Thursday, 29 October 2009
Questions without Notice
Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would ask the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs to withdraw that slur against the member for Warringah, who asked a perfectly satisfactory question.
I thank very much the member for Warringah for his question, as it comes straight out of the Ronaldson textbook. The Ronaldson textbook is about this: never debate policy; only get into stereotyping. That is what this debate is all about. The Ronaldson textbook also said—and remember it is issued by the office of the Leader of the Opposition—do not debate policy, because there is no good politics in it; only engage in stereotyping, because there is lots of good politics in that; and also target special interest groups and make good taxpayers angry. That is what the member for Warringah is on about in asking this question.
Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order on relevance. I have asked a very simple, very straightforward and very reasonable question and I think it should be answered by the Prime Minister.
Mr Speaker, can I also respond to the honourable member’s question by saying that the individuals who are on the Oceanic Viking are currently on the vessel waiting for processing onshore and their status has not been determined. The honourable member asks whether they are now going to be in receipt of Australian payments. They will not be in receipt of any payments from Australia, as I am advised. Further, I would say to the honourable member and those opposite that under the previous government temporary protection visa holders were able to access many welfare payments. These included: special benefit paid at the same rate as unemployment benefits; family tax benefit paid by the Howard government to holders of temporary protection visas; the baby bonus paid to temporary protection visa holders under the Howard government; the childcare benefit paid to temporary protection visa holders under the Howard government; the maternity immunisation allowance paid to temporary protection visa holders under the Howard government; and the double orphan pension and rent assistance payment paid to holders of temporary protection visas under the Howard government.