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Monday, 3 June 2013
Page: 4743

Ms O'DWYER (Higgins) (11:57): I rise today to speak on this most curious of motions. I call it curious because I find it intriguing that a so-called Independent would be parroting the exact same lines as the government. I find it curious that a so-called Independent is pursuing the distraction agenda of the Treasurer and, through this motion, would seek to try to politicise the public service.

It seems that the member for Lyne, and for that matter the member for New England, who has seconded this motion, have more confidence in the Prime Minister and Treasurer than many members of the government's increased backbench—just ask the member for Hotham. I must say that I find it hard to keep up with the Treasurer: on the one hand, he claims to be a great economic manager when compared to European countries whose economies have imploded, then we are meant to believe he is a mere cipher for Treasury, that the budget produced itself and that he is merely the messenger.

Anyone with even a cursory understanding of a budget knows that it is the government's document; wholly and completely. There are only two names attributed to these documents, and neither of them are Dr Martin Parkinson or Mr David Tune. They are, in fact, the Treasurer and the finance minister. These documents are theirs; they own them. They own the numbers inside them and must take responsibility for them.

The Charter of Budget Honesty states clearly that the budget papers and the mid-year economic update are signed off by the Treasurer and the Minister for Finance and Deregulation. These are political documents. The heroic assumptions and massive revisions are the product of the Treasurer and finance minister. The charter is explicit: the only document signed off by the Treasury Secretary and the Finance secretary is the pre-election economic and fiscal outlook—PEFO—which is released within 10 days of the writs being issued for an election.

Let me be clear: on this side of the chamber we understand that Treasury have a job to do and they do it well. There are many talented and hard-working people in Treasury and Finance who serve our nation with great distinction. Our concern has never been about Treasury or Finance; it has been about the constant shortcomings of this government, and in particular this Treasurer. It was not Dr Parkinson or Mr Tune who promised a surplus over 500 times, it was the Treasurer, Wayne Swan—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Hon. BC Scott ): Order! The time allocated for this debate has expired. The debate is adjourned and the resumption of the debate will be made an order of the day for the next sitting.