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Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Page: 175


Ms MARINO (ForrestGovernment Whip) (16:07): Congratulations to you, Mr Deputy Speaker, on your position. I know that this is the first sitting week of the new parliament, but clearly the opposition may need some more time to work out how to be an effective opposition. If you look at this MPI you would not think that this was the most effective way to be an opposition. In fact, we have seen some almost hysterical contributions. After all, the election was a couple of months ago, and they have had two months to plan this first MPI. How are we going to do it really well? What is the key thing we are going to come up with to hold the government to account? What have we got?

All we have is hypocrisy—absolute hypocrisy—and nonsense from the opposition. This MPI is about the apparent failure of the government. We are what we promised the Australian people we would be. I look at what they are saying is a failure, and I look at my colleagues and I think, 'Are the opposition referring to our attack on removing the carbon taxes?' Do you think that is what they are actually referring to when they say we are not doing what we said we would do? That was the main thing we took to the election. We said we would do it. What was the first business that came in here today? The carbon tax! We must be doing something that we said we were going to do. Is it perhaps our promise to get rid of the mining tax? We are doing that, as well. Perhaps we are failing in our promise to reverse Labor's fringe-benefit-tax hit on the car industry. But, no; we are doing that as well. If that is failure, I would hate to see what success is.

We are doing exactly what we said we would do, and we will keep doing it. If these are the arbiters, how do they compare with what the Labor Party did in government? Just before the 2010 we had that now infamous promise that there would be no carbon tax under a government they led. However, after the election, what did the Labor government do? They introduced a carbon tax, and for three years the now Prime Minister Tony Abbott, then the Leader of the Opposition, said that the government he led would repeal the carbon tax. That is exactly what we are doing. That is our first order of business. We are doing what we said we would do. All we are seeing is sheer, unmitigated hypocrisy from Labor in this motion. It is fooling nobody; it will not be fooling anybody out there. No Australian will be fooled by this. Of course, one of the reasons Labor lost the election is that they lost the trust of the Australian people, because they did not do what they said they would do. In fact, they did the exact opposite. We are doing what we said we would do from day one of the new parliament. We have not let the Australian people down like the Labor Party did; we are doing what we said we would do. We are not going to be dragged down by this Labor opposition; we are going to keep doing what we said we will do. Not content with having trashed the standing of this parliament, Labor continues to try to trash and smear this parliament from opposition.

We will continue to uphold the values of this parliament and do what we say we will do. For six years the Australian people dealt with an amount of hypocrisy from that government. For example, for the economic conservatives we had what I would call Labor's designer label: it was not just ordinary debt and deficit, this was designer label, top of the range. This was a new design for Australia in debt and deficit, thanks to the previous Labor government. This was top of the range. We have, as I have already said, started to fill our commitments. They are commitments that the people of Australia gave us a mandate to enact, and we will get on with those commitments. It is not just the carbon tax and it is not just the mining tax, but also the fringe benefits tax on cars that we said would not proceed under our government: it will not.

On asylum seekers we have heard repeatedly there has been a 75 per cent fall in the number of people coming to this country, and that is counted by the Labor opposition as a failure. What do you define as success? The 50,000 people that you allowed to come into this country? People who put their lives at risk: is that what you would define as success? Or the massive $11 billion blow-out in the budget? (Time expired)