Thursday, 17 August 2017
Questions without Notice
Opposition members interjecting—
My question is to theDeputy Prime Minister, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources and Minister for Resources and Northern Australia. Will the Deputy Prime Minister outline to the House how the government is encouraging growth, delivering jobs and building resilience in regional communities, particularly in my electorate of Calare? Is he aware of any threats to our plan to drive economic development in regional Australia?
The resolution that I just moved, which the House has now voted on, was not moved until the Deputy Prime Minister had commenced his answer, and yet I am being told that the clock hadn't started. The clock has to start at the commencement of the answer. I didn't move a resolution until the answer had commenced, therefore the clock should now have run out.
Look, if you want to play this game—no, listen. We had this the other day. The member had started to commence his answer. If he wants the clock set at two minutes and 58 seconds, we can do it. Now, you raised the other day the prospect that this was the first time the clock had stopped during the answer. I undertook to the member then: I said, to the best of my recollection, there had been instances where, when such a motion was put on a minister in question time, the clock had stopped. I checked, I put two examples to the House: 21 October, 2010 when Minister Crean had such a motion put and he recommenced the answer because the clock stopped, and a week later, on 28 October, similarly on then Prime Minister Gillard. Now, if the Manager of Opposition Business's point is that the clock had started, it had started by a couple of seconds. So, what do you want to set it at? Two minutes and 55 seconds? Good. Well, let's do that. For two minutes and 55 seconds, I call the Deputy Prime Minister.
I thank the honourable member for his question. Today, we have yet another great example of delivering, because we got through this House today the start of the $4 billion Regional Investment Corporation to be based in Orange. It is yet another sign of our decentralisation plan, a plan that we have for the delivery of a greater standard of living for people in regional areas. It's just like our plan and our money we have put on the table for the Inland Rail to create a corridor of commerce from Melbourne up to Brisbane, through Seymour and through Wodonga to increase the economic activity and be a boon for places like Parkes, Narrabri, Moree, Goondiwindi and Toowoomba. This is our plan. The plan goes on with decentralisation: the APVMA to go up to Armidale, the RIRDC to go down to Wagga Wagga, the GRDC to go to Toowoomba and moving sections of MDBA down to Wodonga. We have a plan for regional Australia. There are dams that we wish to build, such as a Rookwood Weir.
All these things have one thing in common—that is, that the Labor Party does not believe in them. The Labor Party does not believe in the Regional Investment Corporation. The Labor Party doesn't believe in the Inland Rail. The Labor Party does not believe in regional development. The Labor Party was the party that shut down the live cattle trade. The Labor Party does not stand beside the coal miners of the Hunter Valley and does not believe in the coal miners of the Hunter Valley. The member for Shortland and the member for Hunter do not have the ticker to stand up in the Labor Party for those who work, for the labourers. They have given up on the labourers. It obviously a clear case that we believe—
The Deputy Prime Minister will resume his seat. Members who are standing around talking, obstructing the House deliberately, will resume their seats or leave the chamber. They will do so. The Leader of the Opposition is included. The member for Grayndler, on a point of order.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. It was certainly his valedictory—he's gone. It's very important that we understand that the depreciation allowance has allowed a boom for the construction of grain sheds in the seat of Parkes. This is the difference a good government makes and it's reflected in the fact that agriculture has seen a 30 per cent increase in its output since we have been in government.
All we need from the Labor Party is a belief in regional Australia, something that says that they are going to construct for regional Australia, something that they are going to stand behind. They won't stand behind the coalminers. They don't believe in coal-fired power, they don't believe in the inland rail, they don't believe in the Regional Investment Corporation and they don't believe in dams in places such as Rookwood Weir. There is nothing that they are offering regional Australia. They are completely vacant about regional Australia, except in their incessant belief in playing parlour games. But it was so comforting last night, when we saw eight out of eight in the vox pop in my town, in Tamworth—the one thing people can't stand is shiftiness, and that's why they won't support the Labor Party. (Time expired)