House debates

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Constituency Statements

Turnbull Government

10:14 am

Photo of Cathy O'TooleCathy O'Toole (Herbert, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise in this place to tell you a tale of desperation, devastation, corruption and endless fail. For it was the sitting before Christmas where not a member of government was stirring, not even a Nat; where dirty deals and political tactics were made without a care in the hope that crossbencher votes would be there. For what a joke this government's first six months have been; to lose control and have members of their own vote against them has never been seen. This government sits across from me with worried brows and frowns because Labor is leading from opposition and making them look like clowns. But I heed this warning to the government now: regional Queensland will not continue to be ignored; this we vow. The northern region is suffering with issues of jobs and water and cuts to health whilst this government keeps ignoring us by giving their city mates their focus and wealth. As this newly elected member in Townsville, I will continue to be a strong voice until the Prime Minister hears these issues and makes a wise choice. With one of the highest unemployment rates, a promised stadium was made. However, we are yet to see a signed MOU, causing jobs to be delayed. Yet again Townsville was neglected when a list of regional jobs packages were named. Our community was again disappointed, and this government is to be blamed. Then there are the cuts to health and Medicare, and they are trying to lie and say these cuts are simply a scare, but when your GP costs and prescription rates rise it becomes pretty obvious who is telling the lies. And what about the backpacker tax bill of an outrageous 32.5 per cent. Many thanks to our colleagues, the independents and Greens, who lobbied strong with Labor for the per cent to descend. And then they tried to tell us, 'Oh no, we're all for gay rights,' yet they failed to understand the equality plight. For the pleb was officially made dead and the country rejoiced, except for the conservative right-wingers and Barnaby Joyce.

There is also the reality of their cuts to aged care soon to follow, and that really is too hard to swallow because we should be looking after our pensioners and those of retirement age instead of unfair taxes to their super and sending them into a rage. Further to this point, how does one think that our seniors can access government services that are being computerised? It seems pretty obvious to me that they have no clue and their policies are simply being improvised. Oh—about the NBN debacle rort: it is clear that this government needs to be taught that the NBN would open regional communications. And oh—how I could not forget their cuts to education. We need to invest in our future and that starts with our students. Through supporting our teachers with Gonski, this would be prudent. The list of failings by this government is endless. They must be grateful that my speaking time is about to be suspended. For in the regions this government is proving to have a disconnect and they need to realise that their cuts and lack of action hold true effect. But mark my words: by the next parliament sitting, I had better see some action on the regions; otherwise, I will be wreathing.

Photo of Ms Catherine KingMs Catherine King (Ballarat, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Health) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member and assure the rest of the House that they do not have to rhyme their entire delivery.