House debates

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Statements by Members


1:33 pm

Photo of Tim WattsTim Watts (Gellibrand, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

When the former Treasurer Joe Hockey left office, the expectations bar was set very low for his successor. But, unafraid of the soft bigotry of low expectations, the new Treasurer, Scott Morrison, boldly strode forth, stubbed his toe on this low bar and fell flat upon his face. In five short months he has managed to contradict himself on superannuation concessions, negative gearing and bracket creep. When asked yesterday what his economic plan was, the best that he could muster was a reference to the free trade agreements initiated by the former Prime Minister whom he conspired to oust from office in order to take this job. I will say one thing for the current Treasurer, though: he is the only member on that side of the House who is taking his lead from the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull. In the Turnbull era, waffle is the coin of the realm, and the Treasurer has built himself a mint. Not content with boring the House with his contentless rambling, last week he subjected the nation to a 47-minute PowerPoint-led dirge at the National Press Club that left his strongest supporters tapping the mat. In an interview with Alan Jones about the speech that has mysteriously not made it onto the Treasurer's website, the broadcaster was left to moan:

Forgive me for asking a simple question … what on Earth was it about? You said absolutely nothing.

The Treasurer's bromantic interest, Ray Hadley, described it as 'inglorious' and 'a whole lot of gobbledegook'. In aspiring to go beyond the three-word slogans that have defined his career to date, the Treasurer has overextended himself. Fran Bailey was right about the current Treasurer. But it is not Lara Bingle who is left asking the question now; it is the Australian public: 'A credible Treasurer? Where the bloody hell are you?'