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Order In The House -

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(generated from captions) TRANSLATOR: There was my journey, a few years ago. the journey I started The beautiful career journey. and what it implies. The great journey of that competition with this life, My greatest wish is to go on to get on with my long journey. in this place, But to always get back here which is the image of my roots is of an extraordinary beauty. and which I believe Closed Captions by CSI

This program is not subtitled THEME MUSIC Welcome to Order In The House, in Federal Parliament. a review of the week's business beyond precedent A tragedy beyond belief, and really beyond words. will now be remembered 7th February 2009

in Australia's peacetime history. as one of the darkest day who will wake up every morning Now, I know there's people it didn't happen, believing that it was all a dream, it's not a dream and then they'll know and they will cry again. and they will cry

THEME MUSIC RESUMES was put aside on Monday, Normal business of the Victorian bushfires. as MPs dealt with the horror Instead of Question Time, parliament heard emotional tributes volunteers and survivors. to victims, and most sincere condolences Mr Speaker, I offer the deepest and our nation's parliament of this House to those families suffering most, to the communities lost that will never be the same. and to a state A tragedy beyond belief, beyond precedent and, really, beyond words. will now be remembered 7th February 2009 in Australia's peacetime history. as one of the darkest days

The beautiful towns and hamlets Marysville and Narbethong of Kinglake, are no more.

and their irreplaceable contents, At least 640 homes like the photographs of children and the memories of family life, have been destroyed. The weekend's fires, and particularly 7th February 2009, is surely Victoria's blackest time. it does not have a tragic name, Whilst as yet tragedies of Black Friday of 1939 it is blacker than the human and Ash Wednesday of 1983. And in this dark time without comparison. there has been a human cost February 7th, 2009 will be remembered 400 fires burned across the state as the day when more than weather conditions ever recorded. during the most severe for the lives lost - It will be a day remembered 107 at last count - were changed forever. and families and communities when the fires raged across the state It will be remembered as the day from Horsham in the west, Bendigo and Beechworth in the north and, in an arc of destruction, to Kinglake and Kilmore. from West Gippsland of tragedy, courage and sheer luck. It will be remembered as a day Victorian authorities inform us are confirmed as deceased. that 107 people Ash Wednesday of 1983 This total has already outstripped and Black Friday of 1939. the record number of lives lost And the grisly reality is that will continue to rise. identified by our emergency services. More bodies will be found and to their severe injuries Burns victims will sadly succumb of our health professionals. despite the intensive efforts for the increase in fatalities We need to brace ourselves of the grief and circumstances and be mindful of those families and communities. To be clear and frank, it will get worse themselves for more bad news. and Australians need to prepare Every one of us here today that we can will do everything possible to respond, to rebuild and to make certain that, ever combat nature's might, to the extent that we can such tragedies cannot happen again. That won't be easy. There will be a time for analysis what happened, when we seek to understand and why it happened, how it happened is to pull together as a family, but our immediate task to provide comfort and to heal. on behalf of the Prime Minister, Mr Speaker, today, and the nation, the members of this parliament for those who have lost, I want to grieve pay tribute to the victims of those without whose help and praise the courage and the physical destruction the death toll

would have been much, much worse. I commend the motion to the House. Hear, hear. The Leader of the Opposition. Thank you, Mr Speaker. It is with a very heavy heart that I rise to support the motion by the Deputy Prime Minister. so eloquently moved in a very beautiful country, Mr Speaker, we live but surely it has a terrible beauty.

of that beauty in the last few days. And we have seen the full terror of Australia is so awesome. To see it in such a beautiful part Mr Speaker, The towns of the Yarra Valley, were carved out of the mountains to service the rush to the goldfields

in the middle of the 19th century. These are beautiful towns by generations since that have become so loved because of their beauty and hospitality of their people. and because of the friendliness

It is a rite of passage the suburbs of their great city for Melburnians to drive from into the Yarra Valley, those mighty forests - to drive through giant tree ferns and the manna gums the towering mountain ash, the and on to the alpine regions. of the Australian summer, Mr Speaker, But at the height amidst all of this natural beauty, this serenity, there is a looming menace. Because on those hot February days, on those hot February days, especially when the northerlies come down like a blast from a foundry and the forests begin to wilt, then there is the real menace - at its most menacing, truly, truly nature nature at its most terrible. Last Saturday was such a day. ferocious winds. Freakishly high temperatures, A savage brute of a day, Victorians have never seen the like of which and would hope never to see again. of the land in which we live. That is the cruel paradox

have we witnessed fury such as this, While never before such havoc and such devastation inflicted on any of our communities. has there been a tragedy on a scale so great, this is the terrible side of the beauty of Australia. For those who have lost their families, their homes, their belongings, their treasures, their businesses, their livelihoods, we must reassure them that the Australian people

understand that it will take time to heal the communities

and that we are prepared for that. We must all appreciate and recognise that to re-establish lives, re-establish homes and farms and businesses and services takes time. So our support must be ongoing. Our compassion for their plight must continue for as long as it is needed. Times of tragedy remind us of the fundamental, the essential the enduring elements of human life, the bonds of family and friends the bonds of communities, as people care for each other and look out for each other, exemplified by the heroic efforts of our emergency workers and particularly our firefighters, many of them volunteers, who put their lives at risk to save others.

