Wednesday, 22 August 2018
People in the electorate of Lalor woke this morning and got on with their busy lives. They got up and went to work. The kids went to school. People went and worked in their small businesses. Others took a train journey or a car journey to university. Some are attending TAFE today. Some are going to the doctor. Some have a trip to hospital as an outpatient. Some are dropping the kids at child care. Others might be going to visit a relative in an aged-care facility. They are getting on with their busy lives, and they would like to know that there is a federal government in Canberra focused on policies to make their lives easier, focused on policies that they care about.
An issue I've received an enormous number of emails about is live exports. People in my electorate really do care about the humane treatment of sheep leaving in ships from Western Australia at the height of summer. They are concerned about those things and they'd like to know that they have a government here in Canberra working on finding the solutions to the things that they care about. They'd like to know when they're sitting in congestion that they have a government in Canberra planning infrastructure to make their lives easier. They'd like to know that they've got a government in Canberra who acknowledges that energy costs are spiralling out of control, but at the same time they want a government that's going to deal with climate change. Both of these issues need addressing.
The people in my electorate going about their busy lives today are absolutely going to be disappointed when they realise the parlous state of the parliament, where members of the government can't manage to get themselves onto speaking lists to talk about the legislation that they're bringing through or come in here and make constituency statements about the people they represent. They will be very disappointed to think that this place is falling apart around our ears because those opposite are so busy arguing with one another about who wants to be the leader rather than focusing on the people of Australia.
It doesn't matter what the outcome of the Liberal wars is. It really doesn't matter. Because whether it's the member for Wentworth or the member for Dickson, both of these people are Liberals who have been in government for five years. They've been spent five years avoiding the issues that matter. They've spent five years avoiding listening to the people in electorates like mine around the country—people who are getting on with their busy lives. They've been avoiding dealing with the economic issues that they're confronting. They've been busy looking after their mates and their own jobs, and they're continuing it in this place today. I call on this government to remember that they're supposed to be governing a country, that these chambers need speakers and they need people committed to the communities they represent. At this point, this government is absolutely failing. (Time expired)