Thursday, 5 December 2019
Matters of Public Importance
If only I'd had a few glasses! The point I'm making is that the Liberal Party is the party of aspiration and opportunity. It's the party of getting ahead—those of having a go getting a go.
The Labor Party, on the other hand, is the party of moaning, whining and worry. They remind me, from this conversation that we've been having, of my children in the back of the car, saying, 'Where is your plan and where are you going?' When, in actual fact, if they listened just a bit more carefully, they'd hear that we do have a plan and that we are delivering.
In fact, our plan is for a strong economy because we care about an economy that's driven by low taxes, not an economy that's driven by higher taxes. That is the proposition that just six months ago was taken to the election, and I got a resounding sense within my electorate of Higgins that people are not just positive about the Morrison government; they're relieved that they didn't get the opposition. They're relieved that they didn't get the alternative government, because they fundamentally understood that what was on offer, from an economic management point of view, was going to be strong, certain and stable and they could feel confident that they had a government that was in charge of their economic prosperity. I'm delighted to be part of the Morrison government, which is delivering.
A strong economy's not just about words. It's not just about what we're delivering. It's a strong economy because we want to deliver outcomes for all Australians. We need to deliver for health and education. We need to deliver for infrastructure. I'm delighted that our strong economy is already delivering so much for the Australian people. We hear frequently from the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, who I believe is the best health minister we've ever had, that our strong economy is delivering on 2,200 new drugs being listed on the PBS. That wasn't the case with the previous Labor government. We are delivering a strong and certain economic future that allows us to deliver drugs on the PBS. What is also really important is that we're getting an increase in Medicare bulk-billing, and that has increased significantly since we have been in government. It's increased from 82 per cent under Labor to 86 per cent today.
Importantly, from my point of view, we're also taking a very strong and active approach to plans for mental health. We're expanding the headspace network. Thirty-three new headspace centres are going to be opened, and I'm delighted to say there will be one in Higgins.
We're also delivering a whole lot more when it comes to record school funding. We've had a 62 per cent increase over the last decade with an additional $37 billion as part of the government's Quality Schools package. I'm very fortunate in the seat of Higgins because we've had a significant set of commitments, which is something that my local constituents are very pleased about. That includes Glenloch, a wonderful low-cost rental accommodation centre for pensioners who cannot easily access affordable rental accommodation in the area. We're investing in them by increasing the opportunities for age pensioners within Higgins. It's a wonderful opportunity for them.
We're also investing $4 million in the Murrumbeena Park community hub, which will enable new change rooms and facilities for the people of Murrumbeena and surrounds and for the footy players down there. There are going to be new girls change rooms, and it's going to be a wonderful outcome for my local community. I'm also very proud of the fact that we're investing $400,000 in the Melbourne Yarra bike trail, because, for me, keeping healthy and fit is incredibly important, and it's part of the bigger idea that the Morrison government is delivering for all of us.