Tuesday, 22 November 2022
Matters of Public Importance
Cost of Living
I'm pleased to join the discussion of this matter of public importance today. Before the member for Riverina leaves, I'd like to congratulate him on his daughter's wedding on the weekend. I hope the family had a wonderful time. But it doesn't change the fact, Member for Riverina, that the structural deficit was there before the pandemic—just on your final note.
We've got a matter of public importance before us today that says that we've failed in our first six months of government. Well, those opposite could wish to fail as we've been failing lately. Hubris is not my friend, but I am absolutely thrilled to be part of the Albanese government and to have delivered what we have delivered in our first six months. It's been extraordinary. We went to an election, those opposite claimed, as a small target. I would suggest we went to an election with some key, real ideas that were going to make a difference to Australians' lives, and we have delivered them. In six months, we've seen a 15 per cent pay rise to aged-care workers. We said we'd get wages moving. Wages are getting moving. We've got a five per cent pay rise for people on the minimum wage. We said we'd get wages moving. We're getting wages moving. The Secure Work, Better Pay legislation went through the House in the last sitting week and this week is moving over to the Senate to get wages moving. That's what this government's about. This government's about delivering on its commitments.
Today we come back in. The Minister for Climate Change and Energy returns from COP to tell us the good news today in question time about the way this new Australian government was received at that incredibly important forum. The Prime Minister is back from forums across the last week where Australia was warmly welcomed back to the table as a positive influencer in global decisions that are being made. That's what this government is delivering. This government is delivering an Australia that is back at the table, warmly welcomed by our allies and influencing things internationally to make a difference not just for Australians but for people around our globe.
We have legislated a target to reduce emissions and move to 82 per cent renewables in eight years. That's where we're going to be. We are at 30 per cent now. In six months, we've taken the steps to get that plan moving. What else have we done in six months? How else have we failed the Australian people in six months, as those opposite would like to frame it? We've reinstated the Women's Budget Statement—hear, hear! What a great thing that is. We've put women's working lives and women's families' lives back at the heart of government.
While we sat in question time, we heard that our early education and childcare legislation has gone through the Senate. What a difference that's going to make to 1.2 million Australian families, including more than 10,000 families in my electorate. That is going to make a critical difference. Not only is it good for cost of living but it creates a structural change that, it's estimated, could bring back 37,000 effective full-time workers to reduce the impacts we've got from staff shortages around the country. This government, in six months, has delivered on our key commitments.
Back to the women: we've legislated domestic violence leave. This is an enormous change, and it is delivering cultural change on the floor of every Australian workplace, because we're going to measure what matters. We're going to measure, through this leave, the economic impact that domestic violence is having on Australian businesses. How can that be a bad thing? It can only be a good thing, because it means that women can take the time that they need, at possibly the worst time in their lives, and we'll encourage them to make the change in their lives that they desire to make. They'll be supported by their workplace, and we'll be measuring the economic impact of domestic violence. That'll get the country behind changing domestic violence as nothing else can.
This government has delivered, in six months, more than the previous government delivered in nine long, long years.