Thursday, 18 October 2018
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister and the Development. Will the minister update the House on how the government's plan for a stronger economy enables the government to support country communities and back small business, creating opportunities in rural and regional Australia? What is at stake if our support for regional people and their communities is jeopardised?
I thank the member for Flynn for his question. We believe in sticking up for country people. We do. We believe in helping to create jobs: more jobs, local jobs and jobs in country towns and regional cities. We believe there is a bright future ahead for country communities and regional areas, and we are working hard every day, in every way, to secure just that. That means investing in things that matter, whether it's in Flynn or wherever it is across this fantastic country. There are investments such as the construction of the new Blackwater Aquatic Centre, a $6.2 million investment; the Callide community hub, stage 1; and, of course, our $10 billion investment in building a better Bruce Highway—in Flynn, that means an investment from Midgee to Gingin.
These are investments that build stronger country communities. They support people in the bush who need it, and they help make the regions an even better place to live, work, invest and raise a family. That's what we believe in and that's what we're delivering. We believe in small-business tax cuts—tax cuts for those hardworking small and medium family enterprises, of which there are 16,800 in the seat of Flynn. The member for Flynn is backing them every day. He's working hard to build a better future for them. Do you know why? Because they create jobs. They help us get the unemployment rate down to today's figure: five per cent. And that's helped create more than a million jobs over the past five years. But I ask: what do those opposite believe in? What to do they actually believe in? In life, you have to believe in something. You have to fight for something. What do those opposite believe in? What do they fight for? Is it better trade relations? No. They want to tear down the Trans-Pacific Partnership 11. Building a better Australia or conducting class warfare? They once stood up for workers—for shearers, coalminers, truckies, people who helped build the nation.
Sometimes the member for Maribyrnong talks a big game. Sometimes he thinks that rural communities deserve better roads. But that's not as important as actually funding it. Sometimes he thinks about jobs and opportunities. He talks about them for people in Blackwater, but that disappears when he's in Brunswick. He says one thing in one place and another thing in another place. What does he believe in? We don't know. We know that the member for Maribyrnong believes in unionists. We know he believes in union thugs who do not believe in the rule of law. He wants those people who break the law to make the law.
What is at stake, I'm asked, under a Labor government? For regional people, that will mean that their regional funding programs disappear. Trade; strong borders; regional funding, including for mobile black spots; the $75 billion record amount of money we're spending on infrastructure across the nation: that is what is at risk if ever this man becomes Prime Minister.