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Wednesday, 26 March 2014
Page: 3240


Ms MARINO (ForrestGovernment Whip) (16:08): It is great to be able to speak to the House today about the need to make good choices instead of bad ones, and to have the right priorities in government. It is so great, that I am astounded that the Labor Party would be silly enough to raise it as a topic. But let us look at the choices being made by this side of the House compared to that side.

The coalition has chosen to scrap the carbon tax. The Labor Party and the Greens have chosen to keep the carbon tax, even though it hurts Western Australian families and business to the tune of at least $627 million, and has not measurably lowered our emissions.

The coalition has chosen to get rid of the mining tax. The Labor Party and the Greens have chosen to keep this direct tax on the Western Australian economy and on Western Australian jobs. The member for Perth, the mover of this ridiculous motion, is even on the record as saying last week that Labor should 'go back to the drawing board' on the mining tax. The Labor strategy on the mining tax sounds like an episode of Mr Squiggle: 'Hurry up, member for Perth, hurry up!'

The result of the September election was the result of the Australian people no longer being able to believe what Labor said. Labor has lost the trust and respect of the Australian people. The Australian people want the truth, not more Labor manipulations.

The member for Perth should reflect on that. The community of my electorate of Forrest remember well her election statement that a deal had been struck to save the Greenbushes to Bunbury rail line in 2008. This rail line had actually been shut down by the member for Perth as the WA Minister for Transport in March 2005. But, as is the Labor way, it was not true. No deal had been struck, because no agreement had been reached on who would pay the additional cost of putting logs on rail. It was a fallacious statement designed to win votes; a little like what we have seen today. My constituents could not trust the member for Perth back then, and the Western Australian people should not trust her now.

Cutting red tape is a great priority for this government, and we have spent the day in just such a debate. Getting our economy moving by enhancing our trade with Asia is a great priority, and the government is doing just that. Getting the national budget back under control is a great priority of this government, and that task is massive. Nobody on our side underestimates the size of that task. Yet it has almost been treated as a joke by the other side. This is thanks to the budget mismanagement of six years of Labor government.

The Rudd and Gillard Labor governments have left a legacy of gross debt. These are figures that are out and being discussed, but people often forget just how much it is; it will peak at over $667 billion—a huge amount—thanks to $123 billion in accumulated deficits. That is the Labor way.

Our priorities are: to create jobs by boosting productivity; to develop northern Australia; to boost productivity and reduce regulation, as we are doing today; to create jobs; to boost manufacturing and to enhance growth in small business. Small business is the very engine room of our economy; it employs nearly half of our Australian workers. This is a great set of priorities. And the people of Western Australia know it.

One of the things that Labor and the Greens have voted against, which is critical in Western Australia as it is right throughout rural and regional Australia, is the Roads to Recovery program, and it terminates in June this year. This is an absolute disgrace. Every local government out there that relies on this funding will be in absolute dismay at this. Labor and the Greens have underestimated the effect that this will have at the grassroots level. I say to the voters in Western Australia: in the run-up to the upcoming Western Australia Senate election, if you want Roads to Recovery, you need to vote accordingly for the coalition.