Thursday, 24 November 2011
Matters of Public Importance
The honourable member opposite, in amongst his personal insults, tried to rewrite history so that Labor could take credit for every good thing that has happened in this nation. They have to monumentally rewrite history to do that, but of course the Labor Party spin machine usually does not want facts to get in the way. I acknowledge that Labor governments have done some good things over the years. The sad thing, on this the fourth anniversary of this Labor government, is that this government is not in their league. This is a government that is an embarrassment to its own history and it is certainly an embarrassment to our nation. It is a government that will be recognised for its failures, for its inability to deal with simple policy issues, for waste and mismanagement. Dirty deals done in the middle of the night are the hallmark of this government. Treachery and betrayal are its stock in trade. Even the chaotic events of this morning carry the unseemly stench of a government that, along with those who provide comfort to the government in this place, is consumed by self-interest and hanging on to power at any cost. No matter how worthy a person may be, if he needs to be turned into a carcass to achieve an objective then the Sussex Street mob are prepared to do whatever it takes. History will judge all involved.
Two years ago our current Prime Minister said that Labor had lost its way. Of course she was right, Labor had lost its way, but now it is clear it has even lost the map—in fact, the whole atlas is lost. They have no idea where to go or what they should be seeking to achieve. Today as we commemorate the fourth anniversary of this government, its four disastrous years, it is Australian families who have suffered the most. For them, these four years have been a really hard, long slog. They are paying a high price for four years of Labor's broken promises, their wasteful and irresponsible spending, their economic mismanagement, their dodgy deals, their leadership intrigues, their absolute incompetence. This is a birthday that Australians are not celebrating. They grieve on this day, rather than celebrate it, because they have had to endure so much as a people so that Labor can hang onto the keys to the Lodge.
All Australians have received gifts from this government, like the carbon tax, the mining tax and budget deficits, and now we are going to have a government in crisis minibudget before Christmas, all delivering bad news to Australian families and bad news on Australian services. There have been cuts in services and cuts in the standard of delivery of the things we need in this country, and yet the government continues to run up more and more debt. The taxes keep rising, the deficit gets worse, the boats keep coming and the bad government finds new ways to be even worse, to sink even lower.
Labor has squandered its inheritance, turning $45 billion in the bank into $107 billion in net debt. Today the Gillard government is racking up a staggering debt of at least $100 million every day. It is out there borrowing and borrowing and borrowing. While there is intrigue going on in this country, our financiers running our country and seeking to pay the government's bills are going around China and the rest of the world trying to borrow more money so that the bills can be paid tomorrow. And it is not $100 million just today; it is $100 million, or even higher numbers, tomorrow and the following day—it has to be done every day to pay the deficits this government is racking up because it cannot manage its own affairs.
This is not the end of it. Australians are going to look forward to a carbon tax that is going to add $4 billion to the budget deficit—