Senate debates

Monday, 9 December 2013

Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers

Automotive Industry

3:24 pm

Photo of Jacinta CollinsJacinta Collins (Victoria, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Cabinet Secretary) Share this | Hansard source

Sorry, Senator Smith. I should have said you used the word 'methodical'. That is the other one in the script. We have 'methodical', 'careful', 'cautious', 'responsible', 'There will be no surprises', 'The adults are in control' and 'Labor is being juvenile'. I think I have about trotted out the whole lot of phrases that this new government is putting forward rather than consistent policy. It is consistency that we as a nation need, just as much as children need consistency. That is what we are not seeing from this government.

Senator Farrell raised the Gonski issue. It was very relevant to the discussion today, for the same reason the Fin Review picked it up this morning. It is one of four key areas where this government is struggling to show discipline and consistency. Gonski is a big one. For Mr Pyne, Gonski demonstrated again the laziness of opposition that this government chose to exercise in years past. He did not understand the importance of school education. He did not understand the Gonski model. He did not properly inform his colleagues in cabinet. So what did we see? Flip-flop, flip-flop, flip-flop—as we are now seeing in this government's approach to industry policy.

Industry policy is very important to Australia's future. But we see inconsistent positions around GrainCorp, Qantas and now Holden. What is even worse about what we see with respect to Holden is that it appears that we have senior ministers in this government trying to drive Holden out. This is ideological recklessness of the greatest degree. (Time expired)

Question agreed to.


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