House debates

Monday, 18 October 2010

Questions without Notice


2:28 pm

Photo of Michelle RowlandMichelle Rowland (Greenway, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. How is the government building a modern, prosperous economy? How have these reforms been received?

Photo of Julia GillardJulia Gillard (Lalor, Australian Labor Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Greenway for what I believe is her first question. Last week I took the opportunity, when in Queensland, to outline my vision for the Australian economy. As the Treasurer has already outlined to the House, we have emerged from the global financial crisis strong. We have emerged with opportunities in the global world. We should be congratulating ourselves as a nation for having worked together to emerge so strong and consequently with such opportunities for the future. But we cannot rest on our laurels. In order to harness those opportunities we need to continue economic reform. That requires fiscal consolidation, and the government has been involved, the Treasurer has outlined—

Photo of Joe HockeyJoe Hockey (North Sydney, Liberal Party, Shadow Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

Mr Hockey interjecting

Photo of Julia GillardJulia Gillard (Lalor, Australian Labor Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

The shadow Treasurer is interjecting—a man who could not even be bothered looking at the opposition’s costings before election day. If he ever gets round to looking at the budget papers, he will see that the government is engaged in the biggest fiscal consolidation since the 1960s in order to make sure the budget comes to surplus in 2012-13, and it will.

Beyond fiscal consolidation, we need to work to expand the supply side of the economy. Obviously what we do with human capital is vital to that. Our taxation system and particularly the reforms we have promised to company tax are vital. Growing the pool of national savings is vital, as is having the infrastructure we need for the future, and the National Broadband Network is pivotal to that so that we do not end up as a nation exporting jobs to other economies that have infrastructure like the National Broadband Network whilst we do not. The National Broadband Network is pivotal to the future. And we need to continue reform in education and health. As I outlined last week, we will be bringing market principles to those reforms. They are vital to the nation’s future, to ensuring that we have the skills and capacities that our society needs. They are vital to ensuring that our health system is high-quality and sustainable for all Australians.

Last week when I spoke in Brisbane I said we would be walking the journey of reform, the road of reform, every day, and we will.