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Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Page: 2458


Senator IAN MACDONALD (Queensland) (15:15): Senator Feeney, on behalf of the Labor Party, again promotes what a wonderful idea the new carbon tax is for all Australians. I ask Senator Feeney, as I have asked every Labor senator: if the carbon tax is so good why did your leader promise before the last election that there would be no carbon tax under a government she led? If it is that good why did she promise that?

What concerns me about the Labor Party—we all know that they cannot manage money—is that they cannot manage the truth. The Labor Party president at the time Ms Gillard made that wonderful promise of not introducing a carbon tax was none other than the Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh. Ms Bligh was also the president of the Labor Party nationally when Ms Gillard gave a rock-solid guarantee that she would not do away with the rebate on private health insurance. That is the trouble: whether it be Ms Gillard or Ms Bligh, you simply cannot believe anything leaders of the Labor Party say.

Senators may be aware that we are involved in an election campaign in my state of Queensland at the moment. And I have heard Ms Bligh promising to spend more money on absolutely everything. She has got her lead from her federal leader, Ms Gillard: whatever you want, whatever will buy a vote, promise some money. But we all know that Queensland has lost its AAA credit rating. The Queensland government is broke. It is a state with the most wonderful natural resources for mining, agriculture and tourism, yet the state is broke.

Ms Bligh will, as Ms Gillard did, continue to promise to spend any money to buy a vote or two in a desperate attempt to retain the trappings of power. We know that, typical of any Labor leader, anything Ms Bligh promises cannot be believed. Whatever she promises today you can be assured that, like Ms Gillard, in a couple of months time, should she win government again, she will ignore that promise completely.

I ask the people of my state of Queensland: can you believe anything the Labor Party tells you? Ms Bligh certainly cannot go on her record. She cannot go on the sagacity of her cabinet; that would just be a joke. What does her campaign involve? She has made up lies about the leader of the Liberal National Party Campbell Newman—'Can-do Campbell Newman'—who will be next premier of Queensland. Ms Bligh's only campaign is to make up lies about Mr Newman—lies which the Crime and Misconduct Commission have dismissed summarily.

We talked today in question time about the carbon tax. I would like to ask a question of any Labor member—I would particularly like to ask the Labor candidates from the Central Queensland area in the state election of Queensland. I noticed that Senator Kim Carr was being very particular about Central Queensland, obviously because he has seen the polls. The miners who work in the mines in Central Queensland—the mines that the Greens and the Labor Party want to shut down—are big-money earners. They know that their jobs and their mortgages are on the line because of Labor's carbon tax and because of Labor's mining tax. It does not matter what the heavies and apparatchiks in the unions say, the workers in the mines know what it is about. That is why the Queensland Premier is running a mile away from anything to do with the carbon tax although as state premier she did nothing to oppose it and as president of the Labor Party she was privy to the breach of promise made by Ms Gillard when she said that she would not introduce that tax but did so immediately she was elected. You simply cannot trust Labor with money or the truth. (Time expired)