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Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Page: 25

Senator JOYCE (Leader of the Nationals in the Senate) (3:16 PM) —Thank you, Mr Deputy President.

Senator Marshall —You’re just as bad, Bananaby.

Senator JOYCE —I think that interjection is a breach of standing order 184, Senator Marshall. So if you want to retract it, you can.

Senator Minchin —Mr Deputy President, I rise on a point of order. Senator Marshall, who generally is regarded with some respect on this side of the chamber, is guilty of a significant breach of etiquette in this place in interjecting across the chamber when Senator Joyce had only just risen to his feet. Senator Marshall used what I think are insulting references to Senator Joyce, and I think you ought to ask him to retract his remarks.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —I apologise, but I was in conversation with the Manager of Opposition Business when Senator Joyce started his remarks, so I did not hear what Senator Marshall said. If Senator Marshall feels that he should withdraw the remarks then I invite him to.

Senator Marshall —If other senators are offended, I am happy to withdraw.

Senator JOYCE —We heard Senator Marshall say that they have a plan, they have a vision and they have a strategy. Unfortunately, we are relying on their previous form in how they are going to deliver this. That is the problem with the Labor government—their form in delivering things is so fundamentally misguided. We have had a clear example lately of Labor Party form. We saw Labor Party form with the $10.4 billion stimulus package, which was delivered with no homework. That figure was just plucked out of thin air. Is this the sort of form, substance and diligence that has gone into this program? We saw the form of the Labor government with the bank guarantee, and now we see the fallout of that form being delivered as a complete insult to the car industry. We now have trouble with organisations like GMAC and GE. Finance for the purchase of Australian cars has fallen through the floor because of the form of the current Labor government and their complete and utter ineptitude in the delivery of these packages. It is Labor Party form and ‘diligence’ that is leading the Australian car-manufacturing industry into a period of crisis. The Labor government delivered the luxury car tax, which has actually brought a reduction in the sales of Australian manufactured cars. It is this Labor Party form that we query.

The coalition has a complete record in supporting the manufacturing industry. In fact, one of the greats of my party, ‘Black Jack’ McEwen, was instrumental in bringing structure and support to the Australian car-manufacturing industry in 1963. McEwen talked about bringing about an effective and stable protection of employment and investment in this area. Our position and our history of looking after the car-manufacturing industry are absolutely on the board. I find it completely insulting to hear Senator Marshall talk about the investment that the coalition government put into the manufacturing industry as tokenism and throwaway money. That is a sign of the imprudence and improvidence that characterise this government.

It also will be interesting to see the form of the Labor government when it comes to the emissions trading scheme and how it will affect the manufacturing industry. How many more jobs are you going to send overseas because of your form, your lack of diligence and your tokenism in the way these plans are delivered? The coalition’s argument is not about support for the car-manufacturing industry—it never was. The argument, as always, is about the Labor Party’s capacity to be diligent, to be prudent, to put the homework in and to deliver a package that actually has efficacy and an outcome. There is nothing in the form of the current Labor government that they can clearly put their hand on and say, ‘We delivered a well thought out and specific outcome that can be judged by results.’ There is not one result that this Labor government can put on the books. They have the highest inflation rate and the highest interest rates. Unemployment is going through the roof and manufacturing jobs are leaving our shores. Their form is in their score, and their score is disastrous for our nation. How long will they go on delivering this belief in some nirvana that is waiting out there for us, when they completely and utterly lack any capacity to deliver an outcome for our nation now? We will judge this as it comes before Senate inquiries, and I will bet London to a brick that Labor’s form in this package matches precisely their form in the other packages that they have brought to this nation.