House debates

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Questions without Notice


2:24 pm

Photo of Brett WhiteleyBrett Whiteley (Braddon, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question today is to the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science. Will the minister update the House on any recent discoveries of supermassive black holes, specifically by Australian astronomers? Is the minister aware of any other recent discoveries in this field?

Photo of Christopher PyneChristopher Pyne (Sturt, Liberal Party, Leader of the House) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Braddon for his interest in astronomy, which I also share as the minister for science. I am sure that all members on this side of the House focus very keenly on astronomy, which Australia is very good at. It is a world leader in astronomy.

I can advise the House of a recent and significant discovery by astronomers at the CSIRO using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder radio telescope in the member for Durack's electorate and the Australian Telescope Compact Array in the member for Parkes's electorate. Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith, an astronomer at the CSIRO, discovered a supermassive black hole in a galaxy 1.7 billion light years away—a galaxy far, far away—weighing in at 3.8 billion solar masses. As Dr Harvey-Smith observed:

The black hole at the centre of our galaxy is only 4 million solar masses, so this one is a monster in comparison.

I have news for Dr Harvey-Smith: if she thinks that is a monster, she should take a look at Labor's black hole! Labor's $19.53 billion tobacco tax black hole dwarfs that supermassive black hole by comparison.

Government members: It was a rounding error!

It was regarded as a rounding error by the member for Jagajaga, who is in the witness protection program today. She was not allowed out to face the music with her rounding error remarks. Labor's $19½ billion black hole has obliterated their economic credibility on the eve of the budget and the election. The serious question we all have to ask is: if they could get this so wrong, what else is wrong? What else is wrong in the Labor's party's costings and the Labor Party's plans? We know they claimed that they had $100 billion of new taxes. We have just wiped $20 billion of new taxes off that figure, and yet they have an enormous number of promises that they have made to the electorate for spending. How will they make up that enormous black hole?

Ms Kate Ellis interjecting

In particular, it is quite irresponsible for the member for Adelaide to continue to claim that they have this money for education spending, because that was apparently to be paid for out of the tobacco tax—and that, clearly, is not available. The shadow Treasurer's swagger and braggadocio are no substitute for common-sense policies and calm, methodical planning for the budget. Now is not the time to risk the Australian economy by a return to the Labor Party at the coming election. Now is the time for stability and consistency of government.

Photo of Ed HusicEd Husic (Chifley, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Shadow Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

You guys deliver heaps of that!

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Chifley!