House debates

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Matters of Public Importance

Economic Leadership

4:00 pm

Photo of Rowan RamseyRowan Ramsey (Grey, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

It is a sobering moment when you hear the member for Chifley speaking about ideas. We have had enough of your ideas, mate. You led Australia down a path from great economic success to the point where we are still struggling to deal with the deficit that your team left us. It should not be forgotten. You come into this chamber and talk about lack of economic leadership when it was your party's faulty leadership that put us in such a perilous state. This government has to deal with it, and we are doing it in a methodical way.

One of the things I believe we should always consider—and it is an underlying tenet—is that government should do no harm. We should carefully consider all of the options that come before us in this place. One of the things we should always understand, and the first commitment we should make to the Australian people, is that we will do no harm. The performance by the Labor Party when they were in government—and since, with some of the proposals or ideas they are putting up around their plans for economic reforms—did exactly that. They caused Australia absolute harm in the past with some of those decisions around the live sheep ban and around things like the mining tax. We remember very well the member for Lilley and the mining tax. These were economically foolhardy policies which led us to a bad place in Australia—and we are still dealing with the issues that were created under their watch.

At the moment we do have a government that is looking at and considering all the options. Only today the Treasurer announced that we are getting rid of section 46 of the Trade Practices Act. This is something that has been hanging around our economy for about 15 years now, and both sides of parliament have known that this needed reform. The man they like to disown now, Mark Latham, raised the issue of section 46 in his book.


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