Labor supports the amendments moved by the Government fundamentally because they are an admission by the Government that its port privatisation policy has comprehensively failed and, indeed, that its wider policy of privatisation has failed. The bill finally begins to clean up the anti-competitive deal that was done by the Liberals that gave Port Botany and Port Kembla a virtual monopoly over the New South Wales container trade. The passage of the bill in this place, and then hopefully subsequently in the other place, will allow the people of New South Wales to deal with the consequences of the Government's bad deal and failed privatisation policies. Members across the Parliament have spoken today about how the deal held back the development of the Port of Newcastle. It held back the wider economic diversification of the Hunter as a whole, and it subsequently held back our State. The Government cannot say that it was not warned about the consequences of that at the time. It was a bad deal in 2013, it was a bad deal in 2014 and it is still a bad deal now. The amendments moved by the Government today and the bill as a whole mean that we can start to deal with those consequences.
The Government still has some serious questions to answer, though, about the consequences of what the people of New South Wales will end up having to pay. We asked the Premier today in question time, and he did not answer. In fact, we asked him six times about the full amount of compensation that the New South Wales taxpayers would have to pay. We asked him, "What is the full amount that New South Wales taxpayers are now going to be liable for over the remaining 40 years of the port commitment deeds?" and he refused to answer six times. The people of New South Wales are faced with two possibilities: Either the Premier does not know the full cost to the public of his failed privatisation policies, or he is simply not telling the truth. It is truly extraordinary.
I call on the Government right now to come clean and tell the people of New South Wales the final total sum that they will have to pay for its bad deal. What is the true cost of privatisation? It is time to end 12 long years of privatisations that the people of New South Wales have had to pay for, that the people of the Hunter have had to pay for, that the people of Newcastle have had to pay for and that the public will continue to pay for, thanks to this bad port privatisation deal that was stitched up by this tired Government. From today we move on, but the Government still has serious questions to answer