Senate debates

Monday, 25 June 2012


Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No. 1) 2012-2013, Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2012-2013, Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 2012-2013; Second Reading

9:10 pm

Photo of Doug CameronDoug Cameron (NSW, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

Isn't it wonderful to follow Senator Cormann giving us lectures about the great fiscal and economic record of the coalition. We can look back many years in this country to the time under Menzies when Menzies just kept plodding along doing nothing to expose this country to any international competition or any global capacity to build our economy or our industry. So do not come lecturing us about the great conservative economic legacy. The economic legacy is a legacy of neglect. The economic legacy is a legacy of ensuring that we do not open up the economy to the international global economy. Who did it? It was Labor who opened up the economy. It was Labor who took the hard decisions to bring the economy into the modern global trading environment that we are now experiencing. The coalition had absolutely no capacity to do it. They were absolute failures.

We can look back at the situation in more recent times with the great former Treasurer Peter Costello, who is lauded by the conservatives in this country as the guy who was such a master of the Treasury. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. We know that he was continually stood over by John Howard. We know that he did not have the intestinal fortitude to stand up and say, 'We need some discipline in how this government deals with expenditure.' We know that Costello reigned over a structural deficit—massive tax cuts and massive expenditure blow-outs. That is the legacy of the coalition.

We hear all this rambling nonsense from Senator Cormann that may be backed up by Senator Joyce, who had the shortest reign ever of any shadow finance minister in this country. It is no wonder—

Senator Joyce interjecting—

Senator Boswell interjecting—


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