House debates

Monday, 28 May 2007

Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2007-2008

Second Reading

4:37 pm

Photo of Dennis JensenDennis Jensen (Tangney, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

These businesses have struggled under the burdens of higher taxation and ridiculously onerous industrial relations systems under previous Labor regimes. These businesses, such as those in the light industrial area in Willetton, are benefiting from the reduction in small business taxes and compliance costs. They will be even better placed to expand and improve their businesses, feeding into the overall national economic wellbeing of the nation. There is only one thing that could destroy all this hard work: a future Labor government.

These small businesses will also benefit from the Skills for the Future package. When I have been speaking to both managers and business owners, and young people seeking training, this initiative has been very well received. As well as reducing unemployment, how else have families benefited? Tax cuts, again. Members opposite might need subtitles for this message as it is a foreign language to them. The Labor Party has a long history of raising existing taxes and imposing new ones without the balance of reducing income and company taxes.

Taxpayers in Tangney who earn $80,000 or less will now have an income tax rate of 30 per cent. Families in Tangney will also benefit from the additional support for child care; more than 2½ times the amount spent when we came to office. From the next financial year, childcare benefits will increase by 10 per cent, as well as families receiving the childcare tax rebate as a direct payment. There are around 20 childcare centres in Tangney plus many playgroups. On a recent visit to the Rossmoyne Community Playgroup, I met with grants coordinator Louise van den Einden and saw the excellent work she and her group are doing. The budget will provide more funding for community groups such as this, through the Local Answers program. These projects will help local communities in Tangney by funding local, small-scale projects that identify opportunities to develop skills and support children and families. All the playgroups and other eligible community groups in Tangney will benefit from this initiative.

Health is an extremely vexed subject, especially in Western Australia. We have a state government and a health minister who are in denial about the state of health in WA. Tangney is the supposed location of a new major hospital, which is supposed to replace the hospitals Labor is currently running down or closing outright. The date of completion of this hospital in Murdoch has been put back and back by a Labor government either unwilling or unable to come to grips with responsible economic management in providing the necessary services for people.

What a contrast to the Howard coalition government. The federal budget is helping bail out these incompetent state governments: firstly, by continuing the excellent vaccination program to ensure fewer people need hospitalisation; secondly, by tax rebates for Tangney residents who have private health insurance, again lessening the pressure on the public health system; and, thirdly, by providing a risk assessment and treatment program for those at risk of developing diabetes. I drew attention to this insidious condition in my winter 2006 newsletter, so I am particularly pleased that the constituents whom I spoke with who have diabetes will know that, in future, suffering should be reduced by early detection and treatment.

A large percentage of my constituents are retired. There are more than 20 nursing homes and aged care and retirement complexes in the Tangney electorate. When I visited Regents Gardens in Bateman for a tour and morning tea, I was extremely impressed with the level of care. This budget is especially good for the residents of this complex and others in Tangney. There is a bonus payment for all my constituents who are receiving the utilities allowance or the seniors concession allowance. Tangney seniors living in aged-care facilities such as the Howard Solomon Hostel in Ferndale, Joseph Cooke Hostel in Rossmoyne and Bull Creek Village will also benefit from the commitment to increase the Medicare rebate for GPs attending aged-care facilities.

My electorate contains the RAAF Association Estate in Bull Creek and some very active RSL branches, which are all to be congratulated for the differing work they do with ex-service men and women. Tangney has a significant number of veterans and their families, of whom over 3,000 are DVA pensioners or treatment card holders. Those who are disabled will benefit greatly from higher fortnightly payments and better support services when coming home from hospital. The continuing defence medals program, which has been very well received by all the veterans to whom I have presented medals, is most worthy and highlights this government’s appreciation of our ex-service men and women.

The attitude of the WA Labor government to our public schools is a scandal. Not only is the Carpenter government not providing this much needed funding; it is also siphoning off federal funding before the schools even receive it. On this issue and others, such as road funding, I am told by state colleagues that federal funding is covering up for the disgraceful inadequacies of a state Labor government which is awash with taxpayers’ money but which is hoarding it until the next state election. This is exactly the opposite of the Howard government’s careful financial management, the strategic expenditure adhering to well understood, coherent and longstanding philosophical positions. And excellent programs are able to be funded as a result. (Time expired)


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