Thursday, 4 April 2019
Today is almost certainly the last sitting day of this 45th Parliament, and under the Liberals—under Prime Minister Turnbull and under Prime Minister Scott Morrison—these last three years have been nothing short of chaotic. Of course, in the years before that, under Prime Minister Abbott, they weren't much better either. Year after year, budget after budget, our community has been attacked, disappointed and let down by the Liberals. We live in a wonderful community in the electorate of Longman. It is full of regular hardworking Australian people, but government have turned their backs on us, because their priorities simply lie with the top end of town.
On Tuesday night the Treasurer released his budget. After six years of the Liberals' cuts and chaos, and around six weeks before an election, this budget was their last chance to reverse the cuts to the essential services that everyday Australians rely upon. But again Longman residents have been let down by the same cuts to hospitals, schools, pensions, penalty rates and TAFE. While, unfortunately, that didn't come as a surprise to me, what I wasn't quite prepared for was what the government did in this budget. This time they're relying on a huge, $1.6 billion underspend on the NDIS to fund this con of a budget. It is an absolute disgrace. It is not an achievement at all.
Tonight the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, will announce Labor's positive plan for Australia. He will reaffirm the commitment that a Labor government will have different priorities to the Liberals. Labor will prioritise working people over the top end of town. We will prioritise hospitals and schools over banks. While this government has given up governing, Labor will be leading the way forward. We have a plan that will bring back a fair go for people in my community—for people at Bribie, for people in Caboolture and Woodford, Narangba, Burpengary and Wamuran. We're sticking up for local workers and standing up for what's fair.
For far too long my community has been let down by this Liberal government's misguided priorities. That's why I'm proud to be standing with Labor to reverse the Liberals' cuts—to reinvest the millions they ripped out of our local schools; to put the $2.9 million back into Caboolture Hospital; and to give back to the many, many workers who've had their take-home pay slashed under the Liberals their hard-earned penalty rates. I know that in six weeks, when the election rolls around, the people of Longman won't forget what the Liberals have done in the last six years. They won't forget the cuts and they won't forget the chaos. They want someone to stand up and fight for them, to stand up for a fair go. Tonight in Labor's budget reply we'll show them that's only possible under a Shorten Labor government. (Time expired)