Thursday, 3 March 2016
Questions without Notice
In the past two weeks alone, Australians have seen leaked national security documents, the Prime Minister contradicted twice by his own office, an Assistant Treasurer contradicting the Prime Minister's own scare campaign, a beleaguered Treasurer in witness protection, a Prime Minister overruling the Treasurer time and time again and an insurgent former Prime Minister forced to defend his legacy. How is it possible this government has become more chaotic and shambolic than the Abbott government?
The government continues to examine important policy issues with care. We take on the big issues: Senate reform—where is the Labor party? There was a fine fleeting moment when our friend—
Mr Brendan O'Connor interjecting—
the member for Brand stood up for democracy and he agreed that voters should decide where their preferences went on the Senate ballot paper, and he spoke for the Labor Party. They put democratic principle ahead of any tactical interest. Now when the Senate is considering that very amendment, the Labor Party abandons principle and abandons big reform because of a perceived particular tactical interest. You would think the Labor Party after all of the ill-considered economic decisions of its time in government—the mining tax said to raise billions raised millions, pink batts and the school halls. One disaster after another—cash for clunkers, who can forget that—
Ms Plibersek interjecting—
One misconceived economic measure after another. You would think that now they are in opposition, and learning from their six disastrous years in government, they would actually think through their policies. We have a sweeping set of changes to the Australian economy—
Ms Plibersek interjecting—
The Leader of the Opposition just said 'sweeping' in a mocking tone. He does not think it is sweeping. He does not think that the housing sector is important. He does not think the largest single asset class in Australia is important. He does not think rental supply is important. He does not think any Australian's home value is important—it is not a big deal. And apparently he does not think that the changes that the shadow Treasurer proposes to prohibit negative gearing in respect of every single asset class other than new residential property are sweeping either. What do you need to have a sweeping change to the Australian economy? How much freedom does Labor have to take away before it becomes a big deal? They laugh and they mock but they are mocking people's savings. They are mocking homes, they are mocking Australian's ability to find a rental property and they are mocking Australian's ability to start a business. On that note, I ask that further questions be placed on the Notice Paper.