POLITICS

Senate Crossbenchers Reveal What They Will Fight For On The Eve Of Parliament's Return

And yes, Pauline Hanson said something controversial again.

29/08/2016 9:02 PM AEST | Updated August 30, 2016 12:19
Sky News
We explain.

Eight of the 11 crossbenchers of the 45th parliament united on the eve of Parliament's return to discuss the issues they care about before the games in Canberra begin.

Whether it is the last time they unite, is up to them, but the conversation on Sky News' Paul Murray Live special was robust and revealing on Monday night.

Derryn Hinch, Nick Xenophon and Pauline Hanson were joined in Old Parliament House by Xenophon's two senators and Hanson's three senators.

If you aren't familiar with them, it won't be long before you are as they did not hold back when asked what they cared about.

Nick Xenophon Team senator-elects include Skye Kakoschke-Moore and Stirling Griff while Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party senators-elect include Malcolm Roberts, Rod Culleton and Brian Burston.

Between Pauline Hanson admitting she's offended people and Rod Culleton bagging Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's green tea the eight senators discussed everything from same sex marriage, gambling and Australia's manufacturing industry to Islam, the racial discrimination act and online bullying on Facebook.

Here are just some of the (newer) issues the crossbenchers holding the balance of power care about.

Passports Banned From Child Sex Offenders

Derryn Hinch, who created the Derryn Hinch Justice Party, ideally wants a national public register of child sex offenders introduced. He knows that's going to take a while so, in the meantime, the former journalist is fighting for convicted child sex offenders to have their passports pulled to prevent "child rape holidays" in Thailand and the Philippines.

"I reckon we can do that by getting to the Immigration Minister, the Federal Police and the Attorney-General," Hinch said on Monday night.

Hinch hopes to make that happen in the next couple of months.

Hinch also wants one million more people to sign up to the organ donor list and same sex marriage to be passed through both houses of parliament through a free vote.

Introduction of Carly's Law

Nick Xenophon Team senator-elect Skye Kakoschke-Moore wants it to become a criminal offence for adults to lie about their age to a child online and then attempt to meet with that child.

The South Australian senator is passionate about the legislation after Carly Ryan was murdered at just 15 in 2006 by a 50-year-old man, Gary Francis Newman, posing as an 18-year-old guy from Melbourne. After establishing a relationship online the pair met in Port Elliot, where Ryan was killed.

The NXT senator-elect also wants to establish a permanent taskforce to address abuse within the Australian Defence Force.

Removal Of Racial Discrimination Act 18C

One Nation senator-elect Malcolm Roberts wants racial discrimination act 18C to be removed entirely. The act gives an Australian the right to sue someone over a racial remark which they personally find offensive of insulting. The law has been highly debated after independent senator David Leyonhjelm decided to sue a journalist for calling him an 'angry, white male' to make a point about the legislative faults.

Hanson agreed the legislation threatens free speech and should be removed while Kakoschke-Moore doesn't have a problem with it. Xenophon does not support the removal of 18C. The NXT leader will also support a senate inquiry into the legislation.

Malcolm Roberts also argued he cares deeply about the environment while The Greens "are anti-environment and anti-human".

Senate Inquiry Into The Family Court

Derryn Hinch and Pauline Hanson butted heads over changes to the family court system as Hinch wants a senate inquiry into the entire system while Hanson wants particular laws scrapped completely, but then they kind of agreed to meet half way.

And then this also happened...

The Welfare System

Yes, Pauline Hanson said something controversial again but this time she at least warned the room. Just take a look for yourselves but it involves attacking Muslims, this time in the welfare system.

However, Nick Xenophon called her out, arguing she couldn't single out one religion. Derryn Hinch agreed some Australians were rorting the welfare system from generation to generation.

Royal Commission Into Banking Sector

Rod Culleton recently discussed the banking sector with Malcolm Turnbull over green tea, and he thinks he'll bring his own tea bags next time.

The One Nation senator-elect wants an overhaul of the banking sector while he's even more passionate about about Australia's farming sector.

Pledging to grow the beef, dairy and wool industries, Culleton wants to see the reestablishment of rural Australia.

"If we don't have rural industry back on track and get all our regional areas humming again and hydrated, we won't have Australia," Culleton said on the program.

Gambling

Like Nick Xenophon, NXT senator-elect Stirling Griff wants predatory gambling to be seriously looked at, naming pokies as the immediate issue followed by online gambling.

The Budget

One Nation senator-elect Brian Burston was the only crossbencher to place the nation's economic state as a key issue on his political agenda.

"I'd like to see [the budget debt] reduced dramatically and I'd like to contribute to that in some way," Burston said on the program.

Brian Burston Is An Identical Twin

Okay, so it's not exactly an issue needing to be addressed but interesting nevertheless. While he's front of mind, the One Nation senator-elect is an identical twin who has in fact played a few pranks on politicians with his twin brother before.

"Back in primary school we swapped classes, but we never got intro trouble because we blamed each other," Burston said on the program.

"When we were [local] councillors on different councils, we were both deputy mayors, and we swapped seats to confuse the mayor in meetings."

So guess who now has a one up on his fellow senators if there's another #senatesleepover. Yes, the last one lasted more than 24 hours and judging by this senate, there may just be a few more of those.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that Nick Xenophon supported the repeal of some elements of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. Updated information from his office shows that he does not support the removal of 18C.

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