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PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Speech FEDERATION CHAMBER Bills Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2014-2015, Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 2014-2015, Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No. 1) 2014-2015, Appropriation Bill (No. 5) 2013-2014, Appropriation Bill (No. 6) 2013-2014 Second Reading Tuesday, 27 May 2014 Clive Palmer – Member for Fairfax Mr PALMER (Fairfax) (17:53): When truth prevails over injustice, we are all the winners. Last week in Australia, the truth prevailed over injustice and the Australian people were the winners and the government was a loser in the court of public opinion. Australia’s debt is around 12 per cent of GDP, according to the OECD, and the average debt for the OECD is 73 per cent. The IMF confirms this position. Australia’s debt is 12 per cent of GDP and the average in the OECD is 73 per cent. So while Australia is only one of 13 countries in the world with a AAA credit rating—the best rating in the world—and one of the lowest debt levels in the world, the Treasurer and the Prime Minister tell all Australians that we have a debt problem. Why do they tell such untruths to the whole country? No member of parliament should vote for any appropriation bill for a government that lies to Australians and does so for an improper purpose. It seems the Liberal Party wants to fool Australians and grab their money and grab control of their lives. How can an appropriation bill for any purpose be believed? How can we have faith in appropriating one cent to a government that has misled the Australian people over our debt levels? The Treasurer and the Prime Minister seek to destroy Australia’s standard of living. Every Australian in and out of parliament must hold the government to account. These bills stem from the Treasurer’s betrayal of the election promises made by the Prime Minister and the Treasurer in the election campaign, after the campaign was called. While the Prime Minister was very quick to attack former Prime Minister Julia Gillard for breaking promises, these bills break many, many promises and together with the appropriation bills for the budget and the accompanying legislation will destroy the livelihood of millions of Australians. Now is the time for the nation to unite and make it clear to the government that these changes to our lives will not stand. As a great man once said, ‘An injustice done to a man anywhere is an injustice to all men everywhere.’ Four female members of my electorate contacted me last week. They are aged between 73 and 86. They are living in a nursing home and for the last 50 years they have voted for the Liberal Party. They informed me that they did not vote for me at the last federal election, that they had always voted Liberal. They reminded me what a great Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies was, how important the work that Malcolm Fraser had done was for Australia and what a great friend John Howard had been to the elderly people of Australia. Every payday, they handover their pension to the nursing home that looks after them and the home gives them back $15 a week. It is enough for them to pool their money every Friday, so that they can catch a taxi and based on their concessions go and see a movie. Sometimes a relative will give them some additional funds and they can buy a chocolate or have a coffee. That is their life, but not anymore since the budget was brought down. They have done nothing but worry that that $15 will have to be kept for maybe a visit to the doctor or maybe two at their age. Fifty years of voting Liberal means nothing. Their lives are shattered, their lifestyle diminished. They informed me, like The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia 79


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