Federal MP Christian Porter has spoken of the “incredible support” he received when “the mob” came for him and the “massive threat” China poses to Australia, in his final speech to parliament.
Mr Porter said he spent most of his 14-year career in politics in Cabinet positions, with only four months in opposition.
He spoke proudly of his work to fix the GST distribution to Western Australia.
Porter says he’s seen ‘the awful sides of politics’ and ‘experienced a mob’
Mr Porter said he had seen both sides of politics.
“While serving in this place, as well as seeing some of the awful sides of politics, I’ve had incredible support … I’ve witnessed amazing courage and the defining power of true friendships,” he said.
“As a bit of a loner, I think I probably didn’t understand that when I first came to this place.”
Mr Porter did not specifically address the historical rape allegation made against him, which he strenuously denies, but described experiencing “a mob”.
“People so utterly convinced in their own judgment that they didn’t need anything else, other than their own judgment,” he said.
“They thought they could just through any law, abandon any process that would get between them and the target of their judgment. In that experience, I saw the real truth of how critical the protection of the rule of the law is. And how fragile it is.
“What kept me upright when they came for me, it may sound hokey, but it was the power of love and friendship.”
Mr Porter said he watched his friends, including Peter Dutton, put themselves between him and the mob.
“Very few people ever try and stand in the way of a mob,” he said.
“Knowing the risks, they stated plain public support for me while the mob was in its full fury.
“They are acts of courage that will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
He said that time moved in mysterious ways in politics: “It is genuinely like being near a black hole.”
He described intense weeks in Parliament feeling like being “lost in space”.
“In this job, you do a lot of city miles, you age hard, you lose paint.”
However, he said the job was “absolutely worth it”.
China ‘a massive risk’ to Australia
Mr Porter said when he moved into Parliament he first thought Australia’s biggest challenge would be China’s economic rise.
“I think I got that assessment, mostly, if not a little naively, right,” he said,
“The change in china, and in China’s capability, has created a massive risk in Australia, as bigger risk as we have ever faced.”
Mr Porter said it was redundant to search for motive behind China’s actions, with motive being “a much less reliable indicator of threat than capability”.
“It’s the pointless search for rationality, in the brutal world of reality.”
“The Romans were there for the same reason china is now in the Solomon Islands, because they can be.”
“Our world’s capability balance is changing radically.
Mr Porter said it had been phenomenal to have been a part of policies regarding China, including redrawing Australia’s espionage and foreign interference laws
Porter warns of Australian losings its free speech
Speaking about how privileged Australians are, Mr Porter said Australia needed to stand up for its fundamental values of free speech, due process, free association.
“We’re all so privileged to be here, to live here,” he said.
“But we’re falling into this cycle where we’re increasingly preoccupied with the identity politics of every imaginable boutique type.”