Matters of Public Importance - Budget - 09/07/2014


Senator IAN MACDONALD (Queensland) (16:36): I can give Senator Polley a little bit of advice. If she is worried about the unemployed in her state of Tasmania, she should encourage the Labor Party and their mates in the Greens to allow some activity to happen in Tasmania, to allow some jobs. Senator Polley, did you complain when the Bell Bay aluminium factory shut down and threw all of those people onto the scrapheap? Did you say anything when you and the Greens successfully shut down the most sustainable forestry industry in Australia?

Senator Polley interjecting

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Sterle ): Order! Senator Polley, please allow Senator Macdonald to be heard.

Senator Whish-Wilson interjecting

Senator IAN MACDONALD: Let her go, Mr Acting Deputy President. She is only shouting, as is Senator Whish-Wilson, because they do not like hearing the truth. If they had one iota of concern for unemployed people, they would do some things in Tasmania to create jobs so people would be able to find jobs.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Senator Macdonald, please direct your comments through the chair.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: I do not often agree with the CFMEU but I remember when, back in 2004, the forestry division of that union stood up to the Labor Party and stood up to the Greens and supported the coalition in getting a sustainable forestry industry going in Tasmania. But the Greens will never stop until they shut down every productive industry in our country. Where are we going to get jobs then? Where are we going to get jobs when you shut down the coal industry?

Senator Polley interjecting

Senator Whish-Wilson interjecting

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Senator Whish-Wilson and Senator Polley—order! I might throw myself out in a minute.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: I do not need protection, Mr Acting Deputy President, from people like Senator Polley and Senator Whish-Wilson—because they do not want anyone to hear the truth of the matter. If they are concerned about unemployed people, they should do something to get them a job. That is the greatest thing any government can do for young people, for old people or for anyone—to give them the dignity of a job. If you followed the Greens' dictates, if you followed the Greens' policies, you would never have a forestry industry, you would never have a mining industry and you would never have a manufacturing industry. You would have no industries that create jobs in Australia. As usual, the Greens—and, I regret to say, the Labor Party by supporting them—show their hypocrisy and humbug on the question of unemployment.

Senator Whish-Wilson interjecting

Senator IAN MACDONALD: I hope Senator Whish-Wilson uses this debate to explain what he did to save those jobs at Bell Bay, what he did to save those jobs in the forestry industry and what he did to save the jobs at Toyota and Holden—those manufacturing industries that went overseas. Why did they go overseas? Because the Greens—

Senator Whish-Wilson interjecting

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Order! Senator Whish-Wilson, I ask that you do give Senator Macdonald the opportunity to be heard. You will have the opportunity to reply at some stage, I am sure.

Senator Bernardi: On a point of order, Mr Acting Deputy President: Senator Whish-Wilson did use language that was most unparliamentary in his abuse of Senator Macdonald. Please ask him to withdraw.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Senator Bernardi, I did not hear what you allege Senator Whish-Wilson said. If there were something, I am sure Senator Whish-Wilson would withdraw it, but I did not hear it.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: I take it as a badge of honour to be called names by Senator Whish-Wilson. As I said, the Greens will do all in their power to stop the people of Australia from hearing the real debate. They try to shout you down—and you have done pretty well, Senator Whish-Wilson. Why do you shout people down? Because you cannot answer the question: what have you done to create employment? Never mind about unemployment benefits—Newstart—let's get everybody a job. As long as the Greens have any influence on Australian governance, you can be assured it will be their goal to shut Australia down and to stop any employment-creating activity.

I had a lot that I wanted to say on this, but I have been distracted by Senator Polley and Senator Whish-Wilson trying to shout me down. I will just say why we are in this difficult budget situation. The Greens and the Labor Party turned what the Howard government left—a $60 billion credit balance in the bank account—into something approaching $600 billion of deficit. Do that in your own household, Senator Whish-Wilson, and see what happens to you. Do that in your own business and see what happens to you. You will go broke and anyone that you might have employed will be thrown on the scrapheap. You cannot keep borrowing money in your business or in your home—and governments cannot do it either. The day of accounting eventually comes nigh and you have to start paying back your debts with interest. The Greens will never understand that. (Time expired)

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