Michael Sukkar MP

Federal Member for Deakin.
Minister for Housing & Assistant Treasurer.
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Matters of Public Importance: Economic Leadership



This MPI today on competent economic leadership clearly says to me that no-one would ever look to the absolute abject failure of the member for McMahon for economic leadership, nor would they look to the venerable member for Lilley, the mentor to the member for Rankin. I saw the member for Rankin look really excited when he gave him a bit of a pat on his head after his contribution. We know you were behind his 500 promises of a budget surplus. Where were those surpluses? Where was that wonderful economic leadership?

Here, on the MPI today, we are looking for ‘competent economic leadership’. Where was that wonderful economic leadership from the member for Rankin, who was the adviser? He was the main man advising the venerable member for Lilley, the worst Treasurer this country has ever had—I would say, the worst Treasurer that any advanced economy has ever said. Many members opposite put out a newsletters saying that they delivered a budget surplus. In fact, the member for McMahon, the man who put forward this MPI today, said that the he had delivered a budget surplus in 2008. Where was that wonderful economic leadership that the Labor Party are now calling for? Well, unfortunately, the Labor Party have not learned their lessons. Quite frankly, until they do learn those lessons, the Australian people will mark them down. They have not shown any contrition for their abject failure over their six years in government.

One undisputed statistic that nobody in this House can argue against is the fact that we have gone from 3,600 jobs on average a month under Labor to last year, where we created 16,700 jobs a month to this year, where we created 23,200 jobs a month. You cannot fudge those numbers in any way. We have gone from 3,600 a month being created under Labor to 23,200 a month under this government. On this side of the House, because some of us actually have private sector experience—we are not all union hacks like those opposite—we do not take credit for all of that. We are not so arrogant as to take all of the credit for taking job creation from 3,600 a month under Labor to 23,200 a month. We accept that that is the great work of individuals, small businesses and entrepreneurs in the private sector who have created those jobs. But we created the environment that has enabled them to flourish and we will continue to do so, and there is a much more work to be done.

When the Australia people are looking for competent economic leadership, I can assure them they will not be looking at the member for McMahon, the man who will be remembered for Bowen’s black hole, the $13 billion black hole that he left, or the man that he replaced, the member for Lilley, who, quite frankly, is just like a Christmas present every day. When I see the member for Lilley walk into this chamber every day, I just think wonderful: we will remind the Australian people day after day of the abject failure of the Labor Party over their six years in government and the reality that the Labor Party have not learnt one single lesson.

Come election day, the Australia people will be thinking about the security of their job, whether they can pay their mortgage and about their children’s future. They will see the party opposite who argues against trade liberalisation. The left of the Labor Party now are large and in charge. Sure, they might have been humiliated at their federal council a little while ago—sorry, member for Scullin, I know that was difficult for you—but they are large and in charge.

The Australian people will not entrust their country to a party who does not accept trade liberalisation. I hate to say it, but those opposite will be taken to ChaFTA kicking and screaming. Otherwise, they will get absolutely marked down. So when the Australian people are looking for economic leadership, I can assure them they will not look at the abject failures opposite—the people who slunk through the university system into a union and now they have their seat on the green leather. Actually, the Australian people will look for people who have real life experience: the ability to understand what they need to do to create the jobs, the wealth and the productivity that will grow the economy in this country. They will not go back to the member for McMahon and the failed member for Lilley.

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