Parliamentary

Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (11:10): Can I at the outset acknowledge the eloquent words of the member for Chifley on this subject and also the speaker before him, the member for La Trobe, who has a lot of experience from the law enforcement perspective. I join my colleagues from both sides of the chamber in speaking on this statement by the Prime Minister. We are united in the statement by the Prime Minister and by the Leader of the Opposition. As we speak today, we awoke to more awful news on our television screens. Our hearts go out to the family concerned for the trauma that they are suffering, which is just unspeakable. As the member for Chifley indicated, we need many things. If I could surmise: we need clarity of purpose, we need determination, but we also need unity of purpose. As we speak on this motion, we of…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (10:23): On behalf the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters I wish to make a statement regarding the committee's inquiry into the 2013 federal election. Specifically, I wish to inform the House of developments relating to the conduct of the Senate election in Western Australia in 2013. The 2013 federal election highlighted aspects of both our electoral system and the logistical conduct of federal elections that have to change. On the first matter, the committee has already produced an interim report on Senate voting practices, proposing reforms that will provide simplicity, integrity, transparency and clarity; and to provide voters with the power to express and to have their voting intent upheld and consequently restore confidence that Senate results fully reflect the will of voters. When I tabled that report in May, I undertook to make a statement on the second area; namely, the unacceptable and inadequate…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (09:38): It is my pleasure to speak on these two bills, the Asset Recycling Fund Bill 2014 and the Asset Recycling Fund (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2014 and follow a large number of colleagues who have spoken through the course of yesterday on this important initiative within the budget. This of course was announced on budget night and the relevant bills were introduced by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, the member for Moncrieff, on 29 May. Importantly, as previous speakers have outlined, they provide for an asset recycling fund as part of the government's infrastructure package announced in the budget—some $5.9 billion at the commencement, comprising from $2.4 billion of uncommitted funds from the Building Australia Fund and $3.5 billion from the Education Investment Fund. As the parliamentary secretary outlined, this important initiative will support the recycling of infrastructure. It is an important principle. Where government…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (13:08): I ask a series of questions to the Minister for Trade and Investment about a very important part of the budget, namely, the Export Market Development Grants program. As the members on this side of the chamber know, this is an important program that supports entrepreneurs and growing businesses across Australia. I am particularly interested in the funding within the appropriations for this particular grants program, how that compares with funding during the last couple of budgets, and any changes or enhancements that the government has made to this important program. As members are well aware, businesses seek grants from this program on the basis of growing their export businesses. I would ask the minister how the funding compares and about any changes that have occurred within this budget. The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mrs Griggs): I am giving the call to the minister. Mr Thistlethwaite: Based…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (18:57): In speaking in this budget debate and on these appropriation bills I have had the opportunity to listen to many speeches—but not all—from those opposite, and I have just listened to the last 10 minutes of the previous speaker. Whilst they have all covered varying topics, they are all absolutely united in a couple of respects—that is, no apology for and no acknowledgement of the mess they left the budget in, which we are now discussing here in this chamber. They have absolutely no plan to fix the mess. For those opposite to come in on this debate after six years of fiscal failure and not acknowledge the mess they have created, nor put forward any alternative plan that would deal with it, really tells the Australian people that, if Labor had been re-elected, it is very clear where they would have headed—further along the…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (15:49): Here we are again on budget day witnessing more Labor denial. We are all forgiven on this side for thinking we have just heard three speeches much the same. When you analyse them, the member for Fraser was a bit different from the member for Moreton. I think the member for Fraser knows that Labor has a big apology to make to the Australian people and he is not quite comfortable with that fact. He very carefully managed to not mention any of the things he has advocated in a previous life that might reform some of the structure of the budget. With the member for Moreton, on the other hand, I think the Labor brainwashing machine has done a pretty complete job. I think he actually believes everything he said. He said he was confounded by a few things. We would say he is…
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