The whole nation thanks them for their selfless actions. And at this time, we also think of the families of the emergency workers and the firefighters. Understand and know what they go through during these terrible times as their loved ones leave their own homes to defend the lives and property of others. The Prime Minister returned to Canberra on Tuesday with more detail about the government's response to the disaster. 7th February will become etched in our national memory as a day of disaster, of death and of mourning. This nation has been scarred by natural disasters, disasters that remind us of our tenuous hold on this vast and forbidding land. "Her beauty and her terror", as our nation's poem reminds us, of this "wide brown land". Except that the land is now black, the earth scorched and the people in mourning. Fire holds a great terror for us all. Its power, its speed, its roar, its relentless destruction, its capricious shifts in course, its want of mercy - all personal stories I have heard from its survivors in recent days. And the numbers just mount and mount. So far, 173 deaths, more than 500 injured, nearly 1,000 homes destroyed, thousands now homeless, 365,000 hectares burnt, 25 local government authorities affected, entire towns gone. Mr Speaker, our first response as Australians must be, as it has been, to extend the open hand of friendship, of empathy and of giving. The people of Victoria are not alone in this disaster

because the entire nation is with them. And not just the nation, but good people across the world - an expression of our common humanity. In the last day or so I have received calls from President Obama, Prime Minister Brown, President Barroso of the European Union, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the prime ministers of New Zealand and Turkey - our ANZAC brothers. President Obama said that we in Australia know that the prayers of himself, his wife Michelle, their family, and of the American people are with the people of Victoria

and the people of Australia today. that we have made available Mr Speaker, The House will be aware Disaster Relief Payment. the Australian Government and $400 per child This payment is $1,000 per adult for those affected by fires,

immediate cash help. in order to provide As honourable members will be aware, people escaping from fires the shirts on their back, if that. have often arrived simply with the provision of immediate cash Therefore, to get through the next day to help get the necessities has been of vital importance.

Payments started flowing Monday. Mr Speaker, I am advised of business, 9 February, that, at close we had received 2,027 claims, with 427 paid and 1,600 pending. Warragul and Alexandra yesterday. Cash payments were made at Yea, that did not have access to banks Other relief and recovery will have cash available from today. Indeed, a number of banks have agreed at local recovery centres to establish facilities to make cash payments there and then. have been provided with assistance 593 adults and children worth 493,400 dollars. to provide further assistance And authorities are working as quickly as is humanly possible. National Disaster Relief Mr Speaker, the government's and Recovery Arrangements in 25 local government areas - currently apply Corangamite, Greater Bendigo, Alpine, Baw Baw, Cardinia, Hepburn, Horsham, Indigo, Latrobe, Mount Alexander, Macedon Ranges, Mitchell, Southern Grampians, Murrindindi, Nillumbik, Whittlesea, Yarra Ranges Wangaratta, Wellington, West Wimmera, and Lake Mountain Alpine Resort.

Greater Dandenong, Casey and Knox Today South Gippsland, and the list continues to grow. were added to the list, NDRRA assistance involves measures hardship and distress assistance. to help with those suffering personal grants $427 per adult, Emergency personal hardship $213 per child per household. and up to a maximum of $1,067 re-establishment grants And temporary living and of up to $8,650. announced a $10 million contribution On Sunday, the Commonwealth Community Recovery Fund to an immediate businesses and primary producers. to assist local communities, small with the Victorian government We are currently working for the operation of this fund. on the specific details a $2 million contribution The Commonwealth has also made Appeal Fund. to the Victorian Bushfire has received donations I understand it currently of more than $15 million. I urge all Australians to make a contribution to this appeal, and I thank from the bottom of my heart all of those Australians who have dug deep. It is a great testament to what Australians do at times like this. Mr Speaker, the government today will also put in place an income support recovery assistance program

for individuals who have lost their primary source of income, including small businesses and farmers, as a direct result of the Victorian fires and the floods in Queensland. This assistance will be in the form of an ex-gratia Newstart-like payment up to the maximum amount rate of Newstart for a period of 13 weeks, to be extended if necessary.

Mr Speaker, the Australian government through Medicare and Centrelink will also work with the Victorian government to assist individuals to re-establish their identity for those who have lost licences and other proof of identity. Mr Speaker, when you meet personally the victims of this extraordinary disaster, the desperation is compounded by those who have lost

every form of establishing who they are. It is something which, unless you have experienced it, is beyond imagining.

It is not just the loss of memories and photos and entire family histories. It is the loss of the certification of who you are and your legal personality. So we will provide the resources necessary through Centrelink and other agencies to assist in the immediate provision of necessary means of identification for people to begin the difficult and long task of establishing anything approaching a normal life.

Mr Speaker, job seekers in the affected areas of Victoria and Queensland who volunteer to help with the clean-up and recovery efforts or who live in locations where job opportunities have effectively been destroyed will not be asked to look for work for a period. Job seekers who have been personally impacted by the tragedy will also be subject to a waiver of compliance obligations for a period of time as well. The Australian government will also enter into negotiations with the Victorian and Queensland governments to establish a farming and small business assistance fund. Businesses in affected regions will be able to apply for capital grants to purchase or replace premises, machinery or other capital needs. Social housing. The Australian government's $6.4 billion social housing fund announced as part of the nation building plan recently,

will be available to state governments responding to social housing needs in disaster-affected areas. The government of Victoria will be able to draw on its estimated $1.5 billion share of the social housing fund to assist families in need as a result of the Victorian bushfires. The government of Queensland will similarly be able to draw on its estimated $1.3 billion share of this fund

to meet the needs of those affected by flooding in North Queensland. Schools. In dealing with the reconstruction and repair of schools in disaster affected areas, the Australian government will make funds available from the $14.7 billion Building the Education Revolution program. The Victorian government will be able to give priority to construction of school infrastructure in communities affected by bushfires. The Queensland government will also be able to give priority to repairs and upgrades to those schools which have been damaged by flooding in North Queensland. In recent days, Mr Speaker, the nation has observed a legion of heroes at work. Our emergency services workers. The CFA, the Country Fire Authority of Victoria, and all those country fire authorities

which have come from across the country to support their brothers and sisters in arms in dealing with their common enemy

