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Tuesday, 13 May 2014
Page: 2457


Senator WILLIAMS (New South Wales) (17:34): What a pleasure it is to follow Senator Dastyari, a young fellow born on 28 July 1983. This July he will turn a massive 31 years old. You can imagine a little Sam Dastyari—he was six years old the last time the Labor government delivered a surplus in the budget in this nation. A little boy like that would not even remember it. He would not even have contemplated what was going on.

Senator Lines interjecting

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Whish-Wilson ): Order, Senator Lines! Interjections are disorderly.

Senator WILLIAMS: The lion roars! We will continue. Senator Dastyari would have been a little boy of six years old, and his mum and dad would have said, 'At last we've got a budget surplus.' He would have said, 'What's a budget surplus?' And now every Labor supporter ever since 1989 has asked the same question when Labor was in government: what's a budget surplus? They do not know what the word means. And here you are saying 'a budget of lies' tonight.

Senator Dastyari: When were we told about Medicare?

Senator Lines interjecting

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Direct your comments through me, through the chair, Senator Williams, please. Ignore the interjections.

Senator WILLIAMS: I certainly will do that, Mr Acting Deputy President. It is very rude, and you would think they would know better by now, wouldn't you?

Senator Lines interjecting

Senator Dastyari interjecting

Senator WILLIAMS: Crikey, give us a break! The flatmates are teaming up together! They do! They share a unit together. I asked Senator Dastyari, 'Does she speak in her sleep?' He didn't answer my question!

Honourable senators interjecting

Senator WILLIAMS: Yes, you would wonder how they get in. Imagine if she spoke in her sleep, Senator Smith. It would be never-ending. We could put some microphones there and just broadcast to everyone in Canberra. What an exciting night it would be! They would dream about budget surpluses. The Labor Party in their wildest dreams: 'We will deliver a surplus.' Remember the former Treasurer, Mr Wayne Swan: 'We will deliver a budget surplus.' You do not know what the word means. Look up 'surplus'. It does not mean red ink; it means black ink. You do not understand what it means.

We went to the election saying we would stop the boats. We have not had a boat in 20 weeks. In fact, the billions of dollars that the previous government cost our taxpayers, along with the more than 1,100 people who lost their lives from a crazy policy, were an absolute disgrace. We said we would do away with the mining tax and the carbon tax. Senator Tillem said, 'This is a cost on families.' You lot over there are costing every family in Australia $550 a year because you will not support the abolition of the carbon tax and respect the mandate that the coalition were elected on last September. We said we would get the books in order.

I make no apology that it is going to be a tough budget tonight. I am quite prepared to pay some more, as I should. There is the contribution to Medicare. Perhaps Senator Lines disagrees with me. Three weeks ago I had my glaucoma pressure tested. I am one of the roughly 300,000 in Australia who has glaucoma. I walked in to the optometrist and had a quick test of the pressure—the new drug is working very well; 15 drops in each eye; very good—and I walked out. I did not pay a red cent. Isn't it amazing! I am on a salary of $200,000 a year and do not pay a red cent. Shouldn't I pay $15? Shouldn't I pay $20? Shouldn't I make some contribution to the government's budget of Medicare and the cost of health in this country? I walked out scot-free, and that is wrong. If we continue down this road of your financial destruction, there will be no Medicare, there will be no hospitals and you will send us broke.

I had to laugh when Senator Di Natale said, 'Compared to other OECD countries, we're in pretty good shape.' It is like living in a street: I owe $300,000 on my house, but things are pretty good because the person next door owes $400,000 and the other person next door owes $500,000. What they owe does not help me pay my debt of $300,000. The sum of $12,000 million a year goes to interest alone. You inherited a government debt free. Remember former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Treasurer Wayne Swan's first budget. There was a $22 billion surplus. It ended up being a massive deficit. You built $191 billion of government debt in the time you were there. All my life I have seen it, whether it is state governments or the federal government: put Labor in power and they empty the cheque account and we wallow in debt. Who is going to make the hard decisions? We did not make the mess. You made the mess and we will clean it up for the benefit of future Australians instead of mortgaging our children and grandchildren's futures away, because you are financial messes. You have done it all my life when I have followed how you manage money. You could not manage a circus. Your fiscal management is an absolute disgrace. Tonight will be the turning point where Australia will start heading in the right direction because of a courageous budget. (Time expired)

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Whish-Wilson ): Order! The time for the discussion has expired.