• National Press Club debate on same-sex marriage - transcript


    Ladies and gentlemen, would you now please welcome Senator Bernardi to make his opening remarks.


    Thank you, Steve, and thank you to the Press Club for putting on this debate today.

    Nine years ago in my maiden speech to the Senate I said:

    “one could argue that the entire concept of rights has been so debased in recent times that it is now difficult to know what is a right and what is simply a desire. Desires are governed and formed by personal belief and self-interest, and yet they are often presented in the public sphere as a right to correct a perceived wrong.”

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  • Greece default showcases the endgame of the welfare state

    Greek_flag_waving.pngFor many years, I have been writing about the unsustainable nature of the welfare state. Over decades, successive governments have racked up debts to provide immediate benefits without thought for the future generations who have to pay it back. It has happened all over the world – including Australia.

    Today, we have seen the first national financial consequences of such practice in a Western nation. As has been forecast several times recently, Greece has defaulted on the first of its loans. Put simply, Greece is broke.

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  • Disgraceful Q&A another reason ABC needs reform

    Q_A.jpgToday, the process of amending the Australian Citizenship Act begins.

    This will see Australian citizenship stripped from dual nationals who engage in activities or provide support to terrorist organisations. Currently, the Act allows for such action where Australians enlist with a foreign army at war with Australia so this new step identifies the changing nature of conflicts confronting the West.

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  • Petty politics does a disservice to national security

    ncn6kmbj-1340858915.jpgThere are many events that attract the attention of those inside the political beltway whilst barely registering a flicker of interest from the rest of the country.

    To have the opposition playing petty politics with matters of national security is one such event.

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  • Defending traditional values against the 'equality' movement

    referendum.jpgPolitical life is never dull. It can be frustrating, infuriating and often unfair but it is never dull. The insatiable media appetite for controversy ensures that there is always a story somewhere.

    Sometimes those ‘stories’ are manufactured faux outrage like the reporting of Joe Hockey’s comments on housing affordability. Here’s part of the transcript that created such a brouhaha so you can judge what he said for yourself.

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  • Juggling issues and egos in Budget Estimates

    estimates.jpgA brief note today because it’s Budget estimates. This means I am locked in a room chairing the Finance & Public Administration committee from 9 am through until 11 pm all week.

    My committee examines the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet, the Department of Finance and also Indigenous agencies.

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  • Senate inquiry and the media agenda

    media_page_cameras_630x250.jpgLast week the Senate agreed to my motion that it conduct an inquiry into food certification schemes in Australia.

    This was prompted by the growing number of Australians who are concerned about the number of certification schemes and the lack of transparency in relation to labelling, cost to consumers, cost to business and suggestions that coercive tactics are being used to ensure compliance.

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  • Small business tax cuts a step in the right direction

    SME_tax_cut_2.jpgThe Federal Budget was handed down last night and as always there is a lot of detail to get through. However, one of the headline acts was support for small business through a 1.5 per cent tax cut, the ability to claim sub-$20,000 purchases as tax deductions through accelerated asset depreciation.

    This means that any purchase made by a small business - whether a company or private operator - up to the value of $20,000 can be instantly 'written off'.

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  • We can't keep kicking the can down the road

    dont-kick-maintenance-down-the-road.jpgWith the Federal Budget set to be handed down next week, I suspect a lot of political skin will be riding on how it is received. All indications thus far suggest it will be designed to support the economy and protect jobs in a rather fragile environment.

    Whilst there is always the usual sanctioned ‘leaks’ and media speculation, it is a fair guess that the country will run a large deficit next year – and for some years after that.

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  • Wake up to the threat before it's too late

    terrorism1.jpgI like Julie Bishop. She is smart, personable, competent and politically savvy. She’s proven to be an excellent Foreign Minister and one day I hope she gets the opportunity to hold the top job.

    Most recently, it was her address to the Sydney Institute earlier this week that marked her as someone who truly ‘gets it’.

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