It's got beyond a joke. The person who fills the second-most senior role in the country is still in his job because 11 National Party MPs can't decide on how, when or where totap him on the shoulder. We have got the deputy leader of that party who has just told Australia that 100 per centof the people are behind him.
We know that's not true. We know that 100 per cent of the members of the LiberalParty are definitely not behind him. It would not be such a joke if it weren't regional communities that aresuffering. They are suffering.
Right now there are over $500 million worth of growth projects that are on holdbecause this Deputy Prime Minister and his ministers cannot make a decision. The Regional Growth Fund, $270million worth of projects: we were promised guidelines; we were promised money. It is on hold because they can'tmake a decision. The Regional Jobs and Investment Packages: eight of the 10 projects haven't been announced.
The decentralisation planthere's a fraud if ever there was one. No plan, but jobs being cut in regional Australia.
It's time for the Prime Minister to do what the Nationals can't do: end this battle between the Hatfields and the
McCoys. Do the right thing, sack the Deputy Prime Minister and let's get the country back on track.