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Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Page: 215


Mr CHRISTENSEN (DawsonThe Nationals Deputy Whip) (19:15): Congratulations are in order for the opposition. The dog of a debt that Labor birthed, fed and nurtured with the Greens is just about nearing maturity. Having force-fed what was a little puppy with a steady stream of record deficits for six years, Labor and the Greens watched their dog of a debt outgrow its doghouse four times, from a debt ceiling of $75 billion in 2008 to $200 billion in 2009, and from $250 billion in 2011 to $300 billion in 2012. And the member for McMahon talked about being responsible and measured with this amendment. Well, it is their irresponsible spending that has led to the near immeasurable debt that this country is going to be in. They raised the debt limit by 300 per cent in four short years. And their dog of a debt is now even outgrowing that. They abandoned it on the doorstep of this new government, ringing the bell and running away. Well, congratulations: your puppy is moving into a $500 billion doghouse. And they sit opposite pointing the finger at the size of the doghouse needed to house their dog of a debt, deliberately oblivious to their own heinous budget crimes. The opposition should stand back in awe of the sheer size of their success and proudly say, 'This is Labor socialism at work'—created by reckless Labor-style socialism and nourished by true socialist economic ignorance.

The previous Labor government made it clear where their sights were set, holding up Greek debt as the model to which they aspired. Every time those opposite came in here, they said, 'Our debt isn't as bad as Greece's.' They established these boundaries of acceptability for socialist-inspired debt. They spread the field to give themselves more room—room for bigger government; room for more bureaucracy, more welfare and more handouts; room for more failed policies to be paid for by the taxes of hardworking families and by saddling future generations with this huge tax burden.

If you keep spending like there is no tomorrow, as those opposite did while they were in government, tomorrow will always come, because someone—some day—has to pay the debt off. And that someone is the taxpayer. Today's taxpayers are already being hit up for more than $200 million a week just to pay the interest on Labor's legacy of debt. Every month that goes by, $1 billion worth of taxes are wasted to service Labor's debt. So, in the month of January, we could have completely funded the Mount Isa to Townsville rail corridor upgrade and all the scheduled Bruce Highway safety upgrades—in just one month. But we cannot, because we have to spend that money on servicing Labor's debt. In February we could have funded the upgrade of the Warrego Highway between Helidon and Morven in just one month, but we cannot, because we have to service Labor's debt. In March we could have done the Swan Valley bypass, but we cannot, because we have to service Labor's debt. In the month of April, we could have done the inner-city regional bike network as well as the capacity improvements and expansions of the Metro commuter rail network in New South Wales, but we cannot do it in that month because we have to spend money servicing Labor's debt. In the month of May we could have done Western Sydney bus and road upgrades as part of the North-West integration package, but we cannot in that month, because we have to service your debt. In the month of June we could have done the improvements to the Dandenong rail capacity, but we cannot, because we have to spend that money servicing Labor's debt. In July through to November, in fact, we could have done the Brisbane cross-river rail project and the entirety of the Ipswich Motorway upgrade, but we cannot, because all that money is going to servicing Labor's debt. And then we could have had December off, because we would have done it all, but we cannot, because Labor's debt needs to be serviced.

So, every month that goes by, that money is wasted, and I say to those opposite: congratulations; your work is done, our country is broke, your party is the one that broke it, your party itself is broken, and your ideology is bankrupt. You have left this nation holding your massive dog of a debt, and we will fix it up. We will fix it up. This Liberal-National government will fix it up, because we have been here before and we have done it before. We will get this country back in business. We will actually cut the wasteful spending that you guys presided over, and we will cut the red tape that is strangling productivity, the red tape that you brought in over your lifetime in government. But we will not take responsibility for this record debt conceived by Labor, birthed by Labor and allowed to run rampant by Labor. This is Labor's debt that we are sorting out.