Jun 24, 2009

Business of the House

Mr ALBANESE —This afternoon in the debate in this chamber, interrupted by question time, we have before us the migration detention legislation. This is important legislation. It is bringing justice to people who have been forced to rack up extensive bills. Not only do people on this side of the House think this is important legislation and want to vote in favour of it but there are many people of honour and integrity on the other side of the House who also want to vote for this legislation. I note the member for Kooyong’s speech in the parliament prior to this question time. We also, of course, want to receive back from the Senate their position on the CPRS. We want them to determine this important legislation. We think that we have had inaction for long enough on climate change. The Senate should determine its position. The Leader of the Opposition has said that he supports an emissions trading scheme. If he has amendments to that legislation, he should make them, and then it should return to this House. Whether it is alcopops, asylum seekers or the CPRS, we have absolute chaos on that side of the House—absolute chaos from a rabble led by a leader without authority, a leader who put his authority on the line last Friday over a fake email.

We take our legislative agenda seriously. We want to debate in this House the issues of concern to Australians: responding to the global economic crisis, responding to climate change—

Ms Macklin —Getting the pension through.

Mr ALBANESE —introducing fairness in the workplace, getting the pension changes through and making sure that we nation build for recovery. Whether it be the education revolution, infrastructure in hospitals, or road, rail, ports and broadband, they are the issues that the Australian public want us to discuss in this House and to determine a position on.

Yet what we have had from those opposite is a failure to recognise the fundamental principle that, when you are in a hole, you should stop digging. That is a fundamental principle in politics, and yet the Leader of the Opposition continues to dig. He continues to engage in this confected anger about this issue, when it is a fact that no taxpayer dollars went to any car dealer. That is fact 1. Fact 2: their whole campaign has been based upon a fake email. Fact 3: the Leader of the Opposition is finished.