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The world is not Greenough

18 November, 2006
by

MR G. WOODHAMS (Greenough) [5.27 pm]: It gives me great pleasure to have the opportunity to reply to the Treasurer’s budget speech. This is perhaps an appropriate gathering, as there is an intimate number of people in the chamber, and it is a suitable venue to provide some inspiration and thought, and perhaps also some provocation.

Mr R.F. Johnson: I disagree!

Mr G. WOODHAMS: I will pay the member for Hillarys afterwards! With all due respect to Don McLean and his epic song American Pie, I present to members this evening an ode to the budget, “Budget Pie”-

A long, long time ago . . .
I can still remember
How the budget used to make me smile.

And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make the country dance
And, maybe, they’d be happy for awhile

But the Treasurer made me shiver
With that sad paper he did deliver.
Mandurah rail was the headline
Putting more people on the breadline.

I can’t remember if I cried
When I saw the Treasurer talk about this ride
But something touched me deep inside
The day the budget died.

So bye-bye, divide up the pie.
Drove my Hyundai to service station
But the cost was too high.
And them good old Labor boys were ridin’ nigh
Singin’, “Mandurah rail or I die.
“Mandurah rail or I die.”

Did you write the rail dept off?
And do you have faith in Kym above,
If the Budget tells you so?

Do you believe in standard gauge,
Can ticket inspectors save your mortal soul,
And can you teach me how to tunnel real slow?

Well, I know that you’re insane
’cause I saw you sittin’ on the train.
You both had come from caucus
A ripper of a budget had made you raucus.

I was a lovely middle age Nats’ buck
Wearing my houndstooth jacket driving a pickup truck,
But I knew I was out of luck,
The day the budget was . . . deep fried.

So, bye-bye, divide up the pie.”
Drove my school bus to the primary,
But it was closed for all times.
Them Labor boys were drinkin’ Chablis Dry
And singin’, Mandurah Rail or I die.
Mandurah Rail or I die.”

Now for six years they’ve spending the large
Throwing money on the city like there was no charge,
But that’s not how it used to be.
When real electorates were provided for all
Not one vote one value tricking the soul
But a vote that came from you and me,

But while the people were looking down,
The budget stole every small town.
Parliament was adjourned;
No money was returned.

And the Premier spoke to the Legislative Clerk
Jim, John, and Eric practiced in the park,
And western Power left us in the dark
The day the budget died.

We were singing,
“bye-bye, budget pie.”
Caught the ambulance to the hospital
But no beds could I spy.
Them Labor girls were demanding portfolios from guys
And singin’, “Mandurah Rail or I die.
Mandurah Rail and I die.”

Helter skelter in a spending swelter.
The Ministers flew off to the Mandurah shelter,
Thirty miles long and failing fast.

The budget landed foul as it was cast
The back bench tried for a forward pass,
But their voices were muffled, the votes already past.

Now the budget speech was sad, obscene
While the front bench played with a train set keen
We all got up to speak,
The situation was bleak!
’cause the house battled to hold a quorum
The big 2 billion spend on boredom
Clickety Clack Clickety Clack Clickety Clack
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the budget died?

We started singing,
“bye-bye, divide up the pie.”
I’m riding my horse to the levee,
But the Yarragadee was dry.

The Labor were saving for tickets to buy
And singin’, Mandurah Rail or I die.
Mandurah Rail or I die.”

There they were . . . all in one place,
Generation Labor lost in space
With no time left to start again.
So come on: jackhammer be nimble, jackhammer be quick!
Jackhammer under the causeway and be damn quick
Cause surplus is the Ministers only friend.

And as I watched her on the toil
Justifying blowouts like a kettle will boil
No angel born in hell
Could break that Ministers spell.
And as the figures climbed high into the night
To light the railway station light,
I saw the Premier laughing with delight
The day the budget died

He was singing,
“bye-bye, budget pie.”
Drove my govvy car to the footy
But the Dockers made me cry.

The back room deals caught me on the fly
singin’, “Mandurah Rail or I die.
“Mandurah Rail or I die.”

I met a member who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news,
But she just said return or one way
I went down to the sacred floor
Where I’d heard the budget years before,
But the man there said the Treasurer wouldn’t pay.

And in the streets: the children screamed,
Nothing for them and the places they dreamed.
But not a word was spoken;
The spirit of the future broken.
And the three men I admire most:
The father, son, and the holy ghost,
Couldn’t catch the train to the coast
Still not finished, another blowout at the Minister’s roast.

And they were singing,
“bye-bye, divide up the pie.”
Drove my solar powered yacht to the Swan,
As a salt slug went by.
Under the river the tunnel workers were dry.
Singin’, “Mandurah Rail or I die.
Mandurah Rail or I die.”

They were singing,
“bye-bye, we’ve eaten the pie.”
Drove the train to the station,
As the Labor Party went by
Their near sited leaders were drinking diet coke – you want fries with that? – with a sigh
Singin’ their new mantra, “Mandurah Rail or I die.”
Mandurah Rail or I die.

Several members interjected.

Mr G. WOODHAMS: That was a one-off performance. Many members will appreciate that it will not be repeated.

[…]

Mr G. WOODHAMS: […] I seek leave for an extension of time.

[Member’s time extended.].

Mr R.F. Johnson: Only if you tell us the poem again!

Mr G. WOODHAMS: A long, long time ago – I can still remember it! It is only a monotone, which matches my “monoceps”. That is the way I am cast.

Subject: Appropriation (Consolidated Fund) Bill (no. 1) 2006 [Legislative Assembly, second reading, cognate debate]

Date: 17 May 2006

Hansard reference: pp. 2794b – 2848a [online (pdf)]

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