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Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Page: 170


Ms O'DWYER (Higgins) (15:47): Mr Deputy Speaker, congratulations on your appointment. Getting a lecture from the Leader of the Opposition and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition about promises and trust is like getting a lecture from Eddie Obeid on ethics: it is not credible. The opposition has chosen to focus on this question. Frankly, I thought there was nothing more that the Labor Party could do that would shock me, but today it has again shocked me. This is from Labor, which failed to do as it promised in government. It promised it would not bring in a carbon tax, yet what it did immediately after forming government was to introduce it. It promised that it would deliver a surplus, at a time when we were experiencing our highest terms of trade; it delivered not one surplus. It promised it would limit debt, yet it had to increase the debt ceiling from $75 billion to $200 billion to $300 billion. And now we are forced to deal with Labor's debt, which will mean we need to raise the debt ceiling to $500 billion. It promised that it would be responsible with taxpayer money, yet the Labor Party delivered pink batts and overpriced school halls. The Labor Party promised that, when it formed government, it would be more humane on boat arrivals, and yet, in dismantling the very successful Howard government initiatives, we saw more than 1,000 people die at sea. So I will not take a lecture from the Labor Party on trust, integrity and promises.

We on our side of politics take this very, very seriously. We said that we would restore hope, reward and opportunity for all Australians. We said we would restore dignity to this place, and we have done that. The appointment of Speaker Bishop and Deputy Speaker Scott has restored dignity to this place. We said we would have respect for the Australian taxpayer and their hard-earned dollars; indeed, we do. The very first thing we have done in this place on our first day of parliamentary business is bring forward legislation to repeal the carbon tax. It is a promise we made before the election and it is a promise we will deliver. The only way this promise will be obstructed is if those opposite do not listen to the Australian people and try and stop us from delivering this promise to get rid of a carbon tax that puts our businesses at a competitive disadvantage to those overseas and costs the average Australian household more than $550 a year. That is point No. 1: we are delivering on the carbon tax.

We are also delivering on respect for taxpayers' money. We have set up a commission of audit; it is well underway. We are going through the budget, line by line, to make sure that not one dollar of hard-earned taxpayers' money is wasted. That audit will shortly be delivering its findings. We have also said we are going to cut $1 billion of red tape and regulations. Under the previous government, we saw more than 21,000 new regulations introduced; they promised it would be one regulation in and one regulation out, yet we have seen an explosion in regulation. Already we have cut green tape by signing up with the states on a one-stop shop. The Queensland government is already on board, and other states are signing up as well, to make it easier for businesses to grow, for investment to occur and to employ people in jobs.

We said before the election that we would stop the boats. We have seen a very significant reduction in boat arrivals through the suite of policies that we promised to put in place before the election, which are now in place today. The minister has been reporting week by week. In his Friday report just gone, there had been not one boat arrival for two weeks. We are a government that delivers on our promises. Those opposite simply shriek from the sidelines and try and hold us to a standard that they themselves were not prepared to deliver. They never met that standard and they do not intend to meet it now. They do not intend to listen to the Australian people now.

The Prime Minister also promised that the very first country that he would visit when he was Prime Minister was Indonesia and, again, that is something that we have done in government. We will deliver on our promises. We just ask the Labor Party not to stand in the way.