So what is the hold that Hawke has over Morrison? Good question, especially given Hawke's own corrupt antics in New South Wales. During a speech advocating for a federal integrity commission I referred to Hawke's activities and the dealings of the Baulkham Hills branch. At a meeting in 2018, 10 members were admitted to the branch. This was confirmed in text messages from the branch secretary. Hawke was present at the meeting. He saw what went on. I'm told there is video evidence of the meeting. I also have relevant documents, including correspondence sent to Morrison on the issue.
After the meeting the minutes were falsified to show that the 10 members were not accepted. Statutory declarations were provided to counter this falsity. The branch was eventually suspended by state executive. The branch president and secretary, both acolytes of Hawke, refused to provide statutory declarations. Despite clear evidence of fraud, Hawke's role in this process has never been fully disclosed. The New South Wales state director has sat on this matter for years. Legal proceedings are now on foot, and I look forward to the day when Hawke will be required to give evidence under oath to explain his corrupt conduct.
There is a very appropriate saying here: the fish stinks from the head. Morrison and Hawke have ruined the Liberal Party in New South Wales by trampling its constitution. Indeed, I understand at a federal executive meeting Morrison was asked whether he was running a protection racket in New South Wales.
In recent months I have kept members of the division updated. I have received hundreds, if not thousands, of emails outlining their disgust. They have lost faith in the party. They want to leave. They don't like Morrison and they don't trust him. They continue to despair at our prospects at the next federal election, and they blame Morrison for this. Our members do not want to help in the upcoming election. By now you might be getting the picture that Morrison is not interested in rules based order. It is his way or the highway—an autocrat and a bully who has no moral compass.
Now to my own situation. Having lost by a handful of votes last Saturday and having analysed the data, I know the numbers tell their own story. Clearly, my push for democracy in the New South Wales division was certainly not welcome. This would mean that the factional operatives can't control preselections. For years, figures in the Liberal Party have denied the existence of factions and criticised the ALP. This is hypocrisy, given that the Liberal Party is now no different to the Labor Party.
In addition, having been a critic of Morrison on a range of policy matters, I was a marked woman. I have known for a number of years of the machinations involving the PMO and others to move me on. Recent media reports confirmed a deal agreed to by Hawke, Yaron Finkelstein from the PMO, Charles Perrottet, Dallas McInerney, Trent Zimmerman and Matt Kean. In my case, Dallas McInerney from Catholic Schools NSW was encouraged to run against me. Realising he did not have support from the conservative base to win a preselection, they resorted to getting Jim Molan to run, despite Molan having promised he would only see out the Sinodinos term.
In my case, Wade McInerney, brother of Dallas, worked in my office for five years. Following his departure to work for Robert Assaf at Greyhound Racing NSW, I discovered he was engaged in inappropriate conduct and activities. I was duty-bound to refer him to the Australian Federal Police, the Department of Finance and the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency.
Having engaged lawyers and fought hard for a preselection, I got it because my enemies realised my strong support from delegates meant plan B had to be implemented. Dom Perrottet's premiership is held together by a thread through a so-called unity deal with the Kean-Poulos Left. For years the Perrottets have railed against Hawke, threatening to prosecute the Baulkham Hills matter but never delivering. The Perrottets, the McInerneys, Assaf et cetera had only about 30 votes between them. In the ultimate act of treachery those numbers were press-ganged into voting for Hawke's candidate, Molan. Why? In short, the so-called conservative Premier aligned with his so-called enemy Hawke to do a deal: Morrison gets his captain's picks in federal seats and no state members jump ship to the federal arena, which would in turn have crippled the premiership of a supine and weak state leader.
In my public life I have met ruthless people. Morrison tops the list, followed closely by Hawke. Morrison is not fit to be Prime Minister and Hawke certainly is not fit to be a minister.
Budget Australian Greens
Senator WHISH-WILSON (Tasmania) (21:29): Holy smokes! I'm happy to offer another five minutes to Senator Fierravanti-Wells if she'd like to continue.