A One Nation senator has used his first speech in parliament to highlight his Greek roots, bucking the trend of anti-immigration speeches from the minor party.
One Nation's newest senator has used his first speech in federal parliament to highlight his migrant roots, bucking the trend of anti-immigration speeches from his party colleagues.
Perth electrician-turned-politician Peter Georgiou credited his Greek immigrant parents with teaching him the value of hard work, pledging to always be proud of his Greek heritage as he addressed the Senate on Wednesday night.
His One Nation colleagues Pauline Hanson and Brian Burston caused controversy when they used their first speeches to parliament in 2016 to call for a ban on Muslim immigration and blame refugees for violent crimes.
Unlike his One Nation colleagues whose speeches were boycotted and heckled by Greens senators, Senator Georgiou was welcomed by senators from all sides of politics who shook his hand afterward, as is customary.
Senator Georgiou said he would use his time in parliament to push for a better GST deal for Western Australia and to ensure multinational companies paid their taxes.
He hit out at the big banks, insisting it was time for a royal commission or an independent tribunal to clamp down on "bully" behaviour.
"The days of calling the shots and ruining the lives of ordinary hard working Australians are numbered," he said.
"It is only once these executives face the law that confidence will return back to the financial sector."
He also took a swipe at the federal government, arguing it should tackle white collar crime as well as clamp down on corruption within the building industry.
Senator Georgiou also raised concerns about gambling, calling for a new national body aimed at preventing and treating problem gambling, funded by a national wagering tax.
"A national approach to help prevent, intervene and treat problem gamblers could go a long way in minimising the social cost," he said.
He called for a wider roll-out of the government's cashless debit card which ensures welfare payments are not used for alcohol or gambling, saying communities in Western Australia were desperate to have the scheme in their towns.
Senator Georgiou was sworn in to parliament in March to replace his brother-in-law Rod Culleton following a dramatic end to his short-lived political career.
Mr Culleton was removed from parliament in January after the Federal Court declared him bankrupt.
His election was also ruled invalid by the High Court in February because he had been convicted of larceny at the time, even though the conviction was later annulled.