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Wednesday, 26 March 2014
Page: 3264

Mr BURKE (WatsonManager of Opposition Business) (17:46): We were told this morning by the Leader of the House that it was to be like a school carnival. Well, the carnival is well and truly over at this stage of the debate. There has been a change in enthusiasm since when these bills were introduced a week ago. The tone of resignation that we just heard from the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister really does say it all. When you have to say to somebody who is sitting in silence, 'You shouldn't be laughing at this; this is serious,' you are really at the far edge of desperation of verballing. I will wait until the parliamentary secretary returns to the table before I ask him a question. I do not want to, in the forms of the House, put him in a difficult position when he is not ready for it, so I will make a couple of other remarks while I wait.

There was a moment—only a brief moment—when the parliamentary secretary referred, in his concluding comments, to the bills before the chamber and said that some $720 million in savings would occur as a result of repeal day. He then gave the examples of the FOFA legislation and the charities bill. We can have a different policy argument with those proposals, but none of those are being debated today. I ask the parliamentary secretary: how much of the $720 million of savings claimed comes about as a result of these bills today?