Parliamentary

Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (15:29): It is my pleasure to once again speak on a matter of public importance moved by those opposite about the budget. As with all previous contributions from those opposite, there was not a mention of their record that has put Australia in the difficult budget position it is in, not a mention of their debt legacy and not a mention of what they would do to rectify it. You only need to go back and look at the figures—and we will never get the figures from them. Those opposite look back on the budget papers and they emotionally airbrush away their period in government. Because back in 2007, it is often said, they inherited no net debt. In fact, they inherited more than that. They inherited $44 billion in the bank. Within a year, they had spent about $30 billion of it. Within another year,…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (11:13): I rise to join fellow members in paying tribute to Lee Kuan Yew and to speak on the condolence motion moved by the Prime Minister yesterday. As the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition pointed out, Lee Kuan Yew was one out of a box. For a nation the size of Singapore, as previous speakers have said, a very small nation in a very unstable area, at the time of independence there was no reason to expect it would survive as a nation, let alone thrive in the way it has. The economic figures tell the success story, as the Prime Minister said yesterday. In 1965, Singapore's gross domestic product per head was about a third of Australia's, and today it is almost double Australia's. It has been a stunning success as a society and as an economic powerhouse in the region. As…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (18:33): I rise to join those who have spoken before me on this condolence motion for a political giant: Malcolm Fraser, a great and patriotic Australian. Many have spoken of the things he stood for, Aboriginal land rights; the things he stood against, racism in any form; his contribution to domestic and foreign policy. All of the speeches have touched on his service here in the parliament—first as a backbencher, then as a minister and then as a prime minister—and all have touched on his service in so many ways beyond the parliament in all of the years since 1983—giving his view in the arena, arguing for what he stood for, often a position people disagreed with but a position that he would consistently hold to. During the tumultuous Dismissal, which, naturally, most members have commentated on, he showed his strength and determination, the very attributes…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (17:35): I rise in this afternoon's grievance debate to again call for the state Labor government to see common sense and to construct the East West Link. This is a vital project for Melbourne. It is a vital project for the outer eastern suburbs and the Yarra Valley that I represent along with other members. This is a project that once had broad support from within the Labor Party. This is a project that was first mooted by the Eddington review set up some years ago. The former Labor government of John Brumby was supportive of this project. The former federal Labor government was supportive of this project. The current Leader of the Opposition was extremely supportive of this project, as were other colleagues of his. We can go back to before the time the Leader of the Opposition was elected when, as a member of…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (10:20): In this House of Representatives of 150 elected members and across the way in the Senate with 75 senators, on any given day, all of us can be simultaneously concerned about a range of issues. But on this day all 225 of us have one single thought in our minds, as do so many millions of Australians, and that is the fate of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in Indonesia. All of us in this parliament are united in our thoughts and prayers for them and their families at this time. All of us are united in our combined plea for mercy in these times. This parliament has come together in a united way with a united voice to Indonesia. We did so in the House of Representatives with a motion supported by all 150 members. The foreign minister and the shadow foreign minister have…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (15:52): What an extraordinary MPI this is. All year, the shadow Treasurer has been demanding the release of theIntergenerational report. In question time, he asked not one question of the Treasurer, and his entire contribution of 10 minutes avoided the very topic. He just pulled out his talking points. He was exceeded only by the member for Fraser, who dusted off all his silly jokes that we have all heard before, and dusted off his inequality book, and in he came. And who is the shadow Assistant Treasurer? Then we have the member for Chifley. He is actually a little bit smarter than them both. The member for Kooyong would agree with this. He thought, 'I haven't got time to read it, but I'll put a few sticky tabs inside the book. I'm not sure what pages they are on.' All three of them refused to…
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