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Wednesday, 6 February 2013
Page: 297

Mr HAASE (Durack) (19:39): I rise this evening to remind the House that it was only last week that we were suddenly alerted of the election date by a Prime Minister who I understand is considering that the future of Australia will be better and more assured if we know that we are going to the election on 14 September. I fail to understand how that is calculated. Unfortunately, none of my learned colleagues are able to tell me why that announcement was made and why such an advantage as calling the election day with short notice was given away.

It does remind me that—and many people may not be aware of this—between now and 14 September there are only about 40 sitting days left for this government. It reminds me that with just those 40 sitting days one ought to take the opportunity to remind the people of the House—and Australia—of the vast differences between this government and the government that may be selected as an alternative on 14 September.

In my electorate of Durack, we have some great concerns. At the top of the concerns are, firstly, the impact of the additional costs of the carbon tax and, probably secondly, the potential impact created by the introduction of the MRRT and the hesitation of global finance to land in Australia today it creates. As important are the concerns about the declaration of more marine parks. The locking up of another 1.3 million square kilometres of Australia's ocean is an act that none of my fishers can justify, because they are very conscious of the fact that the amount of consultation—the degree of rigour, if you like—that was applied to the location selected and the decision to lock up a further area was not sufficient. There was no serious scientific rigour. More so, it seemed that there was a great urgency to appease Green voters and those Green members within the House and the Senate so as to ensure the continuation of their parliamentary support. That is well known in my electorate to be a very, very bad basis for good governance.

A Liberal government would revisit that whole situation, apply scientific rigour and come up with justification for the creation of those marine parks if it was scientifically necessary. Western Australia and the coastal area of the mid-west is the home of an Australia-wide famous fishery: the Western Rock Lobster Fishery. It was one of the first and is one of the best managed fisheries in Australia. It is recognised nationwide as being a great, well-managed and sustainable fishery—the No. 1 managed fishery in Australia. We accept that situations change and over time in recent years further changes and restrictions have been added to management of that fishery. But this has been done by a state government with good scientific information and great, ongoing consultation with the industry.

The agricultural situation that I referred to is found to be most offensive by my electorate in relation to live exports. Live exports have been effectively destroyed. They have been about halved by the rash decision of the Labor government, and therefore the pastoralists across Western Australia do not trust this government anymore and are pleased by the knowledge that an elected Liberal government will cement those relationships so as to ensure the continuation of the live export industry. There is no doubt that the plan of the Liberal coalition shows real solutions for all Australians and we seriously believe that, if the election does stretch out to 14 September in reality, Australians will have the opportunity for the first time in a long time to secure a good government. (Time expired)