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Wednesday, 26 March 2014
Page: 3193


Mr CHAMPION (Wakefield) (13:13): I rise to speak on the Omnibus Repeal Day (Autumn 2014) Bill 2014 and related bills. I had no idea I was speaking on a bill of such importance. You can tell its importance from the quality of the debate and the way that the galleries are packed full of people desperate to see the repeal of legislation! The parliament is packed! And we have heard these great philosophical statements by those opposite. I got to hear a great history lesson about North and South Korea and East Germany and West Germany, and I got to hear St Ronald Reagan's great voice being invoked in this parliament—what a wonder! And it is all for the member for Kooyong's wonderful repeal day. I am so hopeful! I must admit I sometimes rail about the complexities of the modern world. I am as concerned and as aggravated as anybody else when I have to fill in a bit of paperwork or when I take the dog for a walk in the morning and some council makes me pick up the dog's business in a plastic bag. What an imposition on my liberty—another bit of red tape getting in the way of me as an individual making my own decisions! What an imposition! We see this everywhere.

And you can understand small business getting their hopes up, because we all know they have to deal with the Australian Taxation Office, WorkCover, ASIC, consumer protection and the environment. We know there is a section of business out there that is positively nostalgic for the good old days before regulation, before we had these problems and regulations. And the economy just grew—it just grew year on year on year. Without regulation, there was never even the slightest hiccup with the economy—1929 aside, not the slightest hiccup in the modern economy. So we can understand this nostalgia, and we can understand the grandiose application of rhetoric by those opposite—in particular, the member for Kooyong, who, extraordinarily on a repeal day, launches both a website and a handbook so that people can find their way through the regulations. But there is just one problem: it does not actually happen. Despite its title, despite the grandiose rhetoric, despite the website and the handbook and all the appealing to the Reaganite philosophy, it does not actually happen. It is a collection of grammatical corrections like the abolition of mules or donkeys in the military or changing a word from 'facsimile' to 'fax'—great, great regulatory reforms.

We all know that from time to time you do have to repeal some regulations that are no longer relevant. Labor got rid of about 16,000 odds and sods of regulations that did not mean much to anybody. But we did not accompany it with some sort of huge rhetorical flourish. We did not name a national day, we did not invoke North Korea, we did not talk about free thinkers and micromanagers and knights and dames, and we did not encourage bigotry masquerading as free speech. While we should be about creating jobs in places like the northern suburbs of Adelaide, this government has just sort of disappeared into its own rhetorical world where repeal day somehow means something to people. I think simply having a repeal day is not quite enough. The parliamentary secretary, the member for Kooyong, should declare it a public holiday! We should have a public holiday on this day, and then we could have a big parade; we could call it the 'repeal day parade'!

Ms Rishworth: We could call it Frydenberg Day!

Mr CHAMPION: Well, we would not want to name it after him, even though he is destined for greatness—we know he is the colt from Kooyong. But the repeal day parade could be led by a knight of the realm riding a big horse with a jousting stick, followed by the full range of the bunyip aristocracy, all tramping along—all these people who fancy themselves as born to rule. And we could have those espousing free speech—those brave journalists—behind them, espousing free speech and insulting the crowds randomly for whatever they really want to insult them for, with free speech reigning. Then we could have the people who want to poison the planet with carbon and to spray chemicals about with careless abandon. Behind them would be those who want to get rid of the penalty rates of workers and to underpay their workers. And behind them would be the people who want to sell tobacco to kids, and behind them the people who want to sell grog to problem gamblers—

Mr Nikolic: Mr Deputy Speaker, a point of order: relevance, under standing order 104. I shudder to think what this has to do with the bill under consideration today, and I would ask you to bring him back to the bill before the House.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Broadbent ): I thank the member for Bass for his help. Whilst this has been a robust debate entered into on both sides, I think the member for Wakefield may have been straying, but he has responded only to that which he has been offered.

Mr CHAMPION: I am just talking about the repeal day parade—it is going to be a great parade. I am even going to get into it. I am going to follow up the parade that the member for Kooyong is going to have. I will be driving my 1967 Cadillac El Dorado—hot pink, whale skin hubcaps, nice all-cow leather interior, getting about one mile to the gallon. I will cruise down there eating McDonalds out of those old styrofoam containers, railing against the modern world, chucking them out of the window—littering. That is what the repeal day parade should look like. It will be a great day, and it is all going to be because of the member for Kooyong and this great bill! We should all give thanks. And I know that small businessmen in places like Elizabeth and Gawler and those country towns like Kapunda and Balaklava will be holding their own parades today, knowing that the heavy hand of government has been lifted from them by this wonderful bill and this tremendous parliamentary secretary.