is a testament to the enormous spirit of Country Fire Authorities across Australia. Their courage has been remarked upon in recent days and, having heard some of the stories firsthand, theirs will again be the stuff of legend. Workers with the CFA, the police, the SES, ambulance, those working in hospitals and those with the extraordinary and delicate task of working

in the burns units of hospitals, all deserve our utmost respect and commendation from this, the parliament of the nation, and so they receive it. In each of the centres also, Mr Speaker, there is the army of volunteers - the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and others who materialise in a way best known only to God at times like this, helped, I am sure, by extraordinary feats of organisation and by those good ladies ? invariably good ladies but not always - and some men as well who are there in an instant to make it work. It is a rolling miracle of the Australian volunteer community and the church and charitable sector that this great army of people immediately comes and is there, without complaint, without request for anything in particular, prepared, sleeves rolled up,

quietly, effectively, assiduously doing their job. And in each centre that I visited yesterday and the day before, in Yea, Whittlesea and Alexandra and also other centres as well,

this army of volunteers was working quietly and effectively. In one centre I visited, I saw literally acres of bedding, provided by local shops and local families, ready to be made available to those who now have nothing. Entire gymnasiums full of clothing, kids' clothing, toys, bedding. Anything else that you might need to start up a household, all materialised within a day or two of the ask going out. An extraordinary testament to those communities, an extraordinary testament to the church, charitable and community organisations which have made the physical organisation of it possible. Mr Speaker, we are left speechless at the thought and the possibility that some of these fires may have been deliberately lit. Every member of this House cannot comprehend how anyone could ever do that. Mr Speaker, something which the nation must now attend to, as a matter of grave urgency, is the problem of arson. Where it happens, why it happens, what more can be done about it? There is no excuse for this. None at all. This, as I said yesterday, is simply murder on a grand scale. Let us attend to this unfinished business of the nation and come to grips with this evil thing. Mr Speaker, we do not know what lies ahead. What I have outlined to the House today is our response to date. Let us all work with governments at all levels and with all communities and with all community organisations of goodwill to deal with each challenge as it presents itself. I say this to the country at large - Whatever community you are from, if it has been rendered to ashes, if it has been destroyed... -hear this from the government and the parliament of the nation - together we'll rebuild each of these communities. This will take time. It will take effort. SPEAKER: The Leader of the Opposition. On indulgence, Mr Speaker.

On behalf of the Opposition, I thank the Prime Minister for his remarks and commend both the Australian and Victorian governments on their immediate response. And welcome the establishment of the royal commission and the new federal-state reconstruction authority. We restate our commitment to do whatever it takes to put these communities back on their feet and we encourage the government

to address the relief of these communities in specific legislation separate from other measures. With question time suspended for the week, Victorian MPs return from their electorates with emotional stories to tell. When I was at Warragul on Sunday at the refuge centre, my friend Gary Blackwood, the member for Narracan, said, "I have just spoken to my mate. They stayed to defend the house. They expected the ember attack and then the fire front to go through. But instead of that, two lines of flame came at them, straight out of the scrub. They hit the shed wall, went straight up the shed wall, across the shed roof, down to the floor, across the ground, into the house, and the house blew up." Matter of seconds. They were ready for everything, and they were mentally prepared.

The awesomeness of the fire coming out of the Bunyip state forest just before it broke into open ground ripped out a 200-foot mountain ash, threw it into the air and dropped it on the ground like it was a twig. The awesome fury of this fire cannot be comprehended by the thinking of any reasonable person. I say to the Deputy Prime Minister, I thank you for your address today. It may be looked back on as one of the most important addresses you have ever made to this House. You, Leader of the Opposition, Julie, especially. But you identified with the broken-hearted, with the wounded spirits, with the loss, the grieving and the terrible unprecedented trauma that is being experienced right now. I know there are people who will wake every morning believing that it was all a dream, that it didn't happen. And then they will know it's not a dream and they will cry and they will cry again. And you, Deputy Prime Minister, you identified with every man and woman right across Australia. But more importantly, to each one of you as I stood in my kitchen,

when you stood together as one in this House on behalf of all of those people, that was a proud moment for me because you all identified with what the others had just said. To those who pray, I say, pray now. Do not leave it until next Sunday. To those who fight, I say, all strength to your arm, stay safe. To those who serve, I say, we in this parliament stand with you as one. There was a note from somebody else today that I read in all the information that comes through, but I added to it. "In times such as these of unprecedented trauma,

when faced with an inescapable disaster from a near indestructible force, all we can rely on is each other. Sadly, as the Prime Minister has described today, there are so many who cannot even do that. So much has already been written and spoken about the emergency services crews at the front-line, but on behalf of Gippslanders, let me add my heartfelt thanks to the firefighters who have risked their lives to keep our community safe. While our CFA crews and Department of Sustainability and Environment firefighters are the most obvious heroes, they were joined by our police,

ambulance personnel, medical staff and SES crews in their efforts to save lives in the face of the most horrendous fire conditions our nation, and certainly Gippsland, has ever experienced. They were on the front-line, but we have had dozens of emergency services workers behind the scenes in logistics and allocating precious resources as this fire storm raged across Victoria, and the resources became more and more stretched throughout the day. Let no-one be under any illusion - this was a storm beyond the experience of firefighters from across our region. I have spoken to firefighters with decades of experience in Gippsland and they have never seen anything like it, but without their help, this could have been far worse. Speaker, yesterday, I visited the tiny hamlet of Callignee or, to be more precise, I visited the site

where the tiny hamlet of Callignee used to stand. The destruction there simply defies description. The community hall and school buildings are gone. There's home after home in ruins, There are cars which tragically have become coffins. There's enormous trees blackened and snapped in half, such was the ferocity of this storm. The land is scorched and was still smouldering several days after the fire front had passed. Where once we had rainforest and abundant beauty as far as you could see,

there was an ugly scar across the landscape. You could only identify the place names by the charred street signs that were still standing. Every so often we came across families who had been allowed to return yesterday for the first time. They were searching through the rubble trying to find anything, to salvage anything at all from the wreckage, some memento that they could cling to. They have lost so much but many of them would talk to us, either there or at the community meetings I attended, and they see themselves as the lucky ones

because they have escaped with their lives. Almost bizarrely, Speaker, you would see sites like a swing set or a cubby house, completely intact, not a mark on them, yet 20 metres away the house would be in ruins. I think you'd only be human to shed a tear as you consider what was the fate of that family or the children who used to play there.

