House debates

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Matters of Public Importance

Turnbull Government

4:02 pm

Photo of Lucy WicksLucy Wicks (Robertson, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

Let me just repeat this point, as it's clearly worth remembering: do I need to remind members opposite about the big red button that was pushed with great fanfare by Stephen Conroy and Deborah O'Neill on the Gosford waterfront? They said that fibre to the premise, rolled gold, high-speed broadband was coming to Gosford, only for the poor residents and businesses of Gosford to find out that 90 per cent of homes and businesses couldn't actually connect.

This Leader of the Opposition, just like during his time as a union boss, will say and do anything for the sake of politics while, at the same time, ignoring or brazenly voting against anything that actually delivers the critical reform our nation needs. Labor's approach is to respect its union bosses, ignore the decisions of an independent umpire and have no credible plans for jobs or small businesses. For example, for many years local small businesses have been competing on an uneven playing field against big businesses like Woolworths, McDonald's and KFC, as big businesses have negotiated enterprise agreements with big unions to lower Sunday penalty rates. The Leader of the Opposition has been totally hypocritical on this issue. As a union boss, he cut penalty rates to low-paid workers. The Leader of the Opposition is happy for big businesses and big union leaders to do deals cutting penalty rates, but it appears Labor quickly whistles to a different tune on penalty rates when an independent umpire does it for small business.

The Leader of the Opposition says he's against foreign workers, but his record of granting 457 visas shows that he brought foreign workers in at the expense of Australians looking for work. He said he was in favour of a cut in the company tax rate, but now Labor is opposing the coalition's company tax cut. Labor wants to attack Central Coast's small businesses and their employees by repealing the coalition's enterprise tax cut plans, and yet you can see how the coalition's plan is working. Just look at the fantastic response of local businesses in my electorate to the instant asset write-off. Close to 300,000 Australian small businesses have taken advantage of this, including more than 2,200 in my electorate.

We've got a strong record of delivering on reform, including strong changes in industrial relations, such as protecting firefighters from union takeovers and legislation to restore the rule of law and stop union thuggery in the building and construction sector. We've secured the passage of the corrupting benefits legislation that will bring an end to the dodgy deals done between employers and unions that do nothing to benefit workers, and much, much more. But, sadly, because the Leader of the Opposition always puts politics and his own interests ahead of the national interest, he cannot be trusted to deliver for our nation or for the Central Coast. Labor, it would seem, is short on standards and short on accountability.


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