The following is a speech made in Queensland Parliament by State Member for Chatsworth Steve Minnikin MP, 27th November 2012. You can add comments and questions at the end.
Mr Minnikin (6.06pm): I rise in this chamber to change the pitch of the debate to some sensible plane. I rise tonight to talk about the economic mismanagement of the previous ALP government—yet again—which has been well covered since the 54th Parliament was convened. It is a gross understatement to say that those opposite in the chamber did not exercise a great deal of fiscal responsibility—not at all. There was no responsibility, no discipline, no direction for the state’s finances. Well, they were headed one way: into the red at a rapid rate.
At the March election Queenslanders gave us an overwhelming mandate to provide better economic management and some much needed fiscal responsibility. It was never going to be easy. After all, the state’s finances had been spiralling downwards for the previous five years. It was never going to be an easy feat for the government, especially when on the Treasurer’s first day on the job he was presented with an incoming government brief from Queensland Treasury which, for the benefit of the seven aimless souls opposite, I will restate again. In fact, it might be easier to actually cut them the DVD as this has been said over and over again, and they still simply do not get it. But we are not going to be beaten that easily: we will try one more time. So for the benefit of the seven primary school students opposite, let’s go. The brief states—
Queensland’s fiscal position and outlook is—
follow the bouncing ball—
continue with the bouncing ball—
restoration must be an … priority for this term of government.
We have finally got their attention. Give them all a jelly bean! As if that news was not alarming enough, it gets better. Queensland Treasury Corporation advice reiterated the same view. It said—and I will use a Latin term which will completely bamboozle them: ‘inter alia’. I am sure they have a dictionary there somewhere, or one of the interns will. Let’s go with the bouncing ball. It said—
The State’s debt has reached unprecedented levels. Together with its published forward estimates showing an even greater volume of debt required, Queensland is now in uncharted waters with respect to the volume of debt on issue and the resultant interest bill.
Why does not one of them get up and do what they should have done on the first day this chamber convened and simply apologise?
This truly is just testament to the economic mismanagement of the previous democratic socialists opposite. It is easy to spend other people’s money. We all know Mrs Thatcher’s famous line that when you spend other people’s money you eventually run out of it. That is why the ALP appeared to throw a bit of money here, a bit of money there and it will all be fine. The previous member for Yeerongpilly in the previous parliament said words to the effect that it was ‘just government money’. That sentence encapsulates exactly the mindset over there—encapsulates it absolutely. They had no idea of how to spend taxpayers’ dollars efficiently—no idea whatsoever. Action had to be taken immediately by the LNP government, and I commend the Treasurer for the course of action that he undertook so decisively. Let me give the House a little textbook case here. I refer to the classic example of textbook micro- economics 101. Here is a project management 101 exercise, and the ball is still in play. Let’s go!
Mr PITT: I rise to a point of order. Not to cut the member for Chatsworth off when he is on a roll, but he is talking about financial records. This is a motion about—
Madam SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
Mr PITT: I ask you to rule on relevance. This is not relevant to either the amendment or the motion that I moved.
Madam SPEAKER: Please take your seat. I ask the member for Chatsworth to address the motion and amendment before the House. I call the member for Chatsworth.
Mr MINNIKIN: In terms of economic maladministration and mismanagement, this is a classic example that was pretty recent in my own electorate. Many members here would know that for many years there was a pressing need for a park-and-ride facility in the Carindale area. At that stage for many years there was crown land on the corner of Old Cleveland and Creek roads. As a classic example, within a matter of weeks of coming into government we actually constructed a park-and-ride facility in Carindale at the corner of Creek Road and Old Cleveland Road. It cost $1,700 per car park bay. Let us contrast that with the previous two park-and-ride facilities that the previous ALP administration delivered at not $1,700 per car park bay but—wait for it—$37,000 per car park bay—$37,000! Absolute geniuses! I will tell members why they do not get it. I will tell you why: we have looked at their CVs. None of them have come from the real world. When have they stayed awake on a Sunday night working out how they are going to pay people? They would not have a clue.[Opposition members interjected].
Mr MINNIKIN: Yet again the mere fact that they raise their voices each and every time on economic issues proves their—