Thursday, 21 February 2019
In the wool industry when Doug Anthony, in a most controversial manner, introduced the wool scheme, the price went up within two years by 300 per cent. For those larks in this place, there's a bludgerigar here that was yelling out 'wool'. That was the last example you should ever have used, because when the wool scheme was introduced by that great man Doug Anthony, the price went up 300 per cent. When the bludgerigars on this side deregulated the wool industry, which was precipitated by you blokes, the price for wool dropped to one-third and the income to Australia dropped from $5.9 billion a year to $2.4 billion. I will repeat that: when it was deregulated—
An honourable member interjecting—
The member for—I don't know his name; the bloke here with glasses. I have no idea of his name, and I ain't going to remember it because you won't be here after the election! He's saying that that was a bad thing, right? So it was a bad thing that Doug Anthony introduced it and took the price up 300 per cent and then, let me be very specific, within three years of the deregulation it fell from—I will repeat it slowly—$5.9 billion down to $2.4 billion? Sixty-four per cent of the sheep herd is gone as a result of the deregulation in this place.
In the egg industry, the price to the consumers went up and the price to the farmers went down. In the sugar industry, under deregulation, the price to the farmers went down and the price to the consumers went up. How much evidence do you want? If the honourable spokesman opposite has had a fall off his horse on the road to Damascus—I'm still in a state of shock because of his reputation for being one of the great free marketeers in this place. I'm still in shock. But if it could happen to Saint Paul, I suppose it could happen to a lesser like in this place. Now, what happened? Who got the money? In the egg industry, if the price went down to the farmers and the price went up to the consumers, the boys in the middle got $320 million. In the sugar industry, the boys in the middle got $311 million. And in the milk industry, with this great champion over here with his glasses on—he clearly doesn't use them very often because he hasn't read anything—the price went down to the farmers from 59c to 41c and it went up for the consumers from 115c to 156c. Piggy in the middle, and I use the word 'piggy' with forethought, got $1.1 thousand million of extra profit. (Time expired)