Brian Calls Out Corruption

Mr BRIAN MITCHELL: It gives me great pleasure—no, actually it doesn't give me great pleasure—to stand here and speak to this MPI. This MPI goes to this government's failures, and it gives me no pleasure to talk about a government's failures. This government has failed this country for seven successive years, and it is now in its eighth year of failing this country. Corruption, incompetence, cruelty—that's a trifecta that no government should be proud of, and this government has all three.

I'll go to a few of these failures. The first is robodebt—heartless and illegal. A government was actually stealing the money of its own citizens. And who are those citizens? The poorest people in the country. The government didn't go to stockbrokers. It didn't go to day traders. It didn't go to the top end of town and steal their money; it stole the money of people who could least afford it. That's the tale of this government. The disaster of robodebt has this Prime Minister's fingerprints all over it from start to finish. This is not like the chicken coop in the photo opportunities; we can say for sure that we know that this Prime Minister built robodebt from the ground up.

Next is NBN. The government now admit after 7½ long years that Labor's NBN plan was the right one, after wasting billions and billions of dollars. That mistake is costing taxpayers billions to fix, and the opportunity cost is even higher. Businesses, educators and homeowners have had to put up with substandard broadband for years because of this government's rank incompetence at running an economy and running a country.

Next is Leppington Triangle. In the scheme of things, when we're talking about the trillion-dollar debt that we're now running into, I guess Leppington Triangle is small beer, but it is so emblematic of this government's manifest failures—a parcel of land bought from a Liberal donor for 1,000 per cent of what it was worth. They spent $30 million on a $3 million block of land. What's more, the seller got to keep the land. The Liberal donor gets to use the land for the next few years, virtually rent free.

There is no scandal that this government won't enter into. It is absolutely disgraceful. The budget is racking up $1 trillion of debt—one thousand billion dollars—with nothing to show for it. There is no plan for the future—no jobs plan, no infrastructure plan and no energy plan. We've had 22 energy plans under this government, and it hasn't landed a single one. They keep coming to the dispatch box and talking about lower power prices, yet power prices keep going up. After 7½ years of incompetent Liberal government, power prices are still going up. Home owners in Australia are still paying the price of a government that has rank incompetence, no ambition, no courage and no vision.

And there is sports rorts: $100 million of taxpayers' money spent not because clubs had done the right thing and shown that they needed the money; this government put the money where it was in its own political best interests. Sports clubs did the right thing. They filled out the paperwork. They spent hours and hours filling out paperwork and meeting all the criteria, and it was all ignored, because in the Prime Minister's office he had coloured charts showing where to put the money based on the marginality of the seat. Corruption. This Prime Minister and his former minister are blocking every chance at genuine inquiry, as the Senate has just found. They're inquiring into this scandal, and the Prime Minister and former Minister McKenzie are blocking it. If they have nothing to hide, why won't they provide the evidence?

This government is holding people back, with 37,000 Australians stranded overseas. They've left behind aged-care residents, with nearly 700 dead because this government refused to come up with a COVID plan. Even before the pandemic, the royal commission damned this government's approach to aged care by titling their report Neglect. At every stage, this government fails. Cruelty, incompetence—it is not fit to govern and it deserves to go.