Senator SESELJA (Australian Capital Territory) (15:11): I find it ironic when I hear Senator Katy Gallagher talk about this. You only have to read today's editorial in The Canberra Timesto look at who is actually to blame for high house prices. It certainly is local Labor governments—ACT Labor governments and other Labor governments. The editorial reads:


Canberra land prices have surged to record levels as a result of unprecedented population growth and the government's tacit policy of drip-feeding land releases.


We know that they deliberately push up the cost of housing in the ACT. They do it under the current Chief Minister and they did it under the former Chief Minister, and then she comes in and cries crocodile tears about it.

Read more: Questions Without Notice: Take Note of Answers - March 17


Senator SESELJA (Australian Capital Territory) (16:18): I would like to speak to the question re the budget, because I think it is important that we talk about budget strategy, about controlling spending and growing the economy, because that is what the coalition believe in. We have done that in all sorts of ways. We have done it through getting rid of the carbon tax and the mining tax and through small-business tax cuts, instant asset write-off, red-tape reduction, free trade agreements, the TPP and, of course, things like the ABCC, which is about productivity, about growing the economy. The best way to get the budget under control, to cut people's taxes, is to grow the economy and to control your spending. The ABCC is a key measure in that fight. It is a key productivity measure.


Today we read about an alternative approach that is anti-productivity, that goes in completely the opposite direction. What I refer to is the dodgy deal between the ACT Labor government and UnionsACT—unions such as the CFMEU—and the institutionalised corruption that goes with that.

Read more: Questions Without Notice: Take Note of Answers - March 16


Senator SESELJA (Australian Capital Territory) (15:18): I am pleased to contribute to this debate on the motion that the Senate take note of answers given by Senator Cormann. Senator Gallagher did not mention it just now, but earlier today she said just how much Labor's negative gearing policy was going to whack Canberra. It is going to whack home owners right around the country. As Senator Gallagher acknowledged today, it is going to whack Canberra a lot more.


Senator Gallagher: No I didn't. I did not.


Senator SESELJA: It is worth getting the quote—


Senator Gallagher: You have to tell the truth.


Senator SESELJA: I will quote you—it provides a particular insight into how this is going to whack Canberrans and also it indicates Senator Gallagher's attitude to this. During a doorstop today she said:


Well, certainly, Canberra is one of those places where you see high levels of people utilising negative gearing. There is no secret about that. But, I don't think you can make policy, good policy that is good for the future of the country, determined by particular subpopulations or cities. You have to look across the board..


Read more: Questions Without Notice: Take Note of Answers - March 1


Senator SESELJA (Australian Capital Territory) (13:36): Today I to rise to speak about some important local events and individuals. I recently had the opportunity to meet an up-and-coming local sports star, Brad Inglis. Brad was recently drafted to play baseball for the Boston Red Sox after being scouted by Australian baseball coach and Red Sox scout Jon Deeble. It really is fantastic to see a young born-and-bred Canberran who has just turned 18 doing so well in his sport of choice and making the transition into playing professionally on the world stage. Brad has played for Australia in numerous international matches and can throw a baseball at a phenomenal 141 kilometres an hour. He is known in Australia as a strikeout pitcher, and Boston liked his ability to throw a fast and strong curveball with good spin and his skill on a changer. Brad will soon be entering spring training in Florida as a rookie and will be training from 6 am till 5 pm daily. While he is there to break into the big league, he will also be training with a goal to represent Australia at the 2020 Olympic Games. I wish him well in that goal.

Read more: STATEMENTS BY SENATORS - Inglis, Mr Brad, Kulture Break, Ricky Stuart House, Canberra Grammar...

Senator SESELJA (Australian Capital Territory) (16:07): I want to make a few points in relation to why Senate voting reform is important and why the tenor of this MPI is wrong. I have the greatest respect for Senator Day and for many of my crossbench colleagues and indeed for some in the opposition, but I want to make a few points.

What is fundamentally wrong with the system at the moment is not who was elected at the last election, nor fundamentally even how many primary votes they got—though I will comment on that. What is fundamentally wrong with our system at the moment is that the people do not deliberately choose who represents them. The people do not choose where their preferences go, because the vast, vast bulk of Australians do not know where their preferences go.

Read more: MATTERS OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE - Election of Senators