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The Prime Minister's Christmas wish list.

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N E WS R E L E A S E JULIA IRWIN MP Federal Member for Fowler

Electorate office level 1, 5 Arthur St, Cabramatta NSW POBox547 Cabramatta NSW 2166 �Phone: 9755 7911�Fax: 9755 7922 CanberraR1-101 (Tele lift 00-6) Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Phone:(02) 6277 4300�Fax: (02)6277 8597�

12 December 2002

The Prime Minister’s Christmas Wish List

The Prime Minister’s belief in Santa Claus has lead to speculation about what John Howard has asked Santa for this Christmas. Speaking in the Main Committee today, Julia Irwin has revealed the Prime Minister’s Christmas wish list.

“I wonder what Santa will leave in the Prime Minister’s stocking at Kirribilli house this Christmas. Of course it will all depend on whether he has been bad or good

I can just imagine the Prime Minister sitting on Santa’s knee at the local shopping mall and Santa asking the question, ‘has he been a good boy this year? Has he told any fibs? Not even to questions about the children overboard incident’?

And what about good manners? He did say ‘yes sir’ every time to George Bush but he didn’t say he was sorry to Justice Kirby.

‘Has he been kind to older and less fortunate people’? Well, there was that little matter of wanting to increase pensioner payments for prescriptions and also wanting to stop people getting access to disability support payments.

But then, he did give $2.3 billion to subsidise private health insurers so that they could give people free golf clubs, camping tents and music CDs. And all that money for Rio Tinto and Manildra

So what would the Prime Minister be asking Santa for this year?

Will it be the set of Henselite bowls or the Readers Digest book of ‘Caravanning Around Australia’? Or will it be the Smokey Dawson rocker and the subscription to Wisden’s Cricket Almanac?

Will he be sitting back and enjoying retirement before next year is over? Or if he’s still going to be in the Prime Minister’s job maybe he’d prefer the G.I. George doll that nukes Iraq when you press the red button?

Just what does a Prime Minister want from Santa that his Cabinet colleagues haven’t already given him. The treasurer gave him that Sergeant Pepper’s album for his sixty third birthday so he won’t want another one of those.



Senator Coonan offered him the use of her weekender over the holidays, but he wouldn’t want to be seen down there. The Minister for Immigration sent him a landscape painting of the Woomera Detention Centre with a razor wire frame. That will look very nice over the mantle piece at The Lodge.

Senator Alston sent him a Batman walkie talkie set, he’ll get better service on that than his mobile phone. Dana Vale sent him a plastic battleship to play with in the bathtub. Now he can be the admiral of the mightiest little navy in the world.

But he doesn’t know what he’ll do with those oversize torpedoes that Senator Hill sent him. Maybe he could use them as paperweights in the office. And what was the Minister for Foreign Affairs thinking of when he sent him a suspender belt?

The Minister for Education sent him a portrait of himself with the instructions to hang it behind the door. He could think of one small room where it would look just perfect.

But what can he do with the present from the Minister for Workplace Relations? He was still trying to clean up after those Rottweilers that Peter Reith gave him. How will he cope with a pair of corgis as well?

It’s hard being the Prime Minister who has everything. What can you ask Santa for this Christmas?

But it’s a different story for many ordinary Australians. Those families who were looking forward to their tax return to buy gifts for their children but got a bill to pay instead. Those families with relatives overseas who can’t get a visitor visa to Australia to share the holiday season with them.

Those families that didn’t work for his brother Stan and lost their entitlements when they were retrenched. And those families that look at the bigger slice that income tax takes out of their pay packet each week

But at least for the time being we may have a peaceful New Year. I just hope that the Prime Minister asks Santa for that.

Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year to all”.