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Monday, 9 February 2015
Page: 167

Mr BROADBENT (McMillan) (21:26): Tonight I would like to speak directly to my constituents of McMillan and to the people of Australia—the people of this great south land, so precious to us all. If a farmer gets into trouble with debt and begins to fail to meet commitments or owes some money around the community, they do not take the issue to the bank. Eventually the crisis becomes so great that they lose the farm. The other day a friend said to me, 'Do you realise, the way we are going, our children and their children are not going to enjoy the living standards that we have all enjoyed?' It does not matter what commentator you speak to about long-term issues in this country, we have economic issues that are going to affect our family farm—that being this nation. Yet there are politicians in this place who are prepared to trash the Australian economy; they are prepared to trash anything the government tries to do to repair our economy for the long term.

People talk about there being a crisis. Do we have a crisis today? No, I do not think we have a crisis today but everybody talks about a structural problem going into the future. It is a way of hiding a situation that is exactly the same as that farmer. Every month, every year, that we put off changing what we are doing as a nation we are putting it on the next generation and the next generation of politicians to address the issues facing this nation. The Labor Party can trash everything the government has tried to do—it is their right to oppose—but they are even trashing those cuts and policies that they had in place which were beginning to reduce the deficit. Why is it that in this day and age, at this time, we are going to have this parliament put off the decisions that need to be made on behalf of this country for pure, base politics and for no other reason? For the next 18 months, until the next election, the Labor Party, not the crossbenchers, are prepared to oppose everything that the government puts forward for the benefit of this nation. Think about your children and their children—they are the ones that are going to reap the sadness of what I am putting to the House tonight. It is inconceivable that for pure political reasons we are prepared to put off the inevitable. The day will come when the crisis is of such grandeur that the jolt will be far greater for the whole of society than it would be if we began to work together today to repair these budget issues.

I finish the day on a sad note: the future of the country is not in good hands with the parliaments of today. I began the day at the Baptist Church with a feeling of great hope and opportunity and prayers for the nation. My disappointment is that the politicians of this nation are letting our people down. We are letting our children down and we are letting their children down as well. We need to address the things that are important so that the speeches in this House that you have heard, even from members tonight about the environment, are heeded and we leave a better place, a better environment and a stronger economy for our children and their children.

The SPEAKER: It being 9.30, the debate is interrupted.

House adjourned at 21:31