darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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February 27, 2014

Mr CHESTER (GippslandParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence) (15:44): What an outrageous slur we have just heard from the member for Ballarat. It is outrageous to come into this place and disparage, of all things, the Pollie Pedal ride. The Pollie Pedal ride has raised literally hundreds of thousands of dollars for extremely worthy causes in this nation. It has had bipartisan support in the past. Members of both sides have participated in the Pollie Pedal. I am staggered that the member for Ballarat would seek to disparage a charity ride like that in this place and then defy the chair—but I am not surprised, because this matter of public importance goes straight to the issue of trust. It goes straight to the heart of the difference between this government and the previous government.

I know it hurts those members opposite—they have suddenly gone very quiet, haven’t they?—those government change deniers opposite. The Australian people made a decision in September last year, and that decision was that they simply do not trust the Labor Party anymore. They simply do not trust the Labor Party to deliver value for money with taxpayers’ dollars. They did not trust the Labor Party to repeal the carbon tax, they did not trust the Labor Party to regain control of our borders and they did not trust the Labor Party to deliver responsible government after years of sleaze and scandal. They simply did not trust the Labor Party to govern the greatest nation in the world. In voting for their local Liberal and National Party candidates at last year’s election, the people instinctively understood that they were leaving us with a huge job to do—and we are up to that job. They know we have a mess to clean up.

Mr Dreyfus: You failed in six months.

Mr CHESTER: Rumpole, they know we have a mess to clean up. They know there is a huge repair job ahead of us.

Ms Owens: Mr Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would ask the Deputy Speaker to ask the member to refer to members by their title.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The member for Gippsland knows that he should refer to members by their title or their electorate.

Mr CHESTER: I withdraw ‘Rumpole’. Sorry.

Ms Owens: Mr Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: the member is defying your ruling.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, he withdrew.

Ms Owens: Mr Deputy Speaker, he repeated the insult—not withdrew it. I would ask him to withdraw it.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The member for Gippsland will withdraw the comment unreservedly.

Mr CHESTER: Unreservedly. As I was saying, the Australian people understand that we have a mess to clean up. It is more likely that the Australian people would phone their local Jim’s Cleaning service to clean up this mess than ask the Labor Party to do it. I actually had the time during question time to check with Jim’s Cleaning in Canberra. They are currently offering a no-obligation free quote for their cleaning service. Their promotional material is very interesting stuff. I would like to quote from it:

In this day and age security and trust are a vital for the consumer …

I would say that they are vital for the Australian voters as well. But the big advertising message for Jim’s Cleaning right here in Canberra is very insightful:

So sit back, relax and let us do the dirty work while you spend your spare time doing the things you enjoy!

There you go! Perhaps someone from Jim’s Cleaning right here in Canberra is sending a new political strategy to the Australian Labor Party:

So sit back, relax and let us do the dirty work while you spend your spare time doing the things you enjoy!

Now what would that be? What do those members opposite like doing? I don’t know. Stacking branches, perhaps? I don’t know. Plotting against their leader? Wasting taxpayers’ money running false scare campaigns, opposing every new thing that this government puts forward?

Mr Christensen: Sledging military leaders.

Mr CHESTER: I take the member for Dawson’s interjection. I encourage those opposite to get back to what they enjoy doing and let us get on with the job of cleaning up this mess. I am amazed, as the member for Flinders was, at the audacity, the irony and the hypocrisy of those opposite in proposing this matter of public importance which speaks about a failure to deliver on promises.

We only have to go back two or three years ago and reflect on what the member for Lilley told us in his budget speech in 2012:

The four years of surpluses I announce tonight are a powerful endorsement of the strength of our economy …

He went on:

This Budget delivers a surplus this coming year, on time, as promised, and surpluses each year after that, strengthening over time.

And then there was the member for Lalor, who said:

I rule out a carbon tax … There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead …

No-one on this side of the House, no-one in the Australian community, has forgotten that fundamental breach of trust between the former Labor government and our nation. It goes to the core of every bit of anger in the community in the lead-up to last year’s election. It explains why the Australian people simply do not trust the Australian Labor Party and why they want to us clean up the mess.

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