Senate debates

Monday, 4 December 2017

Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers

Prime Minister, Registered Organisations

4:01 pm

Photo of John WilliamsJohn Williams (NSW, National Party) Share this | Hansard source

Labor got 44 votes there, Senator O'Sullivan. This lady, Robyn, was there; she seemed to be quite a decent lady. As everyone was walking in to vote, she was saying, 'The coalition government, the National Party, have cut $300,000 from the finances for the Bundarra school.' It's a nice little school. Bundarra is a great little community. I spent many, many days of my life down at Bundarra with friends. I've had a few beers in the pub there. I said to this lady, 'That is not true.' I actually rang Senator Birmingham, and he said, 'Wacka, I'll get you the details', which he did. I go back to the point about being honest and speaking the truth: the federal funding for Bundarra school this year is $464,000. It's a good lot of money. It goes up to $703,000 within 10 years. That's almost double. I said to this lady: 'You can't keep doing this. You can't keep giving everyone false and misleading propaganda'—propaganda is what you'd call it—'to the people coming here to vote.' There was a sign, 'Save Medicare, vote Labor.' I remember 'Mediscare' from the last election, when the Turnbull coalition government was going to privatise Medicare. I said to the lady, 'If you owned a coffee shop and it took $10,000 gross income a week, but it cost you $21,000 a week to operate that coffee shop, would you sell it?' I said: 'You wouldn't be able to sell it. No-one would buy it. It loses $11,000 a week. Well, it's the same with Medicare. We collect around $10 billion in Medicare levy a year, and it costs around $21 billion to run Medicare.'

Senator Griff interjecting—

I'll bet Senator Griff wouldn't like to own a business like that and lose $11 billion a year. That would not be a good business, would it, Senator Griff? But this is what happens. The accusations in question time today that Minister Cash misled the Senate are simply wrong. She's been totally honest with her answers. She's clarified them on many occasions.

Back to the question from Senator O'Neill about John Barilaro, Deputy Premier and Nationals leader of New South Wales. I have known Baro, as we call him, for a long time. He's a good mate of mine. I vehemently disagree with what John Barilaro said about the Prime Minister. I vehemently disagree with him.


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