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Thursday, 16 August 2012
Page: 5572

Senator FURNER (Queensland) (15:08): It is no surprise that the scare campaign from those opposite is still alive and well. That is consistently what they have been doing all along on this issue concerning the carbon price. There were quite a number of relevant responses presented to the opposition today from Minister Wong in regard to a lot of the furphies, myths and untruths that those opposite are peddling to substantiate their scare campaign in order to make sure that they will try and sneak out there in the dark wherever they can touch on people, whether it be in their backyards, in wrecking yards, in bakeries or, lately, in tuckshops. Imagine going into tuckshops. How low can you go—going into tuckshops and scaring schoolchildren? Let us not forget that those opposite voted against the schoolkids bonus.

I had no problem the other weekend at an agriculture show in my electorate, at Pine Rivers, where people were coming up to me and not one of them, surprisingly enough, mentioned the carbon price. But they were very enthusiastic to sign a petition that we had on our table about why the Queensland government is not committed to an NDIS program. Those that are Queenslanders—and there are none of them there. Oh, there is Senator Boyce opposite. I am sure she is out there telling Campbell Newman: 'Let's do something about this NDIS. Let's get on board. Let's go to the COAG meeting and put some sort of commitment forward to COAG to support it, as those other coalition states like Victoria and New South Wales have done.'

But Campbell Newman came to the table with nothing—with zero. Those pages of the petition that I had filled at the show were overwhelming. But, rather than commit money to an NDIS program, Campbell Newman is prepared to spend $80 million on the racing industry, and some of that $80 million is going to a new goat track out at Barcaldine. I do not mind Barcaldine, because that is the birthplace of the Australian Labor Party. It is a place that should be recognised and honoured. But imagine spending $80 million on the racing program or the racing industry and not being willing to commit one cent to an NDIS program. You should be ashamed of yourselves, you Queensland senators.

Going back to the other issues that were raised today in the questions surrounding the issues and questions about the carbon price, Senator Wong quite pointedly made out the relevance of what has been created since we have been in government. As a Labor government we have created 810,000 jobs. It is something that you opposite are very concerned about, because we are actually contributing to the economy and doing something about the situation in the world. I find that every ambassador that appears before the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade comes and commends us as a government on the manner in which we handled the global financial crisis. Yet once again, going back to my home state, we have a Premier that talks down the economy and wants to try to label it by comparing the economy of Queensland with that of Spain. How atrocious! What unemployment rate does Spain have? A 25 per cent unemployment rate. What do we have in Queensland? We have about 5.8 per cent, and it is getting worse, Mr Deputy Prime Minister, because—

Opposition senators interjecting

Senator FURNER: Mr Deputy President. The Premier in Queensland, Campbell Newman, is sacking the workforce in the public service. He has a target of 20,000 jobs to go, and you can really appreciate what that is going to do to the services that people rely upon. That is why, if those opposite ever get into government, we know what they will be doing. Senator Kim Carr pointed out today that the objective of Mr Abbott would be to sack 12,000 public servants, and I am sure that it is only the start to it—12,000 and more to come. The example that has been provided in Queensland is of 20,000 jobs that are going to be terminated and taken off what they call non-front-line employment. Jobs will disappear out of this capital and this country as a result of funding the coalition's $70 billion black hole. That is what they have to do. They will be taking money away from pensioners. They will be sacking public servants right across the countryside should we ever be in the unfortunate situation of getting a coalition government in this house. Once again, all the untruths that have been told by those opposite have been— (Time expired)