Wherefore art thou cost-benefit analysis?

This morning on 2CC Breakfast I responded to Malcolm Turnbull's Shakespearean prose and praise for yours truly during Question Time in Parliament yesterday.

Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh during Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday.

Photo: Alex Ellinghausen


5 JUNE 2014

SUBJECT / S: Turnbull’s thespian turn.

MARK PARTON: We played a little bit earlier Malcolm Turnbull's spray against Andrew in the parliament yesterday. It was amazing. 

MALCOM TURNBULL: "I say this with respect to the honourable member Madame speaker, I come not to embarrass the member for Fraser, but to praise him. For, for I am very concerned as we all are that the Conrovian nonsense that he is forced to spew out occasionally nowadays will live after him, but the wisdom and economic rationality will be buried in his bones unless we, unless we, unless we draw people’s attention to it. And you know Madame speaker you can imagine the thought reform that the member for Fraser has had to have, you can imagine the Conrovian electrodes going on to him as they give him another jolt to stop him being rational."


MARK PARTON: Well we will leave that there. Let’s go to Andrew Fraser, wow that was, what happened Andrew?

SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER, ANDREW LEIGH: You got Andrew Fraser on this morning?

PARTON: Andrew Fraser, sorry Andrew Leigh. That's not the first time that's happened. How amazing was that, didn't he fire up, Malcolm.

LEIGH: Oh absolutely. I thought it was so appropriate because I got your text message to come on the show just as I was changing a full nappy on my one year old, and I said look it’s just a matter of continuing a similar job. 

PARTON: [Laughter] I got to say, I got to say, that the spray that he gave you was laced actually with a hell of a lot of respect, wasn't it?

LEIGH: Malcolm and I do get along very well. I think he's a terrific speech maker, and the only right thing to do in that situation is to have a big smile on your face. But the substance of it, well he thinks we ought to do cost-benefit analysis. I'm all for that, I think that would be a terrific thing. Let's do a cost-benefit analysis of the government’s so-called Direct Action scheme. Let's let cost-benefit analysis guide our infrastructure decisions as it did to get the ACT its Majura Parkway money, rather than ruling out things like public transport projects like the Gungahlin Light Rail from getting federal funds on the basis of ideology. So you know I think Malcolm's point about the cost benefit analysis is absolutely well taken, I'd just love to see him take into cabinet as well as into parliament.

PARTON: Just think we need more discussion of Conrovian models in parliament, to be honest with you.

LEIGH: [Laugh] I think he just doesn't like the fact that Stephen Conroy is a Doctor Who fan, Mark. I think that's fundamentally what lies at the heart of this, and everything else is just chaff. 

PARTON: Did you get any interest in the book in your ad in parliament? The sales have gone through the roof overnight, have they?

LEIGH: My publisher did say that Battlers and Billionaires has gone into a reprint.

PARTON: Ah, that's good.

LEIGH: I have been a little puzzled actually. The Government has clearly decided over the last fortnight they are going to quote from various of my past writings, bringing out such outlandish statements to the fact that people that go to university earn higher wages and that good economic policy involves cost-benefit analyses. So bring it on I say, bring it on.

PARTON: Andrew, I'll let you get back to the domestic duties of the pre-dawn in the Leigh household. Thanks for taking out call mate.

LEIGH: Thank you Mark. Have a good one.

PARTON: Andrew Leigh the Federal member for Fraser. Yeah, it was pretty amazing there in Parliament yesterday.

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