Senate debates

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Questions without Notice


2:05 pm

Photo of Helen CoonanHelen Coonan (NSW, Liberal Party, Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts) Share this | Hansard source

We have seen this from Labor, Senator Abetz, many times before—they tell the consumers one thing and tell business another, but they always end up telling the unions, ‘Yes, whatever it takes.’ Isn’t that the well-worn Labor mantra: just say whatever it takes to get elected, make no real promises, don’t do any hard work, make no tough decisions, give no funding to pay for promises—just tell everyone what they want to hear and do whatever your trade union mates tell you if you land in the job.

I have to ask myself whether there is not some manual in the Leader of the Opposition’s office which is handed from leader to leader—from Mr Beazley to Mr Crean, from Mr Crean to Mr Latham, from Mr Latham back to Mr Beazley and now on to Mr Rudd—called the ‘Do and Say Anything to Get Elected Manual’. Chapter 1 is economic policy: ‘Tell the business community you are going to listen to their concerns, attend high-powered gatherings, listen sympathetically and then deliver the media lines.’ Chapter 2 is to knife business in the back and promise the unions they will get everything they demand if they keep quiet, listen sympathetically and deliver the media lines. Chapter 3 is telecommunications policy: ‘Meet with the telco giants, plan to do over consumers and remove safeguards protecting their rights, listen sympathetically and deliver the media lines.’

So it goes on in health, in education, in aged care, in transport and in roads. We see it in my state of New South Wales, with Premier Iemma and his rapidly disappearing frontbench promising the world and delivering very little to the people of New South Wales. The economy of my home state of New South Wales is on its knees at the hands of the Labor government, and now Labor want the people to trust them as a federal government to fix the mess that wall-to-wall state governments have delivered. (Time expired)


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