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Thursday, 24 June 2010
Page: 4368

Senator KROGER (3:32 PM) —This is indeed a remarkable day in this place and indeed in Australian history. Sitting back here, listening to Senator Hurley and Senator Lundy, I wonder what parallel universe they reside in. It is just absolutely gobsmacking listening to what those on the other side are suggesting. We have witnessed a leadership spill today like this nation has never seen before. We heard Senator Hurley praise the former leaders of the coalition for their great work. At least on this side we actually have a democratic process in which we deal with these things. We have a democratic process in the Liberal Party and in the coalition under which our policies and our programs are determined in the party room—not by a kitchen cabinet of four, a rapidly reducing number. As Senator McGauran has just said, you have got one fewer now. Once there were four, then there were three and, within six hours, there are now only two. How many are going to be left? The Prime Minister will be there on her own!

We actually have a process whereby our leaders are not undermined by faceless factional warlords, good Senators Feeney and Farrell, who actually fix who is going to run their party and fix who is going to control the government. It is the unions and the factional warlords that are dictating the policies and the programs of this government. It is not any caucus but the factional warlords, and that is the tragedy for all Australians today. The tragedy is that they do not have a true government; they have factional warlords who are dictating the direction of this country. This day will no doubt go down in history as a very sad day for all Australians. Our new Prime Minister admitted in her press conference only today that she felt this government had failed the Australian people. She said only a couple of hours ago:

I know the Rudd government did not do all it said it would do and at times it went off track.

Well, hello! Here is one of the kitchen cabinet of four who suddenly, because she is wearing the cloak of prime ministership, is now admitting that, yes, the Rudd government did get it wrong and it went off track. Why has she not conceded this until now, as the former Deputy Prime Minister and as one of the key four people who have determined the policies, procedures and programs of this government?

The list of the government’s broken election promises is as long as the queue of boat people lining up to get on boats in Indonesia and other waters. When you add up the sum of these broken promises and fiscally irresponsible policies, it adds up to one big black hole that needs to be funded. So how does this government deal with that black hole? Like all Labor governments, they do not look at reducing spending or at ways in which they can get value for money out of their programs. What they do is hike up taxes, and here the mining sector are in the eye of the storm. The target is the mining sector so that they can prop up this government and plug the huge gaping hole that is in their budget. A resource super profits tax is not going to fix the problems of this government. It is not going to fix the failed insulation program. It is not going to fix the failed BER—the billions of dollars that are going into the still-being-built Julia Gillard memorial halls. The RSPT will not fix the problems of this government. It is a deflection. The government are a disgrace and they should deal with the real issue, which is their policies. (Time expired)

Question agreed to.