Lilley Labor MP Anika Wells was sent out with something to say this morning:
Barnaby Joyce may be the only dinosaur to ever come back from extinction.
Literally no one in my electorate has been calling on us, here in the Australian parliament, to bring back the bonk, but here we are.
In a national reckoning about the appalling treatment of women in workplaces, we now have this.
Apparently, the idea that there are no permanent consequences for anyone about this culture, except the women themselves.
Since I was elected to this place two years ago, I have been constantly, incredulously asking: “What does it take to get sacked by Scott Morrison?”
But this week, I now have to ask: “What standards of behaviour is Scott Morrison prepared to accept from the second-highest office in the land?”
It’s like the Coalition has brought back their unhinged, creepy uncle to Christmas lunch, and told him to preside over carving the turkey, but the consequences are far more serious than that.
This is a person who, in the Senate when debating the water efficiency labelling and standards amendment, said to Senator McKenzie, who was presiding at the time: “Madame Acting Deputy President McKenzie, you are looking wonderful tonight. You are a flash bit of kit in this chamber, there is no doubt about you.”
And Senator McKenzie, objecting justifiably, says, “I mean, I’m sure there’s a standing order somewhere senator, but …”, and he said, “It is non-contro. Roll with me on this.”
I mean, in her workplace! She is just trying to do her work, in her workplace! The Australian Senate!
And Barnaby Joyce, our new deputy prime minister, thinks that is acceptable conduct. Australian women watching us here in this place, now feel that is what Scott Morrison considers acceptable conduct.
I was in my electorate on the weekend in Stafford, and a woman was asking me: “As a woman, how do you go in this place? How does it feel when the prime minister turns his back on you whenever you stand up, or when Peter Dutton shuts you down three seconds after you start talking?”
And I said: “What would you say if you had three seconds before the leader of the House shut you down, to give your message this government, what would you say?”
And she said: “How do you people live with yourselves?”