SenatorFARRELL(South Australia) (10:03):I rise to take note of...

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    SenatorFARRELL(South Australia) (10:03):
    I rise to take note of the response—or lack ofresponse, I should say—of Senator Cash in respect of the applications torelease these documents. I guess it's pretty interesting to note that monthsand months and months ago, when the Auditor-General started his investigationinto sports rorts1—I know we're talking here about sports rorts2—he had nodifficulty getting access to all of the documents which the government nowseeks to delay tabling before this Senate.

    MadamActing Deputy President Kitching, I think you might have been sitting in theSenate chamber earlier when I was referring to the press release that went outin respect of sports rorts 2.I indicated that, as part of the government'scover-up mentality, spin mentality, lack of transparency, lack ofaccountability, the press release that had been on the government's websitespruiking what we now know to be a fraudulent exercise of rorting andpork-barrelling had disappeared.

    Thegovernment was so proud of this announcement at the time, but, when we went tolook it up today, it had disappeared. Well, I can report this to you, MadamDeputy President: somebody in the Prime Minister's office is watching theSenate—it comes as a bit of a surprise that they take any notice of us atall—and guess what? It's back up. It's back on the government's website. When Ispoke on this earlier this morning, about 45 minutes ago, the government, aspart of their cover-up, their lack of transparency, their lack ofaccountability, had taken it off the website, so none of these sports clubsanywhere in the country could look it up and see just how badly they wererorted by this government.

    Butsomebody in the Prime Minister's office must have thought: 'Hm, maybe this isnot such a good idea. Maybe this looks like a cover-up.' You know what they sayabout these things: it's not the original act that gets you into trouble; it'sthe cover-up. Why do we know that? Watergate. Former President Nixon got intotrouble for the cover-up, not the original act.

    Somebodyin the Prime Minister's office has been watching and obviously has a little bitof common sense, and they've put that press release back up. The governmentmight say: 'It was there all the time. Senator Farrell was wrong.' But we didtake a precaution and we snapped it when it wasn't there. So we can producesome physical evidence, if need be, of the fact that the government had takenit down.

    But whatthis whole exercise, even this morning, shows is that this government doesn'treally care for sporting clubs and sporting men and women in this country. Inparticular, it doesn't care for women's sport, because, if it did, it wouldn'tbe treating Australians as mugs and wouldn't be treating Australian sports menand women this way. It would be showing them some respect. Everything that thegovernment has done in this whole tawdry saga has exposed the lack of respectit has for sports men and women in this country.

    Later on this afternoon—you'll like thisone, Madam Acting Deputy President—the new minister is introducing a bill tochange the way in which clubs are expected to respond to cheating in sport.They call it the Sport Integrity bill. This bill is intended to say to sportsmen and women in this country: 'We demand that you improve your integrity. Wedemand that you apply additional conditions to the way in which you performyour sporting activities because we want integrity in sport.

    'SenatorCiccone:What a joke!

    SenatorFARRELL:You're dead right—I'll take that interjection. What a joke!

    This afternoon, the government are sayingto sportspeople: 'We expect you to lift your game. We demand integrity fromyou.' But the government themselves show no integrity. There is nothing thatrelates to integrity about this government. As I say, bit by bit, drip by drip,we will get this information, and the Australian people will see just howdishonest this government have been in the awarding of these grants. Peoplewill see just how dishonestly the government have treated all of these clubsright around the country in relation to their applications and all the hardwork that people have done.

 
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