Thursday, 12 November 2020
Matters of Public Importance
but, sure, I'll withdraw the word 'hack'. He was the head of Tourism Australia and he was sacked from that role. He's a failed marketing guy. In life, words do matter. What you say actually does matter. But, at the end of the day, it's not what you say; it's what you do. And the Prime Minister is a fake.
Bushfire recovery—how many billions has he promised? Nothing's been spent. Aged care and home care—there are over 100,000 senior Australians in this country desperately waiting for a home-care package. In the last two years, 28,000 of them have died waiting for a home -are package. In every single budget under this government, including when the Prime Minister was the social services minister and then the Treasurer, they pop up and say, 'We're going to have more home-care packages; it's all fixed.' The royal commission said that 300 of the 50,000 home-care packages they promised had been delivered. It's all spin and marketing. It's a house of cards. You cannot believe that anything the government announces will actually happen.
The biggest problem in this debate is trying to choose what you're going to talk about. We've tracked 58 pages of announcements in the seven years the government's been in office and the Prime Minister's been hanging around the cabinet table. There are 58 pages of stuff they've announced in every portfolio: aged care, communications, foreign affairs, defence, economics, industry, trade, VET. With everything they promise, you've got to wonder whether it will ever be delivered.
On the National Disability Insurance Scheme—I see the minister sitting over there—the government thinks it's just a piggy bank to balance the budget. They promised $4.6 billion more and they ripped it out of the budget to prop up the fake surplus that never happened. Remember 'back in black'? How did that go? Where are those coffee cups? It was the fake surplus that never even happened. Some of this stuff is not life or death. They should have done it. 'We're going to build some dams.' How many dams has the government built? Zero. Not a single dam has been built in over seven years. There was the $100 million recycling fund. How much has been spent from that? Zero, not a single dollar. The COVIDSafe app—$70 million for an app that was going to transform contact tracing. The app can't find anyone. It's found 14 people. That's $5 million for every person it's traced. All spin, no delivery.
Then there are all the jobs programs. On the most recent one, the JobMaker scheme—it should be called the 'job faker scam'—the Prime Minister told us at budget time it was going to deliver 450,000 jobs. That was a good announcement—it sounded good—except then at Senate estimates his officials had to admit that that's not actually true; it's only going to deliver maybe 45,000 jobs. He says one thing, but the truth is very different.
Around budget time, he said there was going to be an increase from 1.3 million to 1.5 million people relying on unemployment benefits. That fell to bits, because they had to admit at Senate estimates that, by Christmas, there will be 1.8 million Australians relying on unemployment benefits. He told those people—people who were losing their jobs through no fault of their own—that the government would be there for them, that they would get the support they need. Except what has he announced this week? A third cut to JobSeeker. The supplement is going from $550 to $250 to $150. In my electorate, this matters. You don't just say 'job' a lot; you actually need a jobs plan. Apprenticeships—seven years of tradie crisis. It's not caused by COVID. Right now in this country there are 140,000 fewer apprentices than when the government came to office. Their latest plan for 300,000 more doesn't even cover the $3 billion in cuts to TAFE.
Does anyone seriously believe the government will deliver a vaccine by March? The government's deal only covers one in five Australians. It doesn't even cover the healthcare workers and the vulnerable people. It's a scam and the Prime Minister's a fake. (Time expired)