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Thursday, 27 March 2014
Page: 3412

Alcoa


Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:56): A long, long time ago, the Leader of the Opposition asked me a question and I propose to answer it. I was asked what our plan is for the workers at Alcoa. Our plan is to scrap the carbon tax which has cost Alcoa more than $200 million—

Mr Albanese: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Have you ruled that the Prime Minister can start the answer to the question again? Because the clock has indicated that—

The SPEAKER: He had not begun.

Mr ABBOTT: I was asked what our plan is for the workers of Alcoa. Our plan is to save them from the carbon tax, which is costing their company more than $200 million a year. I was asked what my plan is for the workers at Qantas. Well, our plan is to save Qantas from the carbon tax, which is costing Qantas more than $100 million a year.

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: There will be silence on my left! The member for Corio!

Mr Marles interjecting—

The SPEAKER: The member for Corio is warned!

Mr ABBOTT: Our plan for Qantas is to give them the same level playing field that Virgin enjoys. I am very confident that the workers of Qantas are more than capable of holding their own with the workers of Virgin if they are given a level playing field.

What we have seen from members opposite is indignation. Indignation about the fact that they lost the election, and they have not learned the lessons—that is what we have seen from members opposite. Labor cause chaos and then they complain about the clean-up. This government will clean up the fiscal mess that Labor left us. We will clean up the fiscal mess. One hundred and twenty-three billion dollars in cumulative deficits over the forward estimates—$123,000 million, $667 billion in projected debt—

Mr Snowden interjecting—

The SPEAKER: The member for Lingiari is warned!

Mr ABBOTT: That is $23,000 for every Australian man, woman and child. This is a big challenge! This is a big challenge, but we are up for it. We are up for it. That is what the Australian people voted for; that is what the Australian people expect, and we will not let them down.