A federal senator slammed on social media for not officially declaring his weekend work in real estate to parliament has dismissed his critics as ‘nut job leftist activists’.
United Australia Party’s sole senator Ralph Babet, who represents Victoria, opened a can of worms on Saturday when he tweeted ‘I work in real estate on the weekends when I can’.
This was quickly seized on by a Twitter user who pointed out that Mr Babet’s parliamentary register of interests said he had ‘no other substantial sources of income’.
But the rightwing firebrand senator had a very simple explanation for continuing to work.
‘I don’t do it for the money,’ he told Daily Mail Australia on Monday.
Senator Ralph Babet (right) is pictured with fellow politician, Rikkie-Lee Tyrrell, who is a One Nation MLC in the Victorian Parliament
Senator Ralph Babet’s tweet (pictured) about working in real estate at weekends has opened up a can of worms
‘I do it because it’s my small family business … and I do it to help my family, just like somebody would go back to work on a farm if their family owned a farm,’ he said.
‘They would go back and help milk the cows or do whatever they do on the family farm. It’s exactly the same thing.’
Mr Babet said he was under no obligation to declare his weekend work in real estate as ‘there’s no income’ going into his bank account.
‘I haven’t received any sort of pay cheque on the business. So why would I declare something that I make no money from?,’ he added.
Instead, the senator blamed ‘nut jobs and leftist activists on Twitter’ for saying he should have registered his work with Babet Brothers.
The register does disclose that he is a director of the company.
Senator Ralph Babet has not declared any other ‘substantial sources of income’ on his Senate declaration (pictured)
Mr Babet said the real estate controversy was because anything he says is turned into ‘a huge problem’ by some people.
‘Everything I say, these people on Twitter find a negative in it. Nothing I say is something that they will actually look at and say, “OK, maybe he has a point,”‘ he said.
When he was elected last year, Mr Babet moaned about having to take a ‘pay cut’ to sit in parliament.
‘This is a sacrifice for me I’m doing it to serve my country,’ he said in a since deleted tweet.
‘It’s a pay cut. If you think $200,000 for the amount of work I will have to do and the amount of suffering I will endure is a good deal, then you’re wrong.’
He said on Monday that tweet was taken ‘completely out of context’.
When he was elected last year, Senator Babet (pictured) moaned about having to take a ‘pay cut’ to sit in parliament
‘A leftist troll troll was attacking me on Twitter, saying “oh, you’re only doing this for the money. You only care about the money,”‘ he said.
Mr Babet said he was not doing the job for more than $200,000 a year ‘to be dragged through the media … by people like bloody Waleed Aly on Channel 10, by people everywhere that I look attacking me for no reason at all’.
‘What is $200,000 a year? I could make that doing something else if money is all I wanted, I’m doing it because I care, because I want better for the future generations that will come next,’ he said.
‘But what I have a problem with is people saying that I’m just doing it for money, which is an absolute bulls***.’
The real estate drama comes after Mr Babet was dogged by allegations he regularly misses parliament.
Mr Babet dismissed suggestions on social media he had a 46 per cent attendance record in the Senate – confirming it was actually his voting record that sits at 46 per cent.
The Senate website lists him as the ‘United Australia Party Whip’ meaning it’s his job to make sure the UAP politicians vote.
As he is the only UAP member in parliament, there is only one vote he needs to collect each time, but Mr Babet claimed it was Labor and the Greens’ fault that he makes it to fewer than half of all votes.
‘What they’re referring to is how many times (I’ve) been in the Senate for a division. A division is when you vote on a piece of (legislation), on a change to something,’ he said.
Labor senator Sue Lines (pictured) who is President in the Senate, has been accused of purposely not giving a United Australia Party senator an office close to the Senate chamber, causing him to miss more than half of the votes
The senator said his voting record was due to him not being on the Senate side of the building and so can’t get to the chamber on time.
‘I’m on the complete other side and I can’t physically get there in time. That’s why I’m not in as many divisions … the Greens took up all the spare offices on the Senate side,’ he said.
He said that three offices much closer to the Senate chamber became available and that under the rules, he should have got one because he was elected earlier than some other senators in the May 2022 federal election.
‘And the president of the Senate, the Labor Party President (Sue Lines) gave the offices to other people instead of me, even though I was higher up in the hierarchy for those offices,’ Mr Babet claimed.
‘So they deliberately kept me on the House of Representatives side so that I couldn’t partake in Senate business as easily.’
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Ms Lines has been contacted for comment.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk