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Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Page: 4681

Senator IAN MACDONALD (Queensland) (15:19): It is not often I get up to support the Greens on anything, but Senator Ludlam's criticism of the Labor Party in failing to answer a question that was put on notice before Christmas last year just shows how incompetent this Labor govern­ment is. Senator Ludlam, can I ask you a question? If you are so concerned about the inadequacies of this government, why do you support it? Remember, this was the new paradigm? Remember when the Greens got into bed with the Labor Party? They said they had arranged this new paradigm of openness and accountability and answering of questions, and what has happened?

Senator Ludlam, if you would like to move over this side and get your colleague in the lower house to also do that, we will ensure that your questions are answered rather than have a seven-month delay. Even though sometimes in government we did take a few weeks to answer questions, we were not as bad as this government. While I agree with you, Senator Ludlam, on your criticism of the government in failing to answer—and some of the material you men­tioned on the substantive subject certainly is concerning and deserves more than the cavalier attention that this government is giving it—it is pointless crying about the lack of transparency and accountability by this government when you and your collea­gues in the Greens political party are the ones that are keeping this government in power. If it were not for the Greens political party, you would have decent government in Australia now and certainly a government that did not take more than seven months to answer what is clearly a relatively simple question to answer.