Wednesday, 22 August 2018
Questions without Notice
Initially, Mr Speaker, I'd like to thank you for reminding the House that we have been in this chamber for 30 years on this particular spot. The Australian public are also very thankful of that, because for more than half of that time there's been a Liberal-National government in place. When you have a Liberal-National government in place you can do things like what we have been doing as far as mobile phone towers in regional areas, such as the member for Wide Bay's electorate. You can invest in mobile phone towers. We're rolling them out—867 of them.
Mr Rob Mitchell interjecting—
I hear the member for McEwen yelling out. In his peri-urban seat, let me tell you, mobile phone towers are important. They are important. Not one mobile phone tower was delivered under Labor. Then, of course, we have the member for Adelaide. How did that double drop-off go? These are the sorts of policy failures that we saw from Labor in those six despairing years.
But the member for Wide Bay understands farmers. He understands that they're doing it tough at the moment, with the drought throughout Queensland, Victoria and all of New South Wales. He understands small businesses, such as Jason and Susan Kinsella's Moffatdale Ridge Winery and restaurant. They're employing more people. They're benefiting from the tax cuts that we have provided. They will benefit, certainly, from the lower power prices that we will provide through the default price mechanism through the ACCC; through security of the investment in the power sector; and, certainly, through the divestiture measures—a tough cop on the beat. If those energy companies are going to gouge or are going to have cartel behaviour, then they will be broken up. That is what we're doing as far as the energy sector is concerned. We're underpinning one important thing when it comes to power prices, and that is affordability—that is, price—whilst maintaining security and reliability in the system.
Now, the member for Wide Bay is absolutely committed to making sure that we have the infrastructure rollout across the nation—that 10-year pipeline of investment. It's $75 billion worth of investment—
Mr Albanese interjecting—
It was $24½ billion, member for Grayndler, of new money in the May budget—$24½ billion of new money! It included the $800 million that we are investing in the $1 billion project, section D Cooroy to Curra section, for the Gympie bypass. That will save lives; it will help truck drivers and it will help tourists. It will help people get to where they want to go, sooner and safer. That's the important policy platform when it comes to infrastructure: making sure that we invest in the infrastructure, whether it is in Queensland or wherever it is—whether it's in the member for Wide Bay's electorate—we are rolling out the infrastructure we need.
But what do we have from those opposite? We have a policy-devoid Labor Party. That's right! They're devoid of policy, they smash small business, they stand for higher taxes and they stand for higher energy costs.