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Thursday, 16 February 2012
Page: 1692


Mr BRIGGS (Mayo) (09:36): I rise to speak about an issue that is concerning my constituents enormously, and that is the waste and mismanagement that is leading to the spiralling national debt we see whenever new budget figures are released. This week, with Senate estimates, we have seen further examples of Labor's waste and mismanagement costing us and future generations as we and they face increasing budget pressures with the intergenerational changes our country will see in the coming years. This waste and mismanagement is going to have a genuine effect on the next generation of Australians when they are trying to make their own way.

We have seen this week the set-top box program blowout, one of the top examples of waste by this government. This program was shown on the front page of a national newspaper to be costing up to $700 per set-top box installation when you could go to any electrical retailer and buy a similar product for $100. It is another example of how this government has the wrong priorities and the wrong thinking. This will cost the budget enormously.

We have seen the blowout in costs in the department of immigration, with the boats continuing to come. We saw two more boats arrive yesterday. But rather than focus on that issue we note that the minister for immigration this morning had an op-ed in the Australian about the economy. I am not sure why the minister for immigration would be writing about the economy at the moment. It might be an application for the job of Treasurer under the member for Griffith, I suspect. That highlights the incendiary war going on within the Australian Labor Party. While the debt crisis builds, while this waste and mismanagement continues, people in the Labor Party are focused on their own jobs. The op-ed on the economy yesterday by the minister for immigration was a job application for the job of Treasurer under the member for Griffith. And this is just as two boats arrived on our shores.

We have also seen another million dollars of waste in the provision of training for toddlers to understand the carbon tax. That came out in Senate estimates this week. The examples are extraordinary. The department of agriculture spent $77,000 to come up with a new identity. These examples are hilarious and they show how bad this government is. But they have a very sinister and serious side to them, in that they are adding to the debt and budget pressures that will challenge our nation in the future. Because of the great work of Peter Costello, we know that the intergenerational challenges coming at us our genuine. This government is focused on itself. Nothing could make that clearer than the minister for immigration writing an application for the job of Treasurer. (Time expired)