House debates

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Matters of Public Importance


4:14 pm

Photo of Andrew WallaceAndrew Wallace (Fisher, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

Mr Deputy Speaker Hogan, I join with everyone that's congratulated you in the past on your recent elevation to high office.

It's a great shame that those opposite now are abandoning their posts because they know that they are about to cop a shellacking. I'm very pleased to see that my friend the member for Fairfax is in the chamber with me, because this is a very important discussion that we're having this afternoon. It's important to bring this down to a local level. I'm sure the same situation applies in Fairfax as it does in Fisher—that is, in two federal seats on the Sunshine Coast. There are 741 people in Fisher alone that have been helped off welfare and put into work, including 181 young people, through this government's jobactive wage subsidies. The other side don't like to talk about that, do they? Another great thing on the Sunshine Coast is the record low unemployment: 5.1 per cent. I just seek to remind those opposite that success leaves clues. You can't argue with numbers like 5.1 per cent. I wonder if those opposite could say something similar about an employment rate under the previous Labor government.

There is $266 million extra for schools in Fisher. I love it when they come up with these MPIs because it's just a free kick. There is $1.6 billion in extra funding for the Bruce Highway, member for Fairfax. There are millions for a business case which the member for Fairfax was instrumental in organising for the funding of the North Coast Connect rail project, a fast rail project from Maroochydore and Nambour to Brisbane. What have the Romans ever done for us? What has the Turnbull government ever done for us? The answer is $1.6 billion for roads and fast rail.

These are groundbreaking projects that will change the lives of hardworking Australians—hardworking people living in Fisher, living in Fairfax and living in Wide Bay. I don't know about Fairfax, but I don't have too many big businesses operating in Fisher. I don't think there are too many big businesses operating in Fairfax. Perhaps we can change that. The other side are always keen to turn a big business into a small business, but on our side of the fence we have absolutely laser-like focus on looking after our small businesses on the Sunshine Coast.

There is $5 million for the Thompson Institute. They talk about ordinary Australians. Ordinary Australians will receive some fantastic mental health care through the Thompson Institute—people who suffer from dementia; people who are at very, very low points in their lives and need help, particularly in relation to suicide prevention; and youth with mental health issues. We all want to care for the mental health of our young people. There is $5 million for the new Sunshine Coast community sporting hub in Kawana. This government cares for ordinary Australians. It puts its money where its mouth is. There is $3 million for upgrades to the Events Centre in Caloundra. The list continues to go on.

Another great example is a commercialisation grant of $1 million that was provided by the federal government for a Caloundra business by the name of HeliMods. HeliMods will take this power stretcher loader to the world and it will revolutionise people being loaded into emergency services helicopters. I know that Will is heading off to the US in a couple of weeks time to try and sell this concept—it's like selling ice to the Eskimos—to the US National Guard. This is something that will revolutionise the transport of very sick and injured people. A million dollars as just been announced in relation to homelessness programs in Fisher alone.

Those opposite talk about ordinary Australians. The Turnbull government gives a damn about ordinary Australians. It always has and always will. (Time expired)


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