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Wednesday, 6 December 2017
Page: 9934


Senator BERNARDI (South Australia) (16:29): Is this the motion that mentions both Mr Whitlam and Mr Howard in a relatively favourable light?

The PRESIDENT: You can seek leave to inform the Senate further, but I'm sure senators can refer to their Notice Paper, Senator Bernardi.

Senator BERNARDI: Thank you, Mr President. That's indeed what it does. I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that 5 December 2017 marked the 45th anniversary of the swearing-in of the first Whitlam Labor Government;

(b) also notes that spending as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product:

   (i) soon after Mr Whitlam's swearing-in, rocketed from 18.9% that financial year to 24.3% the year Mr Whitlam left office in 1975,

   (ii) had been reduced to lower than that level when the Howard Government left office in 2007, and

   (iii) now sits at higher levels than when Mr Whitlam left office, at a budgeted 25.2%, and projected to remain at a similar level into forward estimates; and

(c) expresses its in-principle support for legislative measures that will help chart a pathway to budget surplus achieved by reducing spending and waste, not by increasing taxes.