Tuesday, 22 November 2022
Matters of Public Importance
Cost of Living
It's only reasonable and fair in a debate, if we're having a reasonable debate, to respond to the previous speaker, and I'd like to respond to the member for Paterson and her enthusiastic address to the parliament. As she says, she has been here for seven years. One thing I'd like to say to you just as a word for caution, after being here for a lot longer than seven years, is you will find that some of you won't be there after the next election. I notice the guffawing and humour. I'll say it again, because Keating said the same thing to me a long time ago. He said, 'You won't be here,' and guess what? He was absolutely correct. I was sitting just down there. I remember it very well.
So I want to say to the member for Paterson, firstly, there are no more childcare places going into Paterson under your legislation, not one new childcare place, and I know there's not an electorate in this building that doesn't need more childcare places, especially the electorate of Monash. Secondly, I saw three electric vehicles as I was coming into work today, into the parliament today—three of them, in Canberra. You used to see one or two now and again; I saw three this morning. They are owned by the wealthiest citizens in Australia. Poor people don't buy EVs. So it's actually the Labor government transferring, if you want to look at it another way—I'm responding to the member for Paterson—public funds, your appropriated taxes, to the wealthier people in the community. Thirdly, I don't know whether your IR changes are going to make any difference to the growth in wages. I hear the slogan. I hear the argument. I think the slogan by the government is, 'We're getting wages moving again,' and I've heard slogans like that. But I want to know what the modelling is that the IR changes are going to actually increase wages, because I haven't seen IR changes increase wages for workers ever. So I've got to accept it as a fait accompli now? Why would I? Why would I accept that? You have proposed this legislation, and you say it's going to increase wages for a lot of workers in those, as I heard the Labor members call them, feminised industries.
I'm still responding to the member for Paterson, who was saying, 'So much has been achieved in the first six months, more than the government achieved in 10 years,' and on it goes—pure rhetoric. My sadness is two things in the election campaign: the 97 times the then campaign machine said, through their leaders, 'We are going to give you a $275 reduction in your electricity bill.' $275 means a lot to a household in my electorate. If you told a household in my electorate, 'You're getting a $275 decrease in your electricity bill,' they'd be pretty excited about that, and they might even go out and vote against the member for Monash, which I find unbelievable, that that could happen, that I could be sold out. For a measly $275 I'm gone. But that's what they believed, that they would get that. We then find out in the budget papers that there's going to be a 56 per cent increase in their power bills. Did you hear, throughout that campaign, in May of this year—only this year—anybody saying to you, 'The moment we get in we're going to make changes to the IR laws in this country'? Did you hear it? Anybody?
Corangamite? I didn't hear you say it. I didn't hear you mention it. I didn't hear the now Prime Minister say it. I didn't hear the now Treasurer say it. I didn't hear my opponent in Monash say it. I didn't hear anybody say it. Nobody mentioned it. IR has been a major issue in this country in my electorate for— (Time expired)