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Thursday, 5 December 2013
Page: 1831


Dr JENSEN (Tangney) (16:51): The Labor Party seem to think that their loss during the election was a result of disunity. I have got something to clue the Labor Party in on: the real reason that the Labor Party lost was because they were a bad, dysfunctional and incompetent government. That was the reason for their loss.

The simple reality is that disunity is only ever a symptom, it is never a cause. Disunity results from something. If the Labor government under Rudd had been a good government, there would have been no real disunity and certainly no leadership change. The Labor government, in both iterations, were an economic disaster and they failed to honour promises. The least that they should do now is allow us to fulfil our promises.

We have had an election and we have had a very long previous parliament—three years' worth—where we laid out a number of things very explicitly, and two things were very strongly put: that we would repeal the carbon tax and that we would repeal the mining tax. The carbon tax is having ongoing costs to our society—$550 per household per annum. These are costs that should be removed now, and the opposition should be allowing us to fulfil that obligation and promise to the electorate. Similarly, the mining tax is a complete disaster. It collects just about nothing in the way of money, it is having significant effects now in terms of mining performance and how our sovereign risk is viewed by multinational mining corporations that are choosing to go elsewhere. Mining is not a one-stop shop where they can only come here and not go anywhere else. There are alternatives and, unfortunately, many of these companies are choosing these alternatives.

The Labor opposition have a fundamental problem: they believe in equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunity. They call this equality of outcome 'equity'. People need to have the option of determining their own destiny after being given that opportunity. Labor's position, as with their view on equity—and we heard this from the Leader of the Opposition during the MPI—clearly shows a lack of understanding of reality. Billions of dollars went into school halls, unneeded duplicate pieces of infrastructure such as tuckshops—you name it, they got it at exorbitant prices—as well as a whole lot of other worthless projects. Labor equates spending, the throwing of money at a problem, with a solution. It is not, and this has been clearly demonstrated by the PISA results recently, where we have crashed down the rankings, as far as educational performance is concerned, despite large amounts of money being spent on it. The simple thing is, money is not the solution—carefully crafted policy is.

I had a bit more to say, but I know that time is running short. Given that the member opposite kindly allowed me to have a minute's worth of time, I will allow him to have the remaining time.