Senate debates

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers

Answers to Questions

3:10 pm

Photo of Simon BirminghamSimon Birmingham (SA, Liberal Party, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment) Share this | Hansard source

Indeed Senator Abetz, well may you wonder why. The answer, of course, is that it revealed that Labor delivered six successive deficits in six successive years. Six out of six for their deficits, with their budgets racking up nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars in deficits—that is their track record. The final year came in with a deficit figure of $48.5 billion—the second largest deficit in modern Australian history. If I were a Labor senator, I too would be ashamed to ask any questions about that; I too would be ashamed to ask any questions about their budget record and the way they managed the Australian economy. But neither I nor anybody else on this side of the chamber would stoop so low as to play the silly games we have just seen from Senator Cameron and Senator Conroy, all of which, no doubt, is part of a coordinated attempt to distract the media from the serious issues facing this country, the serious challenge of rebuilding our budget, with some sort of silly little colourful side story that allows Senator Cameron to do a silly song and dance routine in this chamber.

There are far more important issues that this country faces and the world faces, and those opposite should hang their heads in shame for being part of this arrangement. Senator Conroy should be coming back into this chamber and giving his apology for asking such stupid, puerile and childish questions in the Senate chamber when there are far more important issues at stake. Senator Cameron should be coming back in here and giving his apology for performing a comic act that might go down well in the bars and clubs on a Friday night in Sydney or elsewhere around the country but is not a performance befitting a senator in the Australian Senate at a time when the nation has much bigger issues to worry about. Every man, woman and child in this country is having to deal with Labor's debt—with more than $1 billion every month that this government is having to pay in interest payments alone—and it will have serious implications for many years to come as we try to get this debt under control. Everyone in this country should be concerned about the security situations we are grappling with and the issues related to the nation's security and global security at present. Instead, what do we get from the Labor Party? Childish, puerile behaviour of which they should be ashamed. (Time expired)


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