Wednesday, 22 August 2018
I rise today to ask the question that's being asked around the corridors of Parliament House: what are our Liberal government talking about today? It's clear they're talking about themselves. We are here in Canberra watching the final fizzle of this fizzer government. We are here listening to the infighting and seeing a government that has been completely lacking in focus on the Australian people across this last week, but that should not be a surprise, because it has been five years of a lack of attention to the Australian people from this government.
Today, they are trying to press control-alt-delete. They want to reset this government. Whether it be a Turnbull prime ministership, a Dutton prime ministership or a third one that comes through the ranks, they are really just trying to press the reset button. It doesn't matter who the Prime Minister is under this government. They can't walk away from their voting record. They cannot walk away from the last five years. Pressing control-alt-delete will not work. It will not work in the communities that I represent, because you can't walk away when you voted against a royal commission into the banks repeatedly. Now we're seeing exactly what was going to be unearthed by that royal commission, and people in my electorate are mortified. They are horrified to think that people—ordinary people, ordinary Australians—were being ripped off by the banks. The government can't walk away from the fact that they have no economic answers for communities like ours and those around the country. They can't walk away from the fact that they voted for $80 billion worth of tax cuts for the big end of town. They've done nothing about housing affordability. They can't walk away from their voting record on education. None of them can walk away from what is happening now in the early education and childhood sector. They can't walk away from the errors that were made. They can't walk away from families having to deal with Centrelink and having to pay full fees while waiting for rebates for weeks and weeks. They can't walk away from their record on schools or from the $17 billion that they want to give to the banks. On this side Labor want to make sure our schools are funded fairly and properly. They can't walk away from their cuts to universities. They can't walk away from their failures on TAFE and failures for apprentices.
It doesn't matter if, at the end of this week, we have a Prime Minister named Turnbull or a Prime Minister named Dutton. They can't walk away from their record on health. They can't walk away from their attempt to introduce a GP tax or their cuts to hospitals or, sadly, their cuts to preventable health. They can't walk away from the long waiting lists in aged care for My Aged Care. They can't walk away from any of this. They cannot press control-alt-delete, because the Australian public will remember how they voted and what they voted for.