Speaker, such was the nature of these fires that there would be homes left standing where whole neighbourhoods were destroyed. It didn't make sense and it doesn't make sense to the people who are returning there now. Tragically, people who still have their homes are feeling guilty because their neighbours don't have theirs. It's a horrible feeling for our community to come to grips with. We have lost more than 100 homes in Gippsland over the past 10 days, and we also believe that 21 people have perished, but we are not certain of those figures.

The risk, though, is not over. As I stand here today, there are still active fire grounds, and many townships are on high alert in case the severe weather conditions return. In my electorate we mourn the deaths of John and Sue Wilson. Like so many north-east residents in the past and those who continue to do so, John and Sue stayed, defending their home in Mudgegonga, just north of Myrtleford in the Ovens Valley. To their children, Grace and Samantha, we mourn with you. It is hard enough for anyone to lose a parent. to lose both in such tragic circumstances can only compound the hurt and pain. The extraordinary conditions of this fire has shocked and tested even the most seasoned fire-fighters, both volunteers and professionals. This is the third fire in six years that has ravaged my part of the world, north-east Victoria. The scar tissue from the 2003 fires particularly has left an indelible mark on the landscape and the psyche of those living in north-east Victoria. In the days and months ahead we will struggle to quantify the impact that these catastrophic fires of 2006, how they will impact, not just on those areas affected in Victoria but on the nation as a whole. The tasks undertaken by thousands of people across the north-east and across Victoria are limitless and the list of names runs into many pages. It's quite heartening that it's not only the long-standing residents of our area, but many who've moved there recently. Only the other night I was at the Children's Relief Centre and there were three young women, three young army wives recently moved with their husbands to our local facility in Bandiana, and they were distraught. They didn't know what they could do to help. They each looked around their home and collected everything they thought could be of help and delivered it to Chiltern. That is just a very small example of the emotion, and the need to want to help, right across our region and right across our state. To all of the fire-fighters, to their families who support them, to the crews who keep you going and to the local communities, to the businesses who have given so much, a very deep thank you. Another natural disaster, overshadowed by the bushfires

was acknowledged by North Queensland MP's. The Member for Kennedy. (CLEARS THROAT) Mr Speaker, our troubles pale into insignificance beside what has happened in Victoria, but it is my duty to advise the House that north-eastern Australia, not North Queensland

but north-eastern Australia, has had the most widespread flooding in its entire history since settlement, in 150 years. Normanton and Karumba have had their two worst floods ever, so that's the part up against the Northern Territory border, the Mid West, as we call it. The Burdekin basin covers a lot of that, about a tenth of the state. The Upper Burdekin has had its second worst flood in 150 years. Ingham has had one of its two worst floods. So whether you're on the coast, whether you're in between or whether it is up against the Territory border, we have had record flooding. We have only had three dead, and we thank the Lord for that, maybe four. But it is very important that I bring to the House that we're only halfway through our wet season. So we still have half to go if it's a normal season. All the rivers are full and all the ground is saturated, so every drop that falls now is runoff water. Whilst I can advise the House that I was in Ingham yesterday afternoon and the floodwaters there have receded. But I ask the House that it's the measure of a nation how we look after our smallest people. Little Karumba is our only port in the gulf except Weipa, but that's right up at the tip of Cape York. So 2,500 kilometres of coastline has only one port, and that's little, tiny Karumba. It produces about $300 million worth of prawns a year and is a very significant tourist place as well. Some 800 souls there are now into their fourth week surrounded by 15 km of raging, crocodile infested floodwaters. The Mayor of Georgetown crossed the river the other night in a dinghy just on dusk and they counted some 23 crocodiles in the water, two of them most certainly were very big crocodiles. Some houses have had crocodiles in their shed, not in the house itself. One of our graziers, John Nelson, a very famous local grazier in the north, has told us that he has lost 1,000 of his 8,000 head, and those losses can be multiplied right across the board. So we don't know the extent of the losses. The last time we had flooding like this,

we closed two meatworks and 1,500 people lost their jobs permanently. So we thank all of the people that have made very great effort and I most certainly would single out the Prime Minister and the Treasurer on this, because we badly needed their intervention and they had their hands full down south yet they made that little bit of time needed to help us out, so we thank them for that.

But there will be a lot of help needed. The Mayor for the Burdekin took me to Giru, a small sugar town of no more than 500 people. Its main business is the Invicta sugar mill. As the member for Kennedy rightly says, sugar is a very, very big industry in North Queensland. I can say that as I walked through the streets and met the people at the local neighbourhood store, the local newsagents. And I met the workers as they came out of the mill. They all said, every single person, "We have not suffered like the people of Victoria. Our suffering is nothing compared to the people of Victoria." The hearts of the people in Dawson are open and giving substantially in donations to the people in Victoria. It is during these times of natural disasters that we see a great bipartisan Australian family

as we all stand with one accord here. In Ingham the damage has been, particularly in relation to damage to homes, to businesses, to the agricultural economy and to the built infrastructure. The raging water washes the roads out and the bitumen literally disappears. We're going to have to attend to that. We won't know for about four weeks how the sugar cane crop has gone. It may, in fact, be OK. God willing, it will be. But we'll just have to wait and see what's happened to the sugar content with the cane being submerged in so much water. Of course, we saw the images, all of us, on the television. The people in their lounge rooms, sitting on their lounge chairs, but they had their feet up because just below the top of the lounge chair, there was the water.

