Four times Jacqui Lambie’s speeches have given us life

Four times Jacqui Lambie’s speeches have given us life

Jacqui Lambie

Senator Jacqui Lambie has produced some memorable moments during her time in parliament, passionately advocating for the issues close to her.

As parliament resumed this week, Lambie took the opportunity to unleash on Pauline Hanson’s bid to legislate her vaccine mandate “discrimination” bill, accusing the One Nation politician of exploiting fear for fundraising purposes.

In celebration of her recent take-down, we’ve put together a quick list of some of Lambie’s most memorable moments during her time in parliament.

‘It’s called being – you wouldn’t believe it – a goddamn bloody adult’

In a powerful moment in the Senate on Monday, Lambie passionately spoke against the idea being pushed by Pauline Hanson that unvaccinated people are discriminated against. Unleashing on Hanson’s private members bill, Lambie said people are free to make their own choices, but these choices have consequences. She noted these consequences don’t amount to discrimination.

“Having the freedom to choose isn’t the same as having the freedom to avoid the consequences of that choice. You have freedom to make a choice, but if you make a choice, those choices have consequences,” she said.

“You don’t get to decide how the rest of Australia responds to that choice.

“Being held accountable for your own actions isn’t called discrimination, it’s called being, you wouldn’t believe it – a goddamn bloody adult.”

Lambie noted there are many other situations where workers are required to meet certain requirements, for example, you need a working with children check to be employed in a job around children.

“You put others before ourselves. You can decide not to choose those checks, no one is forcing you, but if you don’t do them, you can’t work where you want to work, it is as simple as that. That is the way it is.”

Lambie said One Nation senators Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts were using the bill to exploit people’s fear to use it as a “fundraising exercise”.

“The problem is politicians like Senator Hanson and Senator Roberts and they are using fear to make money and that’s what this is about from One Nation.”

‘Dream a little cheaper’

In October 2020, Jacqui Lambie took to the floor of the Senate to deliver a speech about the government’s legislation on to hike higher education fees. She said “we aren’t living in the land of opportunity yet” and many young people in regional areas were being left behind.

“I’ll be damned if I vote to tell those rural and regional areas of Tasmania that they deserve to have their opportunities suffocated in a way they’d never even know. I’m not doing it, I’ll never do that,” she said vehemently shaking her head.

“I don’t care what you offer. You can offer me a billion bucks for Tasmania, but I won’t sell out our kids.

“I refuse to be the vote that tells poor kids out there, those sitting on that fine line, that no matter how gifted, no matter how determined you are, you might as well dream a little cheaper. Because you can’t afford it.”

It wasn’t like I chose not to go to uni. I don’t remember ever making that choice. Growing up like I did, where I did, you didn’t see it as an option.

‘It’s bloody tough’

Back in 2017, Lambie shared her personal experiences living off a disability support pension for seven years while she was raising two kids as a single mother.

The speech protested freezing indexation of Family Tax Payments, which was part of a bill called the Social Services Legislation Amendment Bill.

She spoke about what it felt like to be at the “bottom of the crap pile”.

“There were times I cried because I felt so ashamed because I didn’t know how I was going to afford bread and milk,” she told the Senate.

She said she used an esky for weeks when her fridge broke down because she was unable to afford to repair it, and she had driven around without a license on two occasions because she could not afford to renew it.

She said she had to go for Centrelink for help, and had felt “shameful” about having to do so because she’d worked since the age of 10.

“This is what it is like. It is not a choice. It is shameful and it is embarrassing, and it is bloody tough,” she said.

“For you to take more money off those people, you have no idea how bloody tough it is. Every little cent counts to these people, what you are doing is shameful. If you really realised the damage you are doing to that part of society you would stop doing it.

“We’re not living. We’re surviving. We’re in a bloody warzone and we’re surviving.”

‘I’m talking to a drug’

In 2015, Lambie gave a personal account of what it is like to be a parent of child with an ice addiction, telling the Senate that Australia has a massive problem when it comes to ice.

“I am a Senator of Australia and I have a 21-year-old son who has a problem with ice,” she said. “And yet even with my title, I have no control over my son.”

“I can’t involuntarily detox my own son, because I’m not talking to my son anymore, I’m talking to a drug.”

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