Wednesday, 13 February 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development. Will the Deputy Prime Minister update the House as to how the government is keeping Australians safe and guaranteeing essential services? Why is it important to stay the course and continue to invest in measures to keep Australians safe?
If what happened in this House yesterday was so important, and what happened over in the Senate last night was so important as well, why not a single question in question time from those opposite? They are embarrassed. They are absolutely embarrassed. We've got the member for Gorton, the member Watson and the good old member for McMahon, who were former members for immigration—
Mr Khalil interjecting—
They were embarrassing on their watch. We saw 50,000 people arrive on 800 boats. We saw 1,200 people die at sea. They are weak on border protection. They are weak on the economy. What they want to do is jack taxes up—$200 billion worth of new taxes. Thank you to the member for Dawson for his question.
Labor are focusing on political point scoring about the banking royal commission. I don't know why. The member for Maribyrnong had six long years. He was assistant treasurer. He was minister for financial services in the Gillard-Rudd years and not once did he ever show any interest in a royal commission then. Why is he so interested in it now? But that's all they're interested in.
The member for Dawson is interested in national security. The member for Dawson is interested in infrastructure. We are committed to the safety and security of the travelling public. Upgrading security screening technology at airports is one of the most effective changes that we can make and we are making it. Equipment upgrades include advanced X-ray and body scanning technology. The member for Dawson understands how important this is. Our program includes investment to ensure regional airports are made safer. I don't know why the members opposite find that amusing, but regional airports need that safety and security. Working with the airports and stakeholders, we are providing $50 million in funding to support eligible regional airports to purchase or upgrade equipment. Funding for equipment will be distributed through the Regional Airport Security Screening Fund grants program. Funding will vary from airport to airport, depending on their individual requirements, because no two airports in Australia are the same. Certainly, no two regional airports are the same. It's not 'one size fits all'.
But regional airports and securing the safety of the travelling public are only one part of keeping Australians safe. Another part is keeping our borders safe—and we as Liberals and Nationals are doing just that—and another is investments in such things as the Mackay Ring Road. Another is essential services. You can have essential services when you have a strong economy, and we have a strong economy. We are improving health outcomes and putting more drugs on the PBS—life-saving drugs, such as Orkambi for cystic fibrosis, Lynparza for ovarian cancer, and the various other cancer drugs that the Minister for Health has been able to put on the PBS because we've got a strong economy. What do those opposite stand for? Two hundred billion dollars in new taxes.