Tuesday, 18 March 2014
Questions without Notice
Commission of Audit
I thank Senator Back for that question. We needed to establish a Commission of Audit because, after six years of Labor waste and mismanagement, our budget was in a mess. We needed to establish a Commission of Audit because we inherited $123 billion worth of projected deficits because of Labor. Labor is very touchy about this, because they know they left a budget in a mess behind.
The budget that we inherited of government debt, heading for $667 billion without corrective action. No doubt that is why Senator Wong has turned herself around, because she is so embarrassed about being confronted with her dismal track record. We took $42 billion worth of sensible savings to the last election but, given the state the budget is in, of course we have to build on that. That is why we have asked the Commission of Audit to look right across government for opportunities to ensure that government spending is as efficient and as well targeted as possible.
Senator Back asked: why is that important to the good people of Western Australia? The reason it is important to the good people of Western Australia is that, whenever governments in Canberra cannot live within their means, the Labor Party will always come up with another tax to target Western Australia. That is what they did with the mining tax and that is what they did with the tax on the North West Shelf gas project. Whenever the Labor Party was running out of cash, they looked to Western Australia to use them as a cash cow for their wasteful spending here out of Canberra yet again.
We have asked the Commission of Audit to look across government and to look for opportunities for efficiencies. They have presented their first report to us. It is a report to government, which we are considering as part of our budget preparations, and the budget will be released on the second Tuesday in May.