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PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Clive Palmer, former QLD Premier Anna Bligh at a landmark event in China Mr Bowen: Madam Speaker, I note that ministers can refer questions to other ministers. If the Treasurer has not been briefed, I understand that the Minister for Communications has been. The SPEAKER: There is no point of order. Resume your seat. The next person who abuses the standing orders in that way will remove themselves under standing order 94(a). I call the Treasurer. Mr HOCKEY: So as a nation on an annual basis Australia does not fund itself like other nations, like Japan, which has an enormous pool of domestic savings, the UK or even Italy, which have much higher government debt —yes, they do—but have a very large pool of domestic savings that funds the needs of the government. Whereas in Australia we do not fund ourselves on an annual basis, so when we borrow money, be it from our banks, or when the federal government runs deficits and it borrows money from the rest of the world to help to fund its everyday living costs, then that increases our exposure to international capital market volatility and it increases the exposure of Australia to movements around the rest of the world that some other countries do not have to do. So our lower level of debt does not necessarily excuse us at all from some of the challenges in global financial markets because we import money to build the mines, to build the ports and to build the railways, because we import money every year. The reason we want to get back to surplus is so we can start lending money to Australians instead of borrowing money from people overseas to fund our needs. We want to become a self- sufficient nation. We want to ensure that we fund our demands. We want to ensure that we live within our means. We want to make sure that as a nation we can stand proudly and independently on our own two feet, that we are not relying on anyone in the international market to fund our needs and fund our future. The coalition government stand for the independence and the resilience of Australia, and we will not apologise for that. The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia 137


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