Monday, 24 June 2013
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. I remind her that three years ago this very day she promised a strong and responsible government, a budget surplus, a community consensus on climate change, an effective mining tax and strong management of our borders. I ask: why should the Australian people believe the promises she makes at the coming election when she has so signally failed to deliver on any of her earlier ones?
I thank the Leader of the Opposition for his question and I would have to say it is not an unexpected one. To the Leader of the Opposition: what I am proud of is that I have led a government focused on jobs and growth, and what of course we have seen under this government is jobs continuing to be created for working Australians, opportunities for themselves and their families to make a life—a focus on jobs and growth. That focus on jobs and growth has informed our budget strategy. Yes, we have made billions of dollars of responsible savings—more than $40 billion in the last budget alone—but we have focused our economic strategy, our budget strategy, so that there will be more jobs. We do not accept the Leader of the Opposition's plan to cut to the bone and to drive our economy into an economic standstill and to cost people jobs.
At the same time we are investing in the sources of growth for the future. We have a strong economy, but it is one undergoing a number of transitions: a transition from the peak of the investment boom in mining to the peak of the production boom; a transition as we look to seize the opportunities that will come from growth and change in our region of the world; a transition as information technology remakes our age; a transition as the world tackles climate change and moves to decouple economic growth from growth in carbon pollution. On these things the government I lead has a very proud track record.
We are the political party committed to investing in the future: investing in the National Broadband Network so our nation is not left behind; investing in traditional infrastructure so that there are no blockages which prevent us from seizing the opportunities of this century; investing in our relationships in the region so that those opportunities flow to our country; ensuring that we price carbon in the most efficient way, the way that former Prime Minister John Howard believed in getting it done, so that we can grow our economy without growing carbon pollution; and, most importantly of all, having the faith that if you invest in the skills and capacities of the Australian people you inevitably build a stronger, smarter and fairer country. That is what our early childhood agenda has been about, and more apprenticeships and traineeships than ever before, more university places than ever before, including places for poorer children, and now, this week, ensuring that through this parliament we see a new way of funding and improving Australia's schools because they are our future. I am proud of that track record and we will be pushing to deliver on it for the future. (Time expired)
Madam Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Will the Prime Minister finally apologise for misleading the Australian people with her statement: 'There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead'?
Madam Speaker, I raise a point of order. The Prime Minister talked at length about the government that she leads and he is asking her whether she stands by her statement: 'There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead.' He did not say she was misleading the parliament.