And they couldn't move, they couldn't go anywhere. They were there for a few days. It must have been terribly, terribly distressing. I want to pay a tribute to the Australian Defence Force. They're always there for our country whenever we need them. We all know that. They do what needs to be done. They are out there delivering ration packs. Of course, I suppose there should be another commercial here,

and that is for the 3rd Brigade of the Australian Defence Force,

which the MinDef will know is the best brigade in the country. They were there in their Black Hawk helicopters, flying in and out and making sure that things went. The people on the ground were making sure that people had food Thank you to the Australian Defence Force,

and also the cooperation of the Royal Australian Air Force in Townsville. An interesting thankyou is to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

For years and years and years the local commercial radio station has been the station that has broadcast all the emergency information. They've been known, ever since Cyclone Althea as being there for the local people. But it is not anymore. The commercials have given up that role for some reason or other. But the ABC stepped in on Sunday, at the height of the floods. The ABC staff were in their local Townsville studio continuously broadcasting local information to people who needed it. I think there is a message for this parliament, and that is we must support our ABC. We must support our ABC. because they really, really came to the fore and fulfilled their role as the national broadcaster, as they did in Victoria, in the fires, making sure that people had information. The atmosphere was equally subdued in the Senate, but there was the pressing matter of the Government's Economic Stimulus Package to deal with.

It is rather extraordinary for the Government to present this package and then demand of the Parliament that it have no more than 48 hours to consider and pass a $42 billion spending package,

much of which will involve the nation in going into debt and borrowing to fund it. We think that is very unwise and very wrong of the government. I think the government has made a very big political mistake in proceeding in this fashion. It was the wont of the Labor opposition to accuse the Howard government of arrogance on every occasion that it could, and I think those attacks will fly back into the face of the Labor Party because of the way in which it has handled this matter. The government has clearly overplayed its hand in this matter, and I trust that the government has learned something from this. And nearly another third of this $42 billion package, $12.7 billion, is going on cash handouts. That, I think, reveals the strategy behind the government. It's a political strategy and it really is a desperate attempt to sustain consumer demand on a quarter-by-quarter basis, to keep those numbers positive for as long as they possibly can. We do not have any clear, objective evidence of the efficacy of the $10.4 billion spend on exactly this same objective in December, and now we have another handout of $12.7 billion just three months later. One could contemplate and ask the question, what is going to happen in the June and September quarters? Are we going to keep spending $10 billion to $12 billion on cash handouts every quarter just to sustain a positive number? This does reek of desperation and I think the Australian public are increasingly smelling that desperation. I've got to say, as the Finance Minister for the last six years of the Howard government, I was, frankly, never enthusiastic about that governments cash handouts, but at least they had the merit of being paid from realised surpluses and could be justified as being a transfer

of public savings to private individuals. But in this case we are talking about borrowing money, which taxpayers will then have to repay with interest, to provide one-off cash payments simply to try to keep the economy in positive territory. I think the public are increasingly cynical about this. There is widespread belief that the government simply has its priorities all wrong. One of the issues we had...the Greens have difficulty with is the...the cash payments part of the package. We would've liked to have seen those actually be much more uh...targeted. We understand however that the design of the package is to make sure that that money gets into the economy fast and circulates quickly and that has to be done in the first...quarter. We want to...we would like to think that recognising that there is going to be greater unemployment coming down the line because of this global financial crisis. That again, we would better support people who are going to be unemployed but also to be thinking about ways of stimulating new jobs in the economy that also help us to deal with the climate crisis. And one of the ways of doing that is for government to see the opportunity to employ people in repairing eco-systems around the country. Desperately needed - our national parks are rundown from on end of the country to the other. The Rudd Government clearly set out to create a stimulus package that would save jobs and I applaud them for their efforts. However, as they are only human, they missed something, they forgot uh...they would also need to address those thousands and thousands and thousands of people

who are going to lose their job anyway, With little hope of finding another job. If we...if we're going to go into debt to spend 42 billion to alleviate the effects of the upcoming recession then we must surely spend some of that money helping those very people most effected by it. We should use the money to bring security, confidence and hope to those families trying to make it through the next couple of years. In a plan which gives $950 handouts to even the well-off

surely, we should be more targeted

in identifying those in true need. In a plan which spends 3.9 billion on roof installation solar panels which will take two and half years to fully install. Surely we can find better ways to utilise the ingenuity of the great Aussie battlers soon to be unemployed. When you're preparing for the biggest peacetime stimulus package in our nation's history, I believe it is incumbent upon the government to work in a non-partisan way, not to dictate the solution. This government's inflexibility and unofficial deadlines have forced this national crisis to become unnecessarily political. At a time when the nation actually needed the two major parties to be seeking unity and answers, the Opposition's approach may have set the headlines but it also set up a stalemate. The two major parties were so convinced they were right, they ended up doing the wrong thing by us all. Surely this week of all weeks we must be able to see that in times of genuine national crisis, it's better to work together not to use politics to drive us further apart. So, do I support the package? Well, my biggest concern about the package has not been simply been what we are spending but also what we are buying. I do know that targeted infrastructures spending will serve generations to come, which is important if future generations are going to pay of this debt. This debt...the deal we do now must benefit them too. When faced with complex global crisis

and equally complex economic responses,

as we do with this response package, it is important to be clear about what we know, what we don't know and what we can't know. I believe this is an important point to make

