The following is an extract from Hansard from Question Time Tuesday 10 March 2009:

Mr BIDGOOD (2.46 pm): My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer update the House on the global economic sh-tstorm. Are there any differences of view on the origins of the sh-tstorm and how the sh-tstorm can be addressed?

Mr SWAN: I thank the member for his question, and I acknowledge his longstanding interest in the sh-tstorm, and in particular the impact of the sh-tstorm on people in his electorate. I was in his electorate only last week and discussed the sh-tstorm with many of his constituents. It certainly is a very serious question and it is something that the government takes very seriously. That is why we have said repeatedly that the global sh-tstorm will have a negative impact on employment in Australia. The sh-tstorm will have that impact, and it is going to have sh-t-like consequences for too many Australians. That is why the government is so steely in its resolve to support employment through stimulus packages — first of all the Economic Security Strategy brought down last October and, of course, our Nation Building and Jobs Plan. They are all designed to support employment in this economy in the middle of a sh-tstorm, because there is only one certainty here: we would be much sh-ttier if the government had not acted on this sh-tstorm. That is something that those opposite simply refuse to acknowledge. They refuse to acknowledge the magnitude of the sh-tstorm and they refuse to put forward any alternative whatsoever.

Mr Pyne: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The Treasurer was asked about the sh-tstorm, not asked to make a gratuitous and wholly inaccurate attack on the …

The SPEAKER: The Member for Sturt will resume his seat. The Treasurer is responding to the question.

Mr SWAN: I most certainly am responding to the question, Mr Speaker, because on this side of the House we will do everything within our power to address the sh-tstorm. We understand that this is the worst sh-tstorm in 60 years. The worst sh-tstorm since the Great Sh-tstorm of the 1930s. The only people in this country who don’t accept that are those opposite. They want a bigger sh-tstorm, Mr Speaker. A bigger sh-tstorm.

Opposition members interjecting

Mr SWAN: They do not like it, Mr Speaker. There is something inherently un-Australian about the way they celebrate this sh-tstorm. There most certainly is. Those opposite stand up and say they are against the sh-tstorm and then come into the House and vote for it.

Mr Pyne: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The Opposition has never celebrated any sh-tstorm. And believe me, we’ve had plenty inside the partyroom lately.

The SPEAKER: Order! The Member for Sturt will resume his seat. The honourable the Treasurer.

Mr SWAN: We saw comments today from a leading Australian businessman, who is not associated with this side of the House, Mr Alan Smith of Australian Sewage Industries. He is probably one of our most respected sewage businessmen in this country. And he has said very clearly, that in a lifetime of dealing with sh-t he has never seen a sh-tstorm of this magnitude. Never seen one of this magnitude, either in the velocity of the sh-t or the size of the individual pieces. And he said that the Government’s measures to deal with the sh-tstorm have been entirely appropriate.

Mr Hockey: He’s getting $200 million for new sewage infrastructure from the stimulus package!

Mr SWAN: And now they are flinging sh-t at those who support the stimulus package. Of course, the Opposition refuses to accept that we need to make sure we take whatever opportunities we can in this time of global sh-tstorm, and that includes converting some of this sh-t into fertiliser for Australian farmers doing it tough. Doing it tough, Mr Speaker, and the Opposition would deprive them of the sh-t they need.

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Order! The House will come to order.

Mr Tuckey: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The Treasurer is talking sh-t about sh-t.

The SPEAKER: The member for O’Connor will leave the chamber for one hour under standing order 94(a).

Mr Tuckey: Good, because I need to have a…

Government members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Order! The sh-tstorm will come to order! The minister will bring his answer to a conclusion.

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