House debates

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Matters of Public Importance

Australia's Political System

3:26 pm

Photo of Darren ChesterDarren Chester (Gippsland, National Party, Assistant Minister for Defence) Share this | Hansard source

What a sad and embarrassing spectacle we have just witnessed. It is with overwhelming sadness that I see before me the hollowed-out wreck of what was a grand old party of Australian politics.

Mr Husic interjecting

We will get to that one, Member for Chifley. In this, Labor's year of big ideas, they have descended right into the gutter, with a litany of smear and innuendo. The contrast between this side of the House and that side of the House has never been clearer. While we have a nation-building program, they have a gutter-building program. I am an optimist by nature and I always try to look on the bright side. The benefit for those opposite of being in the gutter is that they get a great view of the roads that Warren Truss is building—sorry, the minister for infrastructure is building—right around Australia. To sit here and get a lecture on integrity from the party of Eddie Obeid and Craig Thomson is more than a little bizarre. It is like getting a lecture—I do not know—on marriage advice from Tiger Woods. It is like getting a lecture on hairstyling by Donald Trump. It is even more bizarre—and the member for Chifley will like this: it is like comparing the member for Gippsland to George Clooney. It is completely implausible. We are seeing some truly bizarre behaviour by those opposite.

There are so many important issues that Australians are focused on, so I genuinely appreciate this matter of public importance because it goes to the heart of how this government is acting in the public interest and delivering for all Australians, particularly regional Australians, who have been so often ignored by those opposite. The contrast between the government and those opposite has rarely been so stark. While on this side of the House we have been focused on matters of genuine public importance—national security, economic prosperity and building infrastructure for the 21st century—all we see from those opposite are more scare campaigns and gutter politics. Australians deserve so much more from Her Majesty's opposition than they are receiving at the moment. This matter of public importance could have been on national security; it could have been on job creation; it could have been on infrastructure; it could have been on economic prosperity.

This government is getting on with the job of delivering. Just today, we had the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development delivering his annual ministerial statement on infrastructure, and it was an extraordinarily impressive list. I am disappointed the member for Grayndler is not here, because he actually thinks the world started with him. The member for Grayndler thinks he invented fire; he thinks he created the wheel; I think he even believes he built the pyramids. What else does the member for Grayndler think he—


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