Media Release – Senator Barnaby Joyce, 14 April 2011:
Q. Who am I? Two weeks ago there were 183.8 of me, this week there is 187.3 of me.A. Billions of dollars in gross debt.Is there any way we can get the penny to drop on why this is not healthy for the Australian people? Look at it this way; we had all those demonstrations on Tuesday because of a prospective $400 million loss in medical research funding; in two weeks we dropped almost 9 times that amount. We could have built the Toowoomba Range Crossing twice, or we could have completed the required sections of the inland rail for this amount. We could have put slightly more money, than $1.4 million towards myrtle rust, an introduced direct threat to eucalypts in Australia.Something smells. Ken Henry has left, Julia Gillard is panicking, and our gross debt is tearing through the roof.Seeing as Mr Swan always talks about net debt, maybe he would like to find some of these funds he used in netting off this $187.3 billion and use it now to pay off some of the debt. I will tell you there are two things, he won’t be able to tell us where the money is and secondly, if he did know where it was, he would be terrified of what would happen if he actually used it to pay off the debt. For example, the largest section of the money used in the netting process is for public servants’ superannuation.I have been banging on about this for about two years and I am not going stop till Wayne stops borrowing and starts paying the money back.We have found ourselves in this position because we have got a government that spent like a person who should have been swabbed. We will look back in history and cringe as to how on earth we got ourselves into such strife. $2.5 billion on ceiling insulation, $16.8 billion on school halls and random $900 cheques, for who only knows what purpose followed by a little home cooked policy cake to cool the planet. Australia asks where do these manic ideas come from, and how on earth are you going to repay this debt?