Is it sad that I spent the day watching senate estimates?
Nope! It was the best reality TV viewing for years.
The Chair-Senator Ian Macdonald- was in fine form.
Here are a few delectables, my personal favourites, from the mouth of our Chair.
Straight from Hansard...
Senator JACINTA COLLINS: On the point of order, could I add that I think this proportional break-up that you are referring to is not consistent with some of your comments previously on the record about the nature of estimates.
CHAIR: Senator Wright, you are correct in connection with the last part. If we finish the day and no other senators have questions, then the Greens can spend the rest of the day doing it. That part is correct—
Senator WRIGHT: Or any senator.
CHAIR: I do not who told you—it certainly was not me—
Senator WRIGHT: It was actually Senator Brandis who used to make that point.
CHAIR: Please do not interrupt while I am speaking. Show a little bit of courtesy—
Senator WRIGHT: You are very courteous, I know.
CHAIR: I am very sensitive when I am being attacked.
Senator JACINTA COLLINS: Let me defend you, Chair!
CHAIR: You promised you would, Senator Collins, but you have not done much so far! Senator JACINTA COLLINS: I was going to defend you from yourself, actually.
CHAIR: and if you are going to keep interrupting I will suspend the—
Senator WONG: Chair, how about you stop shouting at people?
CHAIR: I will suspend the hearing.
Senator WONG: Maybe if you stopped shouting at people.
Senator WRIGHT: I think you are seriously compromising the dignity and the respect of the committee.
CHAIR: Oh! Senator
WRIGHT: I want to put that on the record. I am concerned about that.
CHAIR: Thank you for putting it on the record! Now, Professor Triggs—
Senator Hanson-Young: Someone has been shut up—
CHAIR: Senator Hanson-Young, would you please leave the room.
Senator Hanson-Young: I am not leaving.
CHAIR: Please be quiet and abide by the standing orders.
Senator Hanson-Young: If you promise to do the same, Chair, I will.
Senator WONG: Mr Moraitis—
Mr Moraitis: It is pronounced M-o-r-a-i-t-i-s.
Senator WONG: I am sorry; too much Conan Doyle.
Mr Moraitis: Too much?
Senator WONG: Conan Doyle. Let us just go back through the series of meetings you say—
CHAIR: I am glad I did not say that. I would have been accused of other things, but anyhow, carry on.
Senator WONG: Reading the classics?
Senator Brandis: You might have been accused of sexism, Senator Macdonald.
Senator WONG: How is reading Conan Doyle sexist?
Senator JACINTA COLLINS: It is a strange world they live in.
Lots of similar gems including when Ian told Gillian...."This is what I want you to say."
Prof. Triggs: I am not sure what you are referring to, but I did not ask Ms O'Brien anything.
CHAIR: This is what I want you to say, 'Mr Moraitis, I am concerned at what The Australian is writing and I would ask that you ask the Attorney—' whatever. I want you to put what you said in the first person.