Speech by Steve Minnikin MP from Queensland Parliament sitting Tuesday 21st August 2012.
Mr MINNIKIN (Chatsworth—LNP) (5.48pm): I am only too pleased to rise to speak in support of the Treasurer’s motion and reiterate the points the Treasurer has made in the House today. Let us cut to the chase here tonight. The legacy left by the former Labor government is one of poor decision making and fiscal irresponsibility which was absolutely breathtaking in its magnitude. It had a blatant disregard for Queensland’s future and the financial stability of individuals around this great state of ours. The members opposite try daily at each sitting of this House, in the media and in their electorates to justify Labor’s reckless decision making to sell off assets and allow wasteful spending as being in the best interests of the people of Queensland, if it was not for Labor we would not have survived the GFC, the series of natural disasters et cetera. There is only one slight problem with this premise: it is entirely self delusional. What about massive increases in public transport costs, health payroll debacles et cetera—I could run down the clock just on those alone.
I am a professional man with a Bachelor of Business degree and a Masters degree in property economics. I have read the interim audit report prepared by three esteemed people along with the recent Moody’s Investors Service report. They all make very sobering reading indeed. In fact, I put it to members, where in anyone’s playbook is losing our AAA credit rating, handing over debt of $65 billion and a projected fiscal debt of $9.8 billion and creating uncertainty for households across the state written? Is it underneath the section ‘In the best interests of the people of Queensland’ like Labor so often try to convince us to believe? Since the 24 March election I have been reading the playbook cover to cover and I still cannot find a single mention of poor fiscal management under that section at all.
The recent ALP strategy inquiry as to where did it all go so pear-shaped has been delivered. Well, the previous Premier was let off the hook so that sounds okay. In fact, it was just a little bit of bad timing and bad luck that the once formidable ALP has now been reduced to seven lonely souls. There is no hubris or complacency on this side of the chamber, as the inevitable swings and roundabouts of the political pendulum history has shown will one day change. Given the fact that the ALP are indeed economic illiterates who still do not understand that they need to apologise to the good people of Queensland, they may be on the receiving end of many a lecture from the current Treasurer. The Treasurer does know, unlike those opposite, that you cannot continue to run deficit budgets with expenses out of kilter with income. The people of Chatsworth with whom I spoke on Saturday morning at my mobile office—sidenote to those opposite, we have already started the next campaign— understand that you need to be fiscally responsible just like one’s own kitchen table economics 101.
What Labor did to the economy of our great state of Queensland was not only unsustainable, it was totally unforgivable. I have spoken previously in my maiden speech, along with many of my colleagues here, about intergenerational debt on abject waste. No responsible government would let debt blow out to $65 billion. If members of the ALP would like some light reading in regard to remedial economics then I would invite them to seriously consider page 11 of the Moody’s Investors Service report, appendix 2, which clearly shows that Queensland is the only Australian state to not have a AAA credit rating. Yes, in the battle for the lowest common denominator for economic illiteracy we are now surpassed by even the luminary states of South Australia and Tasmania. No responsible government would let our credit rating drop, costing the state millions in extra interest payments. To put it in relative terms, the state owes $13,739 per person and if no policy changes are made this figure would blow out to $18,729. It was reckless decision making that cost us our AAA credit rating. It was reckless spending that forced the sale of assets and, as the voters of Queensland know, this was done without a mandate. Within weeks after the 2009 state election the Bligh Labor government showed its true blue-collar ‘let’s protect the worker’ colours and what did it achieve? Absolutely nothing. The sale of QR National, Forestry Plantations and Port of Brisbane failed to reduce debt. The only reduction achieved was the state’s assets portfolio base. What astounds me is the fact that the former Labor government could not even get asset sales right. The sales should have boosted our bank balance but instead it only assisted in buyers picking up a bargain on undervalued stock. Yes, indeed, ladies and gentlemen, when it comes to economic illiteracy in this House I can point to seven stellar examples.
The above is a speech made by Steve Minnikin MP. We provide these transcripts on Carindale Connect to help inform the community regarding their elected representatives. You can add your comments and questions below.