Wednesday, 9 December 2020
Matters of Public Importance
First I'll go through the facts and then we'll have a bit of fun. Our government is investing a record amount in child care—$9.2 billion. That figure is rising to $10.7 billion—fact! We're supporting a million families—fact! We supported child care through the COVID pandemic to the tune of $900 million—fact! The childcare package established in 2018 was a once-in-a-generation set of reforms that saw out-of-pocket expenses fall—fact! Even two years later, with all the inflationary pressures, out-of-pocket costs for families remain 3.2 per cent lower than under the previous childcare package—fact! Our childcare system is targeted—fact! Those who earn the least have the highest level of subsidy at 85 per cent—fact! Seventy per cent of families pay out-of-pocket costs of less than $5 an hour—fact! Twenty-five per cent are paying less than $2 an hour.
Ms Rishworth interjecting—
Despite the member for Kingston's consternation, participation pre-COVID for women in the workforce was up. Do you know what? Nationally, attendance levels at day care centres were up as well. These are the facts.
I turn to Labor's history on this. Fees went up 53 per cent—fact! Sharp practices were rife—fact! That is their legacy. During question time I thought to myself, what is Labor's policy about? Who are they looking to support? I have to tell you, they are not supporting low- or middle-income earners. The once proud Labor Party that championed the cause of the workers now come in here and advocate for billionaires. That's what they are here for, ladies and gentlemen.
I'm pleased the member for McEwen is here, because I need a comparator. He's a backbencher. Under Labor's unfair policy, a family earning $243,250—let's say, a member of the opposition backbench with two children in child care five days a week for 40 weeks of the year; I don't know if he has children but let's assume he has—paying the maximum daily fees so those childcare workers can get paid well will benefit six times more compared to a single parent, who might have the job of cleaning the member for McEwen's suite, earning $56,000 a year and with the same childcare arrangements. For anyone listening out there, if it's the same city, the same childcare centre, the same costs and the same number of children then, under Labor, the family earning more, which gets five times the salary, gets six times the benefit.
That's why they're in here. They're in here to look after the elites—the political elites and the business elites. I think this is outrageous! They're not here to look after low-income workers and they wonder why they have won a majority in this place only once in 27 years! I'd start listening to the member for Hunter. He's got it; he understands it. I tell you, one election in 27 years.
An opposition member interjecting—
I said a majority in this place. The next bit is courtesy of Alice Workman at the Oz, ladies and gentlemen, a woman whose radar for hypocrisy is as sharp as anything you'll find. She pointed out yesterday that Australian Labor Party politicians came together—that in itself is a miracle, because they're so divided they make the coalition under Malcolm Turnbull look like a united force—for the hashtag #makeamazonpay campaign. They want to make sure that Amazon pays its taxes and pays for its impact on the environment. But guess who is hosting the member for Kingston's calculator? Amazon! Hypocrisy! That's awkward. That's so awkward!
So they came together, which in itself is a miracle—the Prime Minister has said, 'I believe in miracles and the Labor Party coming together is a miracle.' The member for Kingston: hypocrisy, writ large.