Speeches

Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (18:30): I rise on behalf of the shadow Treasurer, the member for North Sydney, to speak on the Banking Amendment (Unclaimed Money) Bill 2013. The coalition will be supporting this legislation—necessary legislation to amend the government's own recently passed bill to clean-up yet another mess created by this chaotic government. The bill before the House now seeks to amend the government's own policy that was announced late last year—a policy motivated by this Treasurer's waxing desperation in the face of his then waning budget surplus. The government's evaporating surplus late last year sent it, as we all remember, into a feverish quest for savings, some of which were announced in MYEFO December 2012—actually it was earlier than December. This search for every dollar and cent it could find led it to announce an array of changes relating to unclaimed moneys in bank accounts, life insurance accounts,…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (16:58): In the remaining minute or so, I just wanted to recognise 11 local primary schools in the Upper Yarra that conducted a post-Anzac Day service on Wednesday, 8 May. Naturally many of the local schoolchildren attended Anzac Day services on the day itself, but this was an opportunity for 11 schools to combine and hold their own service, which was conducted entirely by themselves. The schools all sent their grade 6 students along. The service was MCd by the Launching Place Primary School this year, by principal Steve Shaw and students Tanisha and Mitchell. I also want to recognise each of the schools that attended: Millwarra, Woori Yallock, Warburton, Gladysdale, Wesburn, Yarra Junction, Don Valley, Hoddles Creek, Yellingbo and St Joseph's. During the service the students placed wreaths made with the assistance of the Upper Yarra Museum, and I want to recognise Rhonda O'Meara for…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (09:30): On Thursday, 23 May I had the pleasure of attending two Biggest Morning Teas, where dedicated members of the local community in the electorate of Casey raised money for the Cancer Council. The first was at Arrabri Community House, in Bayswater North, where Jackie Warren and the team from the house worked very hard selling tickets as well as cookbooks from the centre. The guests there included David Watt, the senior manager of the Mount Evelyn Community Bank; Councillor Tony Dib; and former councillor and mayor Peter Gurr. Later in the morning I attended the Biggest Morning Tea in Mount Evelyn, which has grown steadily in the last two years. They raised a little over $4,000. That takes their total fundraising for the Cancer Council to a little over $10,000 over the past three years. They not only raised lots of money on the day;…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (16:55): It is a sad day in the parliament when you witness, as this House just has, such a rambling, incoherent speech—I was about to say 'contribution' but I corrected myself; that would be an exaggeration—from a chaotic Assistant Treasurer. I want to start by apologising to the Assistant Treasurer. Yesterday in the Federation Chamber, I accused the Assistant Treasurer of deliberately, coldly and in a calculated way, knowingly deceiving his electors, when he issued a newsletter this time last year declaring that the budget had been returned to surplus. Mr Ewen Jones: It already had. Mr TONY SMITH: On hearing the Assistant Treasurer's 15 minutes of rambling, I am starting to wonder whether he believed it or not; perhaps he had been told it and he did not know the difference. Perhaps I ascribed to him a motive that would have required competence, because what…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (19:29): As this parliament nears its end, I rise to give what will surely be my final adjournment speech before the coming election. I would like to take this opportunity to talk about the electorate I am so honoured to represent in this House of Representatives—the electorate of Casey; to talk about what it is, what it could be and what it should be. Casey encompasses around 2,500 square kilometres, ranging from the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne through the bulk of the Yarra Valley: from Steels Creek and Dixons Creek, Healesville and Yarra Glen in the north to Mount Dandenong, Kalorama, Olinda, Monbulk and The Patch in the south; from the edge of Croydon through Mooroolbark, Bayswater North, Kilsyth, Monbulk and Lilydale and out eastwards along the Warburton Highway beyond the historic town after which that road is named. The Casey electorate is quintessential middle…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (17:25): I want to begin this contribution by asking some questions of the Assistant Treasurer with respect to finance. It goes to the heart of the government's transparency or lack thereof in the presentation of the budget. I would like to draw the Assistant Treasurer's attention to the persistence in the budget of the Treasurer himself and the Minister for Finance and Deregulation in defining savings not only as expenditure reductions, which everyone out in the Australian community understands, but also tax rises. This is something that has not been commented on a lot. I draw the Assistant Treasurer's attention to not just the budget papers but the press release issued in his name on budget night that talks about new savings a number of times on tax issues. The point is quite obvious. This is a deliberate deception conceived by this government. In fact, it…