Page 2557 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 11 August 2015
We know that the left factions of the Labor Party are champions of this. It gives Mr Rattenbury a chance to talk about this when he goes to Greens’ party candidate meetings in Tasmania. It gives Mr Corbell a chance to talk about this when he flies around the world to Copenhagen and all the other places, including Hong Kong. You could probably look at a list of all the places Mr Corbell has gone to to spruik his light rail vision. It gives them the ability to strut their stuff, their green credentials, their environmental credentials, and it is the worst sin that I think politicians can commit. It is all about legacy. It is all about them.
Whilst you have Mr Rattenbury and Mr Corbell trying to compete with each other on legacy building on their light rail project, Mr Barr and perhaps many who would have a more sensible view of these things, one would hope, in the Labor Party—we hear from them in droves—are beholden to the left, they are beholden to the CFMEU and they are beholden to the Greens. What we know is that because they are beholden they are going to build light rail because they have got no choice. On any objective look at light rail, this project does not stack up.
The public is not convinced, Madam Deputy Speaker, and you know this. You hear from your Labor Party members. You hear from people on the street. The public is not convinced. We know that the Labor Party has called for reinforcements. They have said, “We’re struggling here. We’re losing this debate.”
We know that Mr Alex White has been brought up to try and save the struggling Labor Party in their campaign. Indeed, I have heard back from people that Alex White has gone in and said to them, bald faced, “I’ve been brought up here to try and shore up the Labor Party’s campaign on light rail. That’s what I’m here to do.” He has said that to people. People have then come back to me and said, “You won’t believe what this bloke said to me.”
I thought that the unions were here looking after workers’ rights and wages and considering what is best for workers. But no, what Mr White has been brought here to do is try and fix the problem that Labor are not able to fix themselves, and that is to sell this lemon, this dud. He has gone around talking to various people. He has talked to his CFMEU mates and said, “Mr Hall, Deano, will you fund the campaign if we bring it out? The economics don’t work. It’s not a transport solution. What are we going to come up with?” They are probably there at the Dickson Tradies having a chat about how they can come up with a solution to sell this to the public. They came up with this, “Let’s sell it on jobs.”
We know that it has been largely debunked by economists who have looked at the evidence for this. But let us be under no illusion about what this union campaign is, bank-rolled by the CFMEU. You know that they are desperate to get their mates in the Labor Party re-elected. That is what this is about. Trust me, there are people in the union movement who have spoken to me, who have come to me and said, “We don’t like light rail. We don’t think it is a jobs creator. We don’t think it is good for Canberra. But we have got these doctrines about being united. It is about ‘united we stand, divided we fall’, all of that union mantra. This is what the CFMEU tells us to do. The Labor Party have told us this is what we have to do. We have to fall in line unfortunately. Yes we agree with you about light rail. We don’t think this is good for