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Monday, 3 March 2014
Page: 1266


Mr CHAMPION (Wakefield) (10:44): The member for Hindmarsh brings this motion to the House. It is always very interesting to see—the last time I saw the member for Hindmarsh roaming around this sort of rhetoric was down at Holden. He came through like a little meerkat, following the minister on his tour through Holden. Of course, we know what happened there. He toured the factory, disappeared for a while and then we never heard anything more until we saw Joe Hockey's daring of GM to leave.

The South Australians opposite talk a good game about the South Australian economy, but on that critical issue of Holden they all came down—Minister MacFarlane, the member for Hindmarsh and all these other people—and toured the factory, posed for pictures—

Mr Pasin: You wrote to them!

Mr CHAMPION: My friend knows that if there were a Labor government, Holden would have continued producing cars in South Australia.

But what happened was that the minister came down and toured the factory with a sort of crowd behind him—Liberal senators and the member for Hindmarsh—all touring the place. Then what did we get? 'Hockey dares GM to leave.' We know the subsequent chaos that was caused in the car industry and the automotive components industry with 50,000 jobs lost. That is what we are looking down the barrel of.

I notice that the language in part (c) of this motion says, in rather glorious terms:

(c) liberate the people of South Australia to realise their destiny; and …

'Liberate' them—in this case, as the deputy leader says, 'Liberate them from their jobs.'

We know that that is what the Liberal Party plans to do because Tony Abbott, when he announced the $100 million plan to help Holden's closure—that has now been stretched to Geelong, Altona and to the whole economy of western Melbourne—said:

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says many Holden workers will be "liberated" by the loss of their jobs at the carmaker.

So we see the same language used—quite extraordinary language, that you might be 'liberated' by losing your job.

We know that around the world there is a debate going on: growth versus austerity—whether we grow the economy or whether we cut it back. That is the great debate around the world. The rest of the world tried austerity first and now they are clinging to growth. In this country we grew. We decided to grow the economy and the Liberals now want to rescue us from that growth by cutting—by austerity. That is the debate around the world, but the Liberal Party are going to get it back to front. They are going to save us from a growing economy. Only in this sort of strange, weird world that the Liberal Party and the member for Hindmarsh create are workers liberated by losing their jobs or liberated by factory closures. Only in this world does cutting taxes produce more revenue and balanced budgets. Only in this weird world; it is sort of voodoo economics.

We know what the Liberal Party plan is for South Australia. It is the same plan they had in New South Wales and it is the same plan that they had in Queensland. It is the same plan they have for the nation, which is a secret commission for cuts. They do not have the courage to tell the South Australian people about the cuts. We had the member for Barker talking about 20,000 public sector jobs but not having the courage to use the figures of the former SA opposition leader, Isobel Redmond, and in a wave of honesty admit they were going to cut 20,000 public sector jobs. That is what he wants to do; that is what he is intimating. That is what the secret commission of cuts will do.

We know that they will hold back on infrastructure. Whatever they say, Torrens to Torrens is ready to go; instead they will hold back. We know that they will wreck our shipbuilding industry, and they will not go ahead with the Collins class submarine. You can see them slowly getting around it. They have a US Navy general in charge of reviewing current shipbuilding. We can see them backing away from the Collins class. And so the questions before the South Australian people are, 'Do you want to continue with a growing economy, with cranes over the horizon of Adelaide? With growth? Or do you want to see cutbacks? Do you want to see austerity? Do you want to see job losses? Do you want to see the resulting economic damage?' You only have to look to Queensland and you only have to look to this parliament to see their plans in action: jobs lost and economic growth collapsing.

Debate adjourned.