Wednesday, 1 September 2021
Matters of Public Importance
Well, I'm flabbergasted. This is the gotcha moment you have when you don't have a gotcha moment. They were planning at a strategy meeting this morning and they thought, 'Do you know what we're going to do—we're going to make the economy the subject of the day, because the negative June quarter figure will be out and that will look really bad, so we'll really double down.' But, while we're on this side cheering on the economy and backing the resilience of Australian people, those opposite, quite frankly, are hoping in their heart of hearts that the Australian people and the Australian economy falter. They're like a gymnast who's in second position waiting for someone else to come along and hoping that they drop the baton, the hoop or the ball—smiling all the time so as to pretend to be backing their compatriot, but really, deep down, they're hoping, 'Drop the ball.'
I want to double down on something I did last week, which was to call out those opposite, in particular the Manager of Opposition Business—but, in fact, anyone—to come to the dispatch box. If they're so keen on running down the Australian people, the Australian economy and our approach to this one in 100-year global pandemic, come to the dispatch box and tell me what other country in the world you would rather be in today. I saw the Manager of Opposition Business move forward when I made the challenge. When he realised what the challenge was he slunk back onto the front bench, because he knew that, even with his immeasurable oratory skill, and it is significant, he couldn't deal with that question.
The good news, in my view, is that the Australian people have an opportunity to compare and contrast. There was the global financial crisis during which those opposite were in charge of the Treasury benches. Remember, this was the crisis that never actually arrived on Australian shores. The Australian people have an opportunity to compare that with the way we've dealt with a once-in-100-years global pandemic, the greatest challenge to global economies effectively since the end of World War II. In making that comparison, they will of course look at the things we have done to support the economy in the face of that pandemic: JobKeeper, instant asset write-offs, instant expensing, cash flow boost—all the measures we've gone about supporting businesses with. On the other hand, the Australian people will consider schemes like—