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Thursday, 10 May 2018
Page: 3708

Defence Industry


Mr PASIN (Barker) (14:32): My question is to the Minister for Defence Industry. Will the minister update the House on the government's commitment to renewing our defence capabilities? Why is it important to have a consistent approach to the formulation of policy?


Mr PYNE (SturtLeader of the House and Minister for Defence Industry) (14:32): I thank the member for Barker for his question about defence and defence industry. This budget delivers the essential services that Australians rely on. We are protecting Australians through the Australian Defence Force. That is one of the essential services the government provides. This budget continues to support the ADF and confirms the $200 billion build-up of our military capability over the next 10 years, the largest build-up of that capability in our peacetime history. We are using that heft to drive jobs and growth in the economy like never before, and that has shown up in the Performance of Manufacturing Index as recently as this month. There have been 19 months of continuous growth in manufacturing in Australia, the longest period since 2005, and, in March this year, it was the highest expansion on record. Our defence industry investment, which is protecting Australia and guaranteeing the security of Australians, is also driving our economy. That is a very good outcome.

Consistency is the hallmark of this government's approach to government policy. It has characterised this government for the last five years. But the approach of the Leader of the Opposition has been characterised by narcissistic self-interest throughout his entire political career. On this side is a consistency of approach. On the Labor side, from the Leader of the Opposition, we have a narcissistic self-interested approach. This has been manifested time and time again, and his caucus colleagues know it. That's why he has a Faustian pact with the CFMEU. I assume he gave them a rolled-gold guarantee to be their cat's paw in this parliament. He sold the Cleanevent workers down the river in order to get more power for the ALP. I assume he gave the Cleanevent workers a rolled-gold guarantee that he'd take care of them and put their interests first.

Most recently, we've seen him sell down the river the three members of parliament who resigned today over their citizenship issues, because he vastly overreached on the citizenship question. For the last six months, he knew that he had three members of parliament sitting in this House who were ineligible to be here. The Leader of the Opposition, because of his own narrow self-interest, has humiliated those three members of parliament—publicly humiliated them. I assume he gave them a rolled-gold guarantee that he'd put their interests ahead of his own, but he didn't. That's the hallmark of this Leader of the Opposition. His caucus colleagues know it; they're starting to say it. And I'm afraid the Leader of the Opposition's political career is starting to have the smell of death of about it.