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Thursday, 21 November 2013
Page: 1054

Ted Noffs Foundation

Mr THISTLETHWAITE (Kingsford Smith) (14:48): My question is to the Minister for Social Services. I refer to the grant of $85,000 made by the former government to the Ted Noffs Foundation for the upgrade of their community facilities. Why is the government ignoring the needs of disadvantaged young people in my electorate with its cuts, forcing them to face the Abbott axe?

Mr ANDREWS (MenziesMinister for Social Services) (14:49): When this government came to office, it was faced with a stark reality of the situation left by the previous Labor government. Let me put this in stark contrast. In 2007, when the Labor Party came to government, the nation had a net balance of $45 billion—in other words, the nation was in the black. But what happened over six years of Labor government? That $2,100 in the bank that every man, woman and child in Australia had in 2007, what had happened to that by 2013? The reality is, as the Treasurer pointed out earlier, we have something like $217 million of net debt. So instead of every man, woman and child in Australia having the equivalent of $2,100 in the bank, what were they left with after Labor in government? They were left with $12,900 in the red for every man, woman and child in Australia.

Mr Thistlethwaite: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order: the minister might believe it is all right to avoid answering this question, but the Ted Noffs Foundation, on whose behalf I asked this question, do not!

The SPEAKER: I am sorry, if you are—

Mr Thistlethwaite: My point of order is under standing order 104: I ask that the minister be directly relevant. Yes or no: will the Ted Noffs Foundation receive the $85,000?

The SPEAKER: I ask the minister to address the question.

Mr ANDREWS: In answer to the question: against the background of a Labor Party that was so irresponsible with the finances of this country that it has left us so far in the red, then where expenditure has not been made, where contracts have not been fulfilled, where simply election promises have been made such as what the honourable member is talking about, we will—

Mr Thistlethwaite: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

The SPEAKER: You may not have a second point of order on relevance.

Mr Thistlethwaite: I believe the minister is now defying your order to be directly relevant, and I ask you to again draw him to the question.

The SPEAKER: There is no point of order. I again remind the minister to address the question.

Mr ANDREWS: Against the background of a Labor Party that trashed the finances of Australia, that ran up a huge debt for the people of Australia, where matters had not been contracted, where funds have just been promised in the context of the election campaign, we will do the prudent thing and the prudent thing is to review all of those matters.

The SPEAKER: Before I recognise the member for McMahon, has the minister finished his answer? He has. Therefore, there is no point for the point of order as the minister has completed his answer.

Mr Bowen: Madam Speaker, to assist the minister, I would like to table the International Monetary Fund report endorsing the previous government's levels of debt.

The SPEAKER: That is not a point of order. The member will resume his seat! The member for McMahon will not abuse the standing orders in that way again. The member for Grayndler on a point of order?

Mr Albanese: I seek leave to table my press release—

The SPEAKER: That is not a point of order. At this point of time, no.

Mr Albanese: You are allowed to seek leave to table documents, Madam Speaker, with respect. I am allowed to seek leave to table a document.

The SPEAKER: Is leave granted?

Mr Pyne: No.

Mr Albanese: You have not even heard what it is.

Mr Champion interjecting

The SPEAKER: It doesn't matter. The Leader of the House will resume his seat. The member for Grayndler will state very briefly what it is he wishes to table.

Mr Albanese: My media release of Wednesday, 28 May 2008, that says we will honour the previous government's commitments—

The SPEAKER: No, you may not read it. The member will resume his seat! There is no point of order; leave is not granted. I would remind the member for Wakefield that he has been warned. Unless he wants to leave us again, he will remember that.