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Friday, 28 June 2013
Page: 4474

Senator COLBECK (Tasmania) (13:58): In the very short time that I have to speak to this appropriation bill, where we are talking about the budget of this country—which we have 25 minutes to debate today—I would like to put on record the completely dismal record of this government in relation to the portfolio I have responsibility for in this place, that being Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

This government has turned the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry from a $3.8 billion agency to $1.7 billion agency. I do not think that there is any better way to describe how they have gutted agriculture in this country. If you have a look at it—

Senator Polley interjecting

Senator COLBECK: Well, Senator Polley, you have a crack. But I tell you: your party is now like an AFL football team—through you, Acting Deputy President Bernardi—that has no back line. Its entire back line has been carted off on a stretcher, and the only problem for Senator Polley and the rest of Labor is that it is their captain that has been running around the back like a sniper and taking out the entire back line. They are now sitting on the stretcher in the dugout on the side. That is the situation the Labor Party find themselves in. It is the same crazy mob, with the same policies. The Prime Minister told us yesterday things were going to change, but he is the one that took out the back line of the Labor Party who are now sitting on the backbench because they cannot serve as part of the team. He is the one that took out these senior members of the Labor Party.

So, like an AFL side without a back line, that is where the Labor Party find themselves now. And that is the sort of thing that they have done to agencies within the government. What they have done to agriculture and to fisheries and forestry in the last six years has been an absolute disgrace. Let us hope that the people of rural Australia show them the message when it comes to the election.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Bernardi ): Order! It being 2 pm, the time allotted for consideration of these bills has expired. The question is that these bills be now read a second time.

Question agreed to.

Bills read a second time.