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The allegation by the Prime Minister this morning on ABC’s AM program with Sabra Lane, that independent parliamentarians and candidates are a threat to Australia’s security, is a shameful slur on decent people exercising their democratic right to stand for election. It’s also symptomatic of a government becoming increasingly hysterical at the realisation it’s out of step with a great many Australians. In fact, only an independent can truly represent their community as they are not beholden to any political party.

To hear some politician, especially one whose party stuffed up Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Solomons, criticising me and my colleagues is outrageous. It’s all the more absurd when you remember that some of the crossbenchers have actually served in the defence and intelligence services.