting a censure motion, I’ll be moving that Senator Thorpe be required to attend the Senate in person and address the matter in detail. She’s always happy to have her say in the chamber or protesting in the streets, so she shouldn’t have any qualms about explaining herself.
“I won’t hold my breath the rest of the Senate will support One Nation, even though it would complement and assist the privileges committee inquiry.”
“Ultimately, Senator Thorpe and every other member of Parliament should be completely answerable to the Australian people – completely honest and completely accountable.”