Monday, 2 June 2014
Questions without Notice
I thank the member for Gilmore for her question and I wish to assure her that this government is taking important steps to strengthen our economy. We are faithfully implementing our election commitments. Stopping the boats will save some $2.5 billion over the next four years. Scrapping the carbon tax will save the average household $550 a year. Building the Roads of the 21st Century will be a massive boost to productivity, because people will not be stuck in traffic jams. We are tackling Labor's legacy of $1 billion a month in dead money—just to pay the interest on Labor's borrowings. We are getting the budget back under control. That means that health and education programs, pensions and other social security payments will be sustainable in the long term.
This is a budget for saving, but it is also a budget for building with the largest infrastructure spend in the history of the Commonwealth. There is the East West Link in Melbourne, the WestConnex and NorthConnex in Sydney. There is the North-South Road in Adelaide; there is the Gateway upgrade to the Bruce Highway in Queensland. I know the member for Gilmore will also appreciate this: we are restoring Defence spending.
It is a budget for living within our means, but it is also a budget for playing to our strengths. The Medical Research Future Fund will, over time, double Australia's medical research spend, and this is an important area of comparative advantage for our country. Some eight Australian Nobel Prize winners, such as Howard Florey the inventor of penicillin, have been medical researchers. Four Australians of the Year in the last decade, such as Professor Ian Frazer the inventor of cervical cancer vaccine, have been medical researchers. These investments will give us the treatments and the cures of the future—the treatments and the cures that our people and people right around the world need.
What we are doing is investing less in short-term consumption so that we can put more into long-term investment. That is the overall philosophy behind this government's budget. We are getting on with the job that the people of Australia elected us to do—not to make the easy decisions, but the necessary decisions for our country's future.