Beazley gaining office would threaten Australia’s economy: Treasurer

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Australian treasurer, Peter Costello (Higgins, Liberal) told parliament on Tuesday that the greatest threat to Australia’s economy would be for opposition leader Kim Beazley (Brand, Labor) to gain office.

Mr Costello said that the Australian economy would suffer with Mr Beazley at the helm. “The greatest threat to the Australian economy domestically… would be the election of the Leader of the Opposition,” said the treasurer.

“I can think of nothing that could be worse for the Australian economy than Kim Beazley being in a position of influence.”

Mr Costello told the House of Representatives that despite unemployment dropping below five percent last week, Mr Beazley made no comment on the matter. Mr Costello referred to a statement made about the oppositon leader in The Australian newspaper, which said “Beazley is the leaf blower of Australian politics—lots of noise but all that comes out is hot air.”

The treasurer went on to say that Mr Beazley is “not an economic four-cylinder leaf blower,”

“He is a V8 turbocharged double-exhaust leaf blower. There is no end to the leaf blowing and the hot air that comes out as a consequence.”

Mr Costello said Labor’s proposed changes to the government’s controversial industrial relations laws (known as Workchoices) would harm the economy. Costello defended his government’s IR reforms saying that countries around the world were moving to make their labour markets more flexible.

The treasurer warned that Labor’s proposed changes would return industrial relations in Australia to the 20th and 19th centuries.

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