even if I risk sounding a little like Donald Rumsfeld. The one thing I do know is that for generations the plight of the Murray Darling Basin has been ignored. This crisis directly effects Queensland, New South Wales, the ACT, Victoria and South Australia. Arguably this is the most important infrastructure system in the country with the basin holding approximately 40% of the nation's farmland and producing over 50% of its food. That is nothing to say of its extraordinary environmental value. And yet it has been neglected and abused almost to the point of no return. Another thing that we know is that we have just experienced almost two decades of unprecedented economic growth. Our economy has expanded, our national personal wealth has risen and deficit budgets have become a thing of memory, until now. Do we spend this money or prepare to prepare for bad times Well, we all know the answer for that. This package, this $42 billion package has a strategy behind it and if senators on the other side of the chamber had been listening during the senate inquiry, listening to the treasury officials they'll understand it. In the short term... In the short term, the cash bonus payments are about getting money into the economy straight away. Money into the economy immediately. To bolster aggregate demand, helping confidence in the market-place. While this injection takes place now the second part of the strategy comes to the fore - Infrastructure. That's when you'll start seeing the projects taking off. And these projects have been put together with this in mind. These aren't huge projects

that are going to cost billions and billions of dollars and take years to put together. These are projects that can be put out of the system quickly. Punched out by tradesmen, by builders, by suppliers. This is the strategy behind it to get our tradesmen working, our tradesmen and tradesmen working. To get our suppliers providing, to get our transport workers using their vehicles to actually provide for... ..provide for the Housing. This is what it's about, a stimulus for the economy. This is what we stand for. These negotiations have been a lip-service. Lip-service. You're tap-dancing around here this afternoon, you put it off to some convenient time when there's no news or news stories, stop playing politics. These are Australian people and their families and lives. I'm dead-set serious about this, this is just a joke. I may not be the best negotiator but I sure as well, heck, when I grew up in Reservoir, just a kid from Reservoir, I know it when someone's stuffing around. Get serious. Don't treat the Australian public like you treat the senate. Senator Brown. Ummm...I'm uh...of course ready to have the matter taken to um... ..the vote but... ..before I do that here, I'd like to make a... ..uh...reveal some further details about the arrangement that the... ..has led to an agreement between the government and the Australian Greens. The um... ..amendments um...which the senate has been dealing with would...raise an extra $435 million. Uh...Chair, by reducing all tax payments by $500, by $50 to $900. And reducing the additional bonus to single-income families to $900 as well. It simply means that the packages would go from $950 to $900. And that money, the $435 million will indeed go, as I believe that the community wants it to, into job creation and nation building infrastructure. The Senator Brown as...if I might say, is the want of the Greens willing to talk about the expenditure but there was no mention about the debt. And how that is going to be serviced and of course from the Coalition point of view, it has been the debt component and the size of the debt component that is concerning. Senator Brown used the term "Socially just". I just ask the question how is it socially just for us to maintain our lifestyle today at the expense of tomorrow's generations who will be required to pay back this debt at $9500 per man, woman and child plus interest. And so that has been our point throughout this debate. My vote is and has been based on 300,000 Australians that are innocent victims of this war on the recession. My vote is based on two simple propositions, vote for the government's package and save or create up to 90,000 jobs. Or vote for the Coalition's plan which...what is the plan? You've got two options here. You've two options. Two hard places and a rock in the middle. Vote for a plan that denies 300,000 Australians of any real hope, or help or vote for...nothing. That's the dilemma here, it's not swayed by some smaller packages. We're thankful that maybe the government may be giving some little hope. And that may be good, in the same but that doesn't sway Family First vote, I said from day one, it was the...the 300,000 Australians that we're actually wanting to give that hope. So I'll end with this thought, if you're on a ship, going down and you're offered to save some lives you would save some even if you couldn't save them all. In other words, I may not have succeeded in saving 300,000 Australians jobs but I've certainly saved as many as I can. I've asked the government to bring forward these allocated funds. I've asked the government to bring forward the funds in terms of infrastructure. In terms of stormwater harvesting and to provide the structural adjustment that is so desperately needed. From Charleville in the north to the Kurrong in the South, Broken Hill in the west to Bathurst in the east and the hundreds of communities in between, this plan will help them all. This plan will deliver extraordinary stimulation for Murray Darling economy and to its environment. But the government has said no and so I must say no to this stimulus plan. Mr Speaker, following the decision of the Liberal Party and the National Party and one independent in the Senate to defeat the government's $42 billion nation-building and jobs plan. ALL: Shame. Shame. The government has resolved to re-introduce legislation into the House this afternoon because these measures are urgent and in the national economic interest. The Prime Minister has failed today. His economic policy is in tatters. His fiscal stimulus, so-called, has been rejected by the parliament of Australia. It has been voted against by the opposition. An opposition with whom he has refused to speak. ALL: Shame. President Obama... ..President Obama, fresh from an overwhelming electoral victory, President Obama was prepared to go to the Congress himself and sit down with Republicans and he won support from some Republicans, we have had no... ..we have had no attempt from the government to sit down and discuss this with us. And yet, from the moment I became the Leader of the Opposition, I have said again and again, "We want to sit down and talk about these issues constructively."

What happened in the Senate this afternoon was that the government voted for jobs and the Liberal and National Party voted against jobs, Mr Speaker. That's what happened. INTERJECTIONS What happened... What happened in the Senate this afternoon is that the Labor Party and some of the minor parties voted for nation-building. ALL: Hear, hear. And the Liberal and National Party's voted against nation-building, Mr Speaker. INTERJECTIONS Now this is a bit hard to comprehend because as the Prime Minister indicated before - we are in a global recession. We're in a global recession, we saw on the weekend... We saw on the weekend the worst employment figures in the United States in 35 years, Mr Speaker. The worst employment figures in the United States in 35 years. And this global recession is impacting upon this country. And impacting upon jobs in this country. And you would've thought that when a responsible package, a nation-building and jobs plan... INTERJECTIONS Order. ..put forward by this side of the House INTERJECTIONS to cushion the impact of the global recession on jobs in this country is put forward... Order.

