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Thursday, 5 December 2013
Page: 1822

Mr O'DOWD (Flynn) (16:15): I am the last speaker for the debate and I am astonished by the arguments put up by the other side. They introduced the world's biggest carbon tax and we are one of the smallest emitters in the world. That is 100 per cent correct. How do you unscramble an egg? They have left us a big mess that this government must correct. We will start with the debt—we have gone from a credit to a big debit on the balance sheet. It is about to hit $300 billion in the next couple of days. What a disgrace! What a waste of money over the last six years. They referred to Gonski. What is Gonski? It's a Gonski all right—it has gone. Even Gonski himself has said, 'You have only taken 2½ per cent of my suggestions out of the whole Gonski report'—meaning the former Labor government. Where did all the jobs go under Labor? Over 200,000 jobs were lost in their term of government. And 50,000 people have arrived illegally on boats, putting great pressure on our budget and on our pensioners, who are saying to me and others on this side of the House: 'Why are you so free in giving away our money when it could be going to a much worthier causes, like looking after us—pensioners who have worked hard and paid their taxes and now require aged-care facilities and so on? Why have you wasted our money?'

Business confidence was the lowest it has ever been under Labor, and coming from that low benchmark it has kicked on since we gained power in September. Business is now more confident; they can see a direction that they want to follow; they can see we do not move the goalposts. As Mr Abbott has said, there is no changing of the goalposts every five minutes. Government bureaucracy peaked under the Labor administration and we say that some of these jobs in Canberra should be sent out into the rural areas, where people are needed. How do we address all these issues—these Labor follies? We are going to start by removing the carbon tax and if the opposition in the Senate does not approve its removal, they will be in oblivion for the next 30 years.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! The time for the discussion has concluded.