Wednesday, 20 February 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, the Deputy Prime Minister. Climate change poses massive risks to Australia's infrastructure, including from rising sea levels, floods that are more intense and bushfires like we've already seen this year. Deputy Prime Minister, will you join me in congratulating the courageous school students going on strike on 15 March right around the country, calling for urgent climate action and the protection of Australia's infrastructure? Will you commend these young people, and the 15,000 who went on strike last November, for taking time off school to show us what real leadership looks like?
I'll tell you what: real leadership doesn't look like anything that the member for Melbourne ever brings to this chamber! The children should be at school. That's where they should be. They should be learning about Australian history. They should be learning about Australian geography. They should be learning about all the lessons their teachers are willing to teach them. They should be at school.
I'm pleased that part of a government—
record funding on public schools and record funding on schools in general. The member for Melbourne would be far better off advising those children to go to school and to stay at school.
Who's going to look after those kids when they're out protesting? I know the Greens like to protest, because that's all you ever bring to the national debate—protests and frivolous rallies. You'd be far better off joining the Liberal and the National parties in talking about the economic narrative and in talking about how important it is to have a job in this country, because, if you want to work in this country, there's a job there for you. You'd be far better off talking about our record investment in defence and not siding with those on that side who, when they had six years of opportunity, dropped our defence investment spending levels to 1.6 per cent of GDP. That's down to the same levels of appeasement.
Ms Rowland interjecting—
I don't know why the member for Greenway is complaining or laughing. It's no laughing matter. It's important that we spend money on defence. It's important that our Defence people have the very best equipment, and under your side—
Mr Bandt interjecting—
The member for Melbourne can resume his seat. I'm just going to say that the Deputy Prime Minister was asked a question with a number of elements, but straying into defence is not relevant to the question. The Deputy Prime Minister can resume his answer, but he needs to be relevant to the question.
The best place for those children is at school, learning about Australian history and learning about all the important things that their teachers—our very best teachers, mind you—
Ms Rishworth interjecting—
You've already had one go!
The member for Melbourne on a point of order. I haven't had a point of order yet. I just want to be as efficient as possible. The member for Kingston's been warned, so now is a good time for her to leave under 94(a) for continually interjecting. Then member for Melbourne on a point of order.
The member for Kingston then left the chamber.
He's been here long enough to know he can't reintroduce new material into a question. You can't have two goes! I'm proud to be part of a government that invests in teachers—quality teachers. My daughter is a quality teacher. I tell you what, Mr Speaker, so too are our teachers. They should be in class and they should be teaching our children—the very best children—
Opposition members interjecting—
Yes, they're up there too. Well done for pointing them out! Good on you!
Mr Bowen interjecting—
I tell you what; I hope they don't learn too many sentences from you, member for McMahon, because you haven't brought much to the national debate lately. When they get old, I hope you've still got nothing to do with their franking credits and nothing to do with their negative gearing. The kids should be at school learning all the important things that their teachers are going to teach them.