House debates

Thursday, 15 February 2024

Matters of Public Importance

Albanese Government

3:57 pm

Photo of Andrew WallaceAndrew Wallace (Fisher, Liberal National Party) Share this | Hansard source

I do! I seriously do! Member for Maribyrnong, I mean this seriously. The member for Maribyrnong—and pardon me, Deputy Speaker Claydon, because I'm going to say 'honest Bill' here. The honest member for Maribyrnong—can I say that? When the honest member for Maribyrnong was the Leader of the Opposition, they ran a campaign of honesty. That has to be said. They said what they were going to do if they won government.

The member for Maribyrnong, when he was the Leader of the Opposition, said they were going to make some fairly significant changes to taxation law. Everybody would remember the now Minister for Climate Change and Energy, who was the then shadow Treasurer, said, 'If you don't like it, don't vote for us.' They didn't, but at least this man had the courage of his convictions to put it out there on the table. He put it out there and said, 'I've got the courage of my convictions to put my policies on the table, and if you don't like it then don't vote for us.' They didn't, but at least he had the courage of his convictions.

The current Prime Minister has won office in a situation of stealth. He never told Australians what he was going to do. He never told Australians he was going to change laws in relation to franking credits or superannuation. He told us that he was going to keep the stage 3 tax cuts. It's whatever it takes to win government. The member for Maribyrnong, for all his faults and foibles, was honest when he was the Leader of the Opposition.

Where are we today after 18 months of this government? Food costs have gone up nine per cent. Gateway Care is a food bank in my electorate. They tell me that they have never, ever been busier. They have never been distributing more food to Australians on the Sunshine Coast than they are now. The cost of housing—I actually don't believe the figure here—has gone up 12 per cent. When you look at the cost of mortgages that have gone up, for the average Australian with the average mortgage, it's a $24,000 increase after tax on what they were paying under a coalition government. That's probably somewhere in the high 30s for the average punters. Can anybody in the gallery name me anybody in your sphere of friends—any Australian—that can honestly say they are better off today than they were 20 months ago? I don't think you can. I don't think anybody watching or listening to this today could say: 'You know what? I am better off. My family is better off. My bank balance is better off than it was when the coalition was in government.' Maybe the Prime Minister can say that.

This is a Prime Minister that said, 'Vote for me, and I'll give you cheaper mortgages.' When landlords have to pay higher mortgages, what do they do for their investment properties? They've got to put the rent up. So rents are up, mortgages are up, and insurance is up 22 per cent under this mob. The reality is that this is so heavily impacting upon people's bottom line, because they've got to insure their car, their home and their contents—and another car, if they're lucky enough to have a second car. Insurance has gone up by 22 per cent in 18 months. What happens with that? (Time expired)


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