House debates

Thursday, 21 February 2019


Government Procurement

3:22 pm

Photo of Jim ChalmersJim Chalmers (Rankin, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Special Minister of State (House)) Share this | Hansard source

Honourable members will remember that, when the member for Cook became the Prime Minister, he said that he wanted all Australians to know whose side he was on. Well, Prime Minister, you have ticked that box this week. Every single Australian knows, after the sordid, disgraceful and stinky revelations of the last week, just whose side you're on. And if they didn't know before this week, they certainly know now. This chumgate scandal has now entered a dangerous new phase, which shows that government contracts worth many millions of dollars of taxpayers money are determined in this government on the basis of who owes who in the Liberal Party power broking structure, a dangerous new phase where the finance minister can rewrite the rules of government procurement to ensure not just that Liberal Party companies get a slice of the action but they get the only slice of the action. It is a dangerous new phase, where the Attorney-General puts his hand up to be investigated as well because he seems to have some kind of understanding of what is going on behind the scenes.

Helloworld has turned into a world of pain for this government. In Helloworld, it's entirely normal for the finance minister to rewrite the procurement rules to benefit the company of a Liberal Party donor; in the real world, wages are stagnant. In Helloworld, it's entirely normal for contracts to be handed out on the basis of who owes who in the Liberal Party; in the real world, we have job insecurity and under-employment. Those opposite don't have a clue. They spend all of their time doing insider deals for their rich mates. If those opposite are really serious about ending the age of entitlement, they're going about it all wrong. You said you wanted to end the age of entitlement; you've got a funny way of showing it. The member for Sturt says the ambassador to the US is doing a good job. What he really meant is: this is a tidy little earner for Liberal Party donors, for people who run companies who benefit from these government contracts. When Joe Hockey


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