Senate debates

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Matters of Public Importance


4:15 pm

Photo of Cory BernardiCory Bernardi (SA, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

Madam Acting Deputy President, I know that you, like me, must be disappointed by the quality of the interjections—because they have not really got much substance to them. We are going to hear enormous rhetoric, we are going to hear confected outrage, but the facts are absolutely clear: this government is all about spin. It is a government that is not concerned with the balance sheet of the Australian people. It is concerned about its own balance sheet: how many it has on the front bench and how many can take on ministerial office. Let me tell you, the Australian people are not concerned about that. They are concerned about what the government is doing to unemployment in this country. They are concerned about the fact that they are going to be fuelling inflation. They are concerned that, after 18 months, this government is so arrogant, so conceited and so formulaic in its self-defence that it has completely lost touch with reality. It is a very disappointing thing for the Australian people.

One of the great challenges, of course, will be for the government to detail to the Australian people what will happen when the immediate stimulus has worn off, the government and the Australian people are mired in debt and the government have run out of options. It will not have any more triggers to pull, because the Australian economy will be bubbling along the bottom. Do not take my word for it; I am referring to a number of prominent economists who recognise and identify that the Treasury growth forecasts are based on some mythological nirvana and on unprecedented recovery that is unlikely to happen. We know that because eminent people talk about it. When there is a problem in the future and there is no option for this government—nowhere to go—we will be left with its poisonous legacy for decades to come. It took us 10 years of good financial management to pay back only $96 billion of Labor’s terrible debt. There was a $10 billion black hole. And what have we got now? We are sentenced to another ‘intergenerational debt’. The government has sentenced every man, woman and child in this country to a debt burden they do not deserve. It has placed a yoke around their necks and asked them to pull a plough behind them for decades—to salvage its own conscience and to fuel one man’s ego and desire to be an international statesman. It is a fraud. It is a sham and members of the government should be ashamed. (Time expired)


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