Statement on Motion to Suspend Standing Orders - House of Representatives, Parliament House
Thank you Mr Speaker.
Well, we have just heard from that great sycophant of billionaires, the Leader of the Opposition. All the lectures, trying to run a politics of envy, when he was a regular dinner guest at Raheen, always there with Dick Pratt, sucking up to Dick Pratt. Did he knock back the Cristal? I don't think so.
There was never a union leader in Melbourne, that tucked his knees under more billionaire's tables, than the Leader of the Opposition.
He lapped it up! Oh yes, he lapped it up.
He was such a sycophant, a social-climbing sycophant if ever there was one. There has never been a more sycophantic leader of the Labor Party, than this one and he comes here and poses as a tribune of the people. Harbourside mansions - he is yearning for one! He is yearning to get into Kirribilli House. You know why? Because somebody else pays for it.
Just like he loved knocking back Dick Pratt's Cristal, just as he looked forward to living in luxury at the expense of the taxpayer.
This man is a parasite.
He has no respect for the taxpayer. He has no respect for the taxpayer any more than he has respect for the members of the Australian Workers Union, he betrayed again and again. He sold them out. He sold them out.
They were some of the lowest paid workers in Australia. Cleaners, working at Cleanevent, he sold out their penalties rates.
And what did they get? They got nothing. But what did the union get? Cash money, payments. He sold them out in return for a payment to the union. That's what he did when he was their representative.
And what does he do now as Leader of the Opposition? He is selling out the jobs of Australian workers, every day he perseveres with his ludicrous policies on energy, which will have the result of further unsustainable increases in the cost of electricity.
Now, I think I have seen more members of the AWU lately than he has. I saw them at Portland Aluminium. And they know that their jobs depend on affordable electricity. They know that with the closure of Hazelwood and the crazy policies of the Victorian Labor Government - supported by the policies of the Leader of the Opposition - they know that their livelihoods are at risk.
Where is the champion of the AWU now? He is here in Canberra, he is here in Canberra selling them out just like he sold out the workers at Cleanevent.
He has no interest in standing up for those workers.
Mr Speaker, I was also at Viridian Glass, also members of the Australian Workers Union there. Viridian Glass’s biggest element in its cost, the most volatile element in its costs, is the cost of energy, the cost of gas. It is becoming unaffordable. They moved their plant from New South Wales to Victoria. They closed their plant in New South Wales because energy was too expensive. They consolidated in Victoria and now - thanks to the Labor Party's energy policies, driven by ideology -that too is put at risk. That is the reality. That is the front line where members of the Australian Workers Union and many other unions, find themselves today.
The Labor Party cannot keep living in a parallel universe where you can preach ideological energy policies, without any regard to how you are going to deliver reliable, affordable energy. And yes, meet your emission reduction targets, but meet the responsible ones we entered into in Paris, not just doubling it for no return from any other country.
This is ideology.
They call themselves the Labor Party. Well, Mr Speaker, manual labour is a Mexican bandit as far as they’re concerned. Most of them have never done a day's work in their lives.
I am old enough to remember, I’m old enough to remember when the Labor Party's benches were filled with union officials who had actually worked. Nowadays, look at the serried ranks of apparatchiks and political hacks. That is totally out of touch with the men and women they claim to represent.
Now, Mr Speaker, this social climbing sycophant. This would-be tribune of the people, complains about cuts to company tax. Well let me tell you Mr Speaker, it is pretty straight forward. If you want more investment - and we do - then you want to increase the return on investment, you want a lower company tax. And that has been the consistent policy of governments of both political persuasions for many years.
In terms of consistency, let's have a look at what the Leader of the Opposition used to say about it.
In 2012, he said right here: "As Australia is buffeted by economic events overseas, we understand that lowering corporate tax assists the creation of jobs".
“Lowering corporate tax assists the creation of jobs!”
And the social climber, warming to the occasion, went on to say:
"What can be more important in this country than the creation of jobs?"
I reckon he probably talked about that with Dick Pratt and Solly Lew and Lindsay Fox and all the other billionaires he liked sucking up to in Melbourne, on their corporate jets. Or did he give them the blast, the good attack on the rich, down with anyone that has got a quid.
Did he give them that? I don't think so, Mr Speaker.
No, I think he just sucked up to them, you know. I think he did. I think he says one thing here and another thing in the comfortable lounge rooms of Melbourne, I reckon. I think we all know that. I think we know that.
And then on company tax, he is quite an authority on it. The year before he said:
"Cutting the company income tax rate increases domestic productivity and domestic investment.
More capital means higher productivity and economic growth and leads to more jobs and high wages."
I reckon he said that, I reckon Dick probably broke out an extra bottle of Cristal. Wouldn’t you say? For that? They would have been very pleased to hear that. They’d say: ‘You know, he is not like some of those other Labor people. He is really one of us. He’s really, he’s really on side. He’s really on side.’
But now, of course, now he is a wholly owned subsidiary of some very left wing unions. He has shifted and he will say whatever suits his purpose from day to day.
No consistency, no integrity. This sycophant, this simpering sycophant.
Blowing hard in the House of Representatives, sucking hard in the living rooms of Melbourne.
What a hypocrite.
And you know, Mr Speaker, he said, going on to company tax, he said in 2012, he said:
“Any student of Australian business and economic history since the mid '80s" - so that would include Dr Leigh, I reckon - "knows part of Australia's success was derived through the reduction in the company tax rate."
That's what did it! That’s what did it! Oh, the billionaires of Melbourne they would lap that up! They’d love that!
“We need to be able to make life easier for Australian businesses who employ two out of every three Australians.”
You know, it is actually more than that. It is more like four out of five Australians are employed in the private sector. And they are the businesses - large and small - that need to invest. And the more they invest the more they employ. It is pretty simple.
He was right then. He was right in 2011 and 2012, but now the sycophant is wrong.
This sucker-up in Melbourne, billionaires' friend to them. But now, the great radical tribune, the great radical advocate of the people.
Give me a break, Mr Speaker.
This bloke has no consistency, no integrity. He cannot be believed.
He says he is against 457 visas. Well, he knows more about 457 visas than anyone. He is the Olympic champion. He expanded the categories dramatically. He opened wide the door, following on his triumph of selling out the workers at Cleanevent, selling out the members of his own union in return for a backhander paid to the union. He then let in, opened the doors as wide as he could.
And he wants to talk about political donations. Well let me say this, Mr Speaker. Just remember this; it took seven years and a royal commission for him to disclose a $40,000 political donation.
Mr Speaker, the Labor Party cannot be trusted with economic management. It cannot be trusted with jobs. It cannot be trusted to deliver the opportunity and the security Australian families deserve.