Ninety Billion Nightmare …

Senator Joyce on random spirits, and debt:


Senator Barnaby Joyce

Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Water
Leader of the Nationals in the Senate

Please find below an opinion piece written by Senator Joyce which was published in The Canberra Times on 11 April 2013.

A nightmare for us all, as random spirits haunt Labor

When Labor is basically all out of the country, they work a great deal better: they should get away more often from their independent and Green partners.

I must say they are two Australian assets that I would be quite happy to get a price for if anyone in China is interested.

Back home, the white ants continue their merry way through the finances in Treasury, where the debt is now just short of $270 billion gross. No doubt they are now drafting up the next extension on your credit card rather than working out that eventually the structure will collapse if they do not fix their spending problem.

I now see the learned oracles that pilloried my warnings about the debt trajectory years ago coming to a rather belated epiphany.

Labor has desperately been looking around trying to work out what silverware can be whisked out of the house to meet the payments at the hock shop.

What they have come across is your savings in superannuation. They say it is only for the “fabulously rich”, but if that “rich” does not collect enough money then they will just get the Macquarie Dictionary to change the definition of “rich” to something more appropriate for Treasury’s dire requirements.

The mining tax collected $126 million in its first six months and none of the major miners expect to pay much in the near future. That one was a complete fizzer.

The problem is you cannot tax business into prosperity; they actually have to get the overheads down and the product moving if we are going to level this debt trajectory out. You also cannot get business moving if you sell off too much of the capital base. This is not necessarily the case at present, but saying that any deal from any entity is a good deal is slightly naive, to say the least, when it comes to foreign ownership in Australia.

The independents, and now quite a few of Labor’s own members, are trying the great political illusionist trick of: “It was not me, I was not there. I did not really agree, please still vote for me.”

On the Northern Rivers the Labor members for Page and Richmond are fighting against coal seam gas. This is a neat trick since it was under the governance of the Australian Labor Party, at a state level, that most of the exploration licences were sold.

Tony Windsor, the independent member for New England, did one better, selling his whole property, at a very good price indeed, to a coal mining company before becoming a champion for the farmers down the road in their struggle with coal mining.

The Greens did the famous “marriage is over” news conference, but the relationship seems to be going along strong without any discernible change in allegiance in any crucial vote. It is the new art form in the politics of the sham divorce.

If Janelle Saffin, Member for Page and Justine Elliot, Member for Richmond, really oppose coal seam gas then they should resign from the Labor Party, or at least have the gumption to cross the floor. None of these participants ever do, so every day of government, and every action of the government, is one they supported, or at the very least refused to stop.

The Next Budget Nightmare, NBN, has now become the Ninety Billion Nightmare with this debacle set to cost the Australian taxpayer $94 billion, $45 billion over budget and four years over schedule. This is telling of this government’s incompetence and flippant disregard for managing the government’s coffers.

This train wreck is not a Labor government; it would be wrong to suggest that a Labor government would be this bad. This train wreck is a Green-Labor-independent alliance and they are all jointly liable for every fiasco that stands in proxy for responsible government.

The wiser heads, and they do exist, in the Labor Party will be making sure that after this comes to an end, and it will, that they never ever get themselves into this position again.

A position where they are held to ransom by random spirits who had neither the ethos nor the capacity to govern but instead foisted their peculiar desires into what should have been responsible, nation-based, strategic plans.

Barnaby Joyce is the Nationals’ Senate Leader and the Opposition Spokesman for Regional Development, Local Government and Water.

About Tom Harley

Amateur ecologist and horticulturalist and CEO of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Inc. (Tom Harley)
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