..you would've thought any responsible Opposition would've supported it. So an arrogant, an arrogant Labor government, a government that has got no interest... ..no interest in actually being open and transparent, who's holding a gun to the head of this Senate, who's currently trying to work over Senate Xenophon. That is the approach that they have taken to the Australian people and it hasn't taken them too long to be there. But one thing the Australian people understand clearly is $200 billion worth of debt is very hard to repay. And my question is to the Labor Party, what are you going to sell to pay this debt? I'm pleased to say, I believe we have been able to reach a compromise that while not giving everyone what they want may give everyone what they need. This morning the Treasurer and the Water Minister have agreed to a package of $900 million in spending commitments including fast-tracking spending for the Murray Darling Basin, for its economy. Over and above any previous commitments there will be an additional $500 million put forward over the next three and half years for water buy backs

bringing the total spending for that period to over $2 billion. There will be an additional $200 million there...there will be $200 million in grants to assist local communities in water-saving and planning for a future with less water. And that is welcome up and down the Basin. And for the first time there will be a guaranteed minimum of $200 million for stormwater harvesting projects with a threshold being reduced from $30 million to $4 million for projects where the commonwealth contributing up to 50%. And that will make a huge difference in local communities around the country where stormwater harvesting needs to be implemented as a matter of urgency. Given this commitment by the government, given this fast-tracking of proposals and of new commitments I believe this is the right thing to do. And I'm willing to support the government's economic stimulus package. There being 30 "Ayes", 28 "No's", the matter is resolved in the affirmative. Closed Captions by CSI

(PLAYS A SALUTE) (SERGEANT CALLS OUT MARCHING INSTRUCTIONS) Quick march! But Val, are you sure he said that? I still can't believe he's done anything so idiotic.

'Well for heaven's sake, find out and do something about it.' All right, Val. Don't worry. I'll do what I can. Goodbye. DIAL TONE Sergeant Fraser.

If anyone wants me, I'll be in Major Carrington's office at 24 Battery. He's not there, Ma'am. He's riding at Sandown today. I know. If he doesn't pull off the Gold Cup on Peter Pan, we'll have to pawn the new switchboard. Who drew Peter Pan in the sweepstake, anyway? Padre of all people. I heard him telling Captain Rourke. I wasn't listening. I was just checking the line.

Crayshott Barracks?

(SERGEANT CALLS) MARCHING FOOTSTEPS Good morning, Bombardier. Is Sergeant Owen about? He's inside, Shall I fetch him? Never mind. I'll go. Morning, Ma'am. Well, the major's got a nice day for it, hasn't he? Yes... Anything wrong, Ma'am? Sergeant Owen, you keep the keys to the battery safe, don't you? Yes, Ma'am. Do you know how much money should be in it? Yes, Ma'am. I do. Would you mind counting it now? Well... It's important for Major Carrington that we should know. We, Ma'am? Yes, Sergeant. Right. (SERGEANT CONTINUES CALLING INSTRUCTIONS OUTSIDE) How much is missing? ?125, Ma'am. KNOCK ON DOOR Excuse me, Ma'am. Sergeant, I just spotted the adjutant coming this way. It looks like he's paying calls. Thanks. DOOR CLOSES I must go. Owen, if it's about the money- Don't you worry, Ma'am. Captain Graham. DOOR CLOSES I thought you'd be at the race meeting today. I'm afraid I have some work to do. You probably saved yourself a lot of money. Sergeant Owen. I want a word with you. (SERGEANT CALLS INSTRUCTIONS) Jim! CAR ENGINE SLOWS DOWN, BRAKES SQUEAL Hello. Whatever's happened? You look like a ghost.

We've got to warn Copper. Warn him? What about? I'm afraid he's done something terribly foolish. Can we get to him at Sandown? I need to speak to him. We might just make the last race. He won't have left before then.

What's wrong, anyway? CAR ZOOMS OFF Are you refusing to open this safe, Sergeant? I've no right to open it, sir, without the major's permission.

I'm acting for Colonel Henniker, you know that. I'm sorry, sir, but Major Carrington is my commanding officer. Give me that key. That's an order. I'm sorry, sir. Very well. You give me no choice. DOOR SLAMS

ANNOUNCER: Change of jockey in the next race on Number 7. Number 7 will be ridden by Major C.O.P. Carrington. HUBBUB Hello, Alison. So you made it after all. I thought old Henniker was keeping you in. What do you think of our boy Copper running away with the Gold Cup? He won? Did he not? Did himself good too. Where is he? I must speak to him. He's out on the course. He's riding this race too? Yes. I call it pushing his luck. (HORSE SNORTS) HUBBUB BELL RINGS CHEERING It's Copper! KEYS CLACK (SIGHS) FOOTSTEPS APPROACH

I heard about the Major, Ma'am. He's not badly hurt, is he? No, he'll back in barracks tonight. Put this in the safe for him, will you? I can't, Ma'am. I haven't got the keys anymore. I'm under open arrest. Owen? I'm sorry, Ma'am, but the colonel knows all about it. What did the colonel say? Not much...yet. WOMAN: Colonel Henniker, wanted on the telephone please. John. Take call for me, would you? Certainly, Colonel. Good evening, Alan. Is Major Carrington back yet? No, Ma'am. I've just been up to his room. I hear he's left the hospital. If you do see him, you might... Never mind. Thank you, Alan. Goodnight, Ma'am.

