Sen Hanson: What a great matter of public importance has been put on the agenda today: the need for the economy to work in the interests of working Australians. I am sure every working Australian out there paying their taxes would dearly love to see how it’s going to be addressed. Our economy is in the hands of our governments: our past, current and future governments. Unless we actually rein it in and pull in our spending, then I am sorry to tell the Australians out there: you’re going to be paying more taxes. We are one of the highest-taxed countries in the world.
What is dear to the hearts of many Australians is their cost of living. The cost of living has been rising. Most importantly as of late is the cost of electricity. I have just travelled to Queensland quite extensively. I have spoken to someone in a fish and chip shop—a small business that I used to have. She got her last electricity bill: $14,000 for a quarter. I spoke to an hotelier in Ayr: $14,000 per month in electricity. Then we talk about a community club in North Queensland that is paying $531,000 a year in electricity—a non-profit organisation. These are costs. These are the retail electricity prices, in cents, per kilowatt hour in Australia in August 2017: South Australia, 47.13; New South Wales, 39.10; Queensland, 35.69; and Victoria, 34.66. What are Americans paying? They are paying 15.75c per kilowatt hour. If you go to other countries around the world: Sweden, 28.36; Norway, 23.9; and Poland, 20.9. We have the highest electricity costs in the world, and yet you want to shut down the power stations here. We’re going to renewables—another thing that’s rising costs here in Australia. And we are not managing our money correctly. We are actually borrowing to give away $3.9 billion in foreign aid in 2017-18. That is money that we are borrowing to give to countries that I feel are actually corrupt. It’s mismanagement of Australian taxpayers’ dollars, and that needs to be reviewed.
Another thing that we need to look at is what we’re paying our bureaucrats, which doesn’t pass the pub test with many Australians. Vice-chancellors are highly overpaid. They are basically the highest-paid vice-chancellors in the world. Taxpayers pay nearly 60 per cent of their salaries, and yet do our universities perform on a world basis? No, they don’t, yet they’re paid the highest salaries. An average salary is around $890,000 and that is excessive.
If we look at what happened with successive governments, both Labor and Liberal, we can see they sold off our assets. Telstra was sold when it was making $2.2 billion profit a year and now it makes over $6 billion profit a year. We sold our airports: Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Sydney. That’s all gone. Telstra has been sold. At the moment, we are looking to the Adani mine to build the railway line. We’re going to loan them the money, a billion dollars, to build it. Here we have an asset that would possibly make a billion dollars a year and yet we’re not going to build it and own it. The Australian people are fed up with both the Liberal and the Labor governments and how they’ve run this country. They have destroyed it.
Chamber Senate on 08/2017 Item MATTERS OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE – Economy Speaker: Hanson, Sen Pauline / Parliment of Australia Transcript used for News Reporting