South Australian Senator Rex Patrick’s bizarre senate submarine stunt

Sarah IsonThe West Australian
Rex Patrick enters the Senate Chamber dressed as a submarine.
Camera IconRex Patrick enters the Senate Chamber dressed as a submarine. Credit: Mike Bowers/Guardian Australia/Australscope

South Australian Senator Rex Patrick has pulled a ludicrous stunt protesting the potential move of Full Cycle Docking to WA, entering the Senate Chamber today wearing a bright red submarine cut out.

The cut out read “Save Our 700 Sub Jobs” and pointed to his site savesajobs.com.au.

President of the Senate Scott Ryan ordered Senator Patrick to leave the Chamber immediately.

“Remove yourself from the chamber,” he yelled at Senator Patrick.

“You’re embarrassing yourself.”

The Centre Alliance Senator’s website claims the Federal Government “plans to shift 700 SA Collins submarine maintenance jobs to Perth to shore up WA votes”.

“This will harm national security, cost more than 1 billion taxpayer dollars and remove $400 million from the SA economy every year,” it reads.

“We can’t afford this! I am fighting to keep every single job here in South Australia, where they belong.”

The website points readers to a petition to sign, urging the Senate “to agree that each and every one of the 700 jobs on the Collins Class submarine maintenance contract remain in South Australia”.

“With your support, we can save 700 South Australian jobs,” it said.

The Senator was approached by police earlier today when he posed with the submarine outside the building.

He was originally mistaken as some kind of protestor and had to show his ID to prove he was in fact a South Australian Senator acting in the “public interest” of his constituents.

Senator Patrick told the West Australian he didn’t see any WA Senators standing up as publicly as he did today in favour of moving FCD to WA.

“They know shifting it doesn’t make sense,” he said.

WA Liberal Senator Matt O’Sullivan said such a stunt was no way to advocate a cause.

“An embarrassing stunt like that is no way to prosecute the case for your State,” he said.

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