Excuse me, sir. Good evening. Might I have a word with you, sir? Can't it wait till morning? No, sir. My office is the proper place for business. If you could just spare me one moment, sir- Major Carrington's back, Colonel. He's on his way to his quarters. Shall I tell him you want to see him? There's no hurry. Thanks. Captain Graham, I have an idea that what you want to talk to me about doesn't directly concern you. Not directly, sir, but- In that case, it can wait till morning. TV: ..a telerecording of this afternoon's racing at Sandown Park. Why don't you stay and watch the television? Thank you. I don't think I will. Goodnight, sir. Goodnight, Captain Graham. TV: ..the Royal Artillery Gold Cup, for which there were 22 runners. Some like Fairy Glade and Phantom, with a number of victories to their credit, and some, like the actual winner Peter Pan, ridden by Major Copper Carrington, who confounded the experts, as you will see for yourselves. So now for the film. (QUICKLY) They're coming into line very well indeed. Peter Pan's taking his place on the outside. And they're off. CROWD EXCLAIMS It's a very good start and Forum's gone to the front now with Fairy Glade and Peter Pan closer...

(READS) War Hero V.C. charged with fraud.

Well, it makes fine reading, doesn't it? Copper, I still think you ought to plug this Wright business. Now, listen to this. Chapter 26, Para 26- Oh no, Jim. That's not our line. If we'd wanted a legal quibble we'd have hired a lawyer. I still think we should have. Why? I'm the only person who really knows what happened.

Why pay somebody else to tell them? KNOCK ON DOOR

That'll be for us. Yes?

Major Carrington, please. Court's opening, sir. Thank you, Sergeant. I'm sorry you got stuck with court orderly, Sergeant Crane. I'm afraid that's a rotten job. That's all right, sir. I only wish there was something I could do to help, sir. Well, here goes. I feel quite naked without a belt. Jim, got your gun? Why? You'd be a pretty foolish-looking escort if I'd decided to run for it. Come on, Copper. We can't keep them waiting. I don't why not. One thing's certain. They can't start without me. Hold it, please. Let me get a full-face picture, please. Orders by Lieutenant General Sir Wilfred Nicholas Blunt. Dated 25th April, London. The detail of officers, as mentioned below, will assemble at the Royal Artillery Barracks, Crayshott, on the 12th day of May for the purpose of trying by a general court marshal the accused person named in the margin. Brigadier A.S. Meadmore, Commander of the British Empire, Distinguished Service Order, is appointed president. Members: Lieutenant Colonel B.R. Reeve, Military Cross, royal artillery, Sir. Lieutenant Colonel T.B. Huxford, Member of the British Empire of the royal tank regiment, Here, sir. Major R.E. Panton, Distinguished Conduct medal of the parachute regiment, Here, sir. Major A.T.M. Broke-Smith of the 11th Hussars,

Here, sir. Mr A. Tesker Terry, that is myself, is appointed judge advocate. Major Carrington. Do you object to be tried by me as president or by any of the officers whose names you have heard read over? No, sir.

Can you tell me where they're holding this court marshal?

Yes. That building over there with the pillars in front. Thanks. The witnesses will now withdraw. ALL STAMP THEIR FEET Major Carrington, have you rights under the rules of procedure been fully explained to you? Yes, sir. I understand that you have chosen to conduct your own defence. You realise you may be putting yourself at a disadvantage by not engaging counsel. I'd rather have it this way, sir. I simply want to tell the court what happened and then leave the rest to them. That seems quite a sensible thing to do. Are you, Major Charles Owen Paul Carrington,

Victoria Cross, Distinguished Service Order, Royal Artillery, an officer of the regular forces? Yes, sir. You are charged with: First charge, under Section 17 of the Army Act. When concerned in the care of public property, fraudulently misapplying the same. Hello, Cookie. It's started. You can't go in yet. The Globe can go in anywhere. 'Are you guilty or not guilty of the first charge against you which you have heard read?' 'Not guilty, sir.' Second charge, under Section 15:1 of the Army Act. Absenting Yourself Without Leave. Have you got Carrington, Wollder? Yes, I've got Carrington and the president. Have you got the girl yet? Which girl? Captain Graham, the little number in khaki they found in his bedroom. Third and last charge, under Section 40 of the Army Act, Conduct to the Prejudice of Good Order and Military Discipline. In that you, at Crayshott on 7th April, improperly entertained an officer of the Women's Royal Army Corps to which Captain A.L. Graham in your bedroom in a military barracks. Are you guilty or not guilty of the third charge against you, which you have heard read? Not guilty, sir. (WHISPERS SOMETHING) Oh, yes. Of course. Major Carrington, you may be seated. Thank you.

And does the prosecutor propose to make an opening address? Yes, sir. May it please the court. It will not be necessary for me to detain you long. Of the three charges, the first is the only one on which I shall dwell. Up to April 7th this year, the accused was in command of the 24th Heavy Anti-aircraft Battery. You will hear the evidence of the pay sergeant of the battery that shortly before noon on April 6th, the sum of ?140-odd was drawn from the bank for payment of a draft due to leave for abroad that afternoon. You will hear the evidence of Mr D.A. Ashwell of Lloyds Bank, Crayshott that on the morning of April 7th, the accused, whose bank account was overdrawn, paid in, in person, the sum of ?100 in ?1 notes. And asked that this amount should be transferred immediately to the account of his wife in a London bank. And there is, as so often where fraud is alleged, no direct evidence. No-one saw the accused take this money from the battery safe, but it will, I think, be quite clear to you when you have heard the evidence that these ?125 notes were the same notes which were drawn for payment of the draft on the previous day and lodged in the battery safe. I turn now to the other two charges. SERGEANT SHOUTS INSTRUCTIONS OUTSIDE In the second charge, that of absence without leave, you will hear the evidence of the accused commanding officer, who expressedly refused Major Carrington leave of absence