Wednesday, 24 October 2018
We are now in our 30th year under free market policies—globalisation, deregulation, privatisation—and surely we must judge our policies on their outcomes. The first great initiative was in the wool industry by Mr Keating. He deregulated us. Within three years, the price had dropped to one-third of what it was before and, within 15 years, two-thirds, arguably three-quarters, of our sheep herd has vanished. The product that kept this nation going for 150 years was destroyed by the free marketeers, the ALP and the LNP. You did it. You can take the credit for it.
For manufacturing, there is a segment in OECD figures which is called 'elaborately transformed manufactures'. We have hardly anything in that sector. We don't produce any sophisticated anything. We can't produce a tyre for a motor car. We import all of our oil. We import all of our motor cars. All your motor cars, all your whitegoods come in from overseas. The last whitegoods factory closed in Orange two years ago and the last car manufacturing factory closed last year. There are those of us whose hearts beat in pride when two-thirds of the cars sold in Australia were Holden, Australia's own car. The ALP and the LNP are entirely responsible for the destruction of that great industry. When you write the history of Australia, the Holden car must still be in it. And I tell you what, when the next history books are written, the closure of that industry and the loss of jobs and future for Australia will be upon the consciences of the people in this place.
A house is built out of steel and out of cement. Steel is in the frame and trusses and the roofing iron. Cement comprises everything else. Around about half of our cement now comes in from overseas. Soon all of it will come in from overseas. The steel industry is doomed—that is not my comment but a comment by steel manufacturers—unless there is some change in the price of electricity. And don't let the Liberals go screaming about the Greens. It's got nothing to do with the Greens. It's the ALP's free market policies that did all the damage. It was their free market policies. Don't go around saying it was the Greens fault because their contribution was a 25 per cent increase. Your contribution of your free market took the price up 320 per cent—free market 320 per cent, Greens 25 per cent. I'm not on the Greens' side, I can assure you of that. And if you say, 'All these free trade deals have been great for Australia— (Time expired)