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Thursday, 7 December 2017
Page: 10084


Senator CAMERON (New South Wales) (15:06): I move:

That the Senate take note of the answer given by the Attorney-General (Senator Brandis) to a question without notice asked by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Wong) today relating to the Turnbull Government.

Here we are, the last take-note of the year, and we still have, as we had for the first take-note of the year, an absolute rabble of a government—a weak government, a government that can't deliver for this country, with a Prime Minister that is hidebound and locked into the worst elements of the coalition. We heard Senator Brandis talk about the jobs that are being created, and we look at the bill that's before the Senate today which is attacking people on social welfare, people, as Robert Menzies used to say, who had fallen through the cracks and who should be looked after. Robert Menzies would not recognise the Liberal Party that we have today. Robert Menzies would be disgusted by the approach of the Liberal Party these days. Robert Menzies always knew that the Liberal Party should be looking after everyone except those who could look after themselves—the multimillionaires, the banks, the chief executives. Menzies didn't say you had to look after them. In fact, he said they could look after themselves.

But what do we get from this rabble of a government? What do we get from this weak Prime Minister? We get $65 billion of tax cuts to business—the very people who Menzies said could look after themselves, the very people who don't need any help, the people who have not fallen through the cracks, the people who are living on the shores of Sydney Harbour in their magnificent mansions that are off the grid, with a range of batteries and solar panels, like the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull. These are the people who are going to get the tax cuts. These are the people who don't need them. We heard Senator Brandis today talk about job creation. This bill attacks people who can't get a job. We hear about the issue of mathematics in politics. Well, there are mathematics in unemployment as well. The mathematics are clear: for every job that is available, six Australians are looking for a job. The government haven't dealt with that. They don't understand that that's a real issue. They don't care, because all they're doing is looking at the top end of town—to give them $65 billion of tax cuts and impose more taxes on middle-class, working-class Australians. That is the rabble of a government that we have.

This is a Prime Minister whose claim to power was 30 negative Newspolls for the former Prime Minister, Mr Tony Abbott. He knocked him off because there were 30 negative Newspolls. Where are we now? Again, it's mathematics: 24 Newspolls where this Prime Minister and this rabble of a government have been behind the Labor Party. Not by a small part; it's by a long way. That is locked in. Is it any wonder that their heads are down behind the Attorney-General every time we have question time here? Is it any wonder that they don't look up? Is it any wonder that they are despondent? If I were a backbencher in the government heading off for Christmas, it might be my last time ever here. This government should actually resolve the problems and resolve the chaos: go to an election and get tossed out—that's what would happen to this mob. That's what would happen to them, because they've got no answers on unemployment, they've got no answers on energy, they've got no answers on climate change, they've got no answers on health and they've got no answers on education. The only answer the Prime Minister has is how to try to defend his job. This is a weak Prime Minister and a jelly-backed Prime Minister; this Prime Minister is probably the weakest we've ever had in this country.