Wednesday, 31 July 2019
A strong economy, more jobs and less taxes—I must have said it more than 12,000 times in the last three weeks of the election campaign and countless times before. Liberal volunteers heard it so much that at the polling booths they too were repeating it. The voters heard it, and it resonated, and they voted accordingly.
Not only do we have a plan but we have already set about delivering. To ensure a stronger economy for our future, the government is fixing the budget, backing small businesses and lower taxes, and investing in infrastructure. The Morrison government is investing $100 billion in transport infrastructure. We are investing $5 billion in the Melbourne Airport Rail Link. Following the 2014 Victorian state election, the Andrews Labor government actually cancelled this project. The only reason we will have a train line to the airport is our government.
Talking about cancelling things, let's talk about the East West Link and the Victorian Labor government wasting $1.3 billion to cancel a road that everyone knows needs to be built—and it will be built. I'm confident of that because the Morrison government has a plan to deal with the traffic congestion in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, and we are prepared to pay the $4 billion that is needed to get it done. To Labor and the Victorian government I say, as my electorate of Chisholm has said: just build it.
We are investing locally in the Chisholm community through a number of local grants, something we are able to do because of our strong budget. I recently spoke in the Federation Chamber about the Local Schools Community Fund and briefly mentioned the Communities Environment Program. Further to these two, there is also the Stronger Communities Program, which supports the Morrison government's commitment to deliver social benefits in communities across Australia. Round 5 of the program will open soon and will provide $150,000 to fund small capital projects in the Chisholm electorate. Round 4 saw investment in projects like toilet facilities at 1st Bennettswood Scouts and the installation of a shelter at the Waverley District Netball Association. I look forward to presenting trophies to the grand final winners in a couple of weeks' time.
These project are aimed at bringing our communities together, strengthening social connections, building community participation and creating vibrant and viable communities into the future. We are delivering on the promise of more jobs, with the unemployment rate at 5.2 per cent; and last financial year over 100,000 jobs were created for young Australians, more than any year in history. In fact, the government's 2013 promise for one million jobs to be created within five years was delivered ahead of schedule, and the rate of welfare dependence is now the lowest it has been in 30 years.
And then there are the tax cuts. In the first sitting week, we delivered the promised tax cuts in full—as a result 71,469 taxpayers in Chisholm will benefit from tax relief in 2018-19, with 26,273 taxpayers receiving the full tax offset of $1,080. We have provided these tax cuts and, while keeping the surplus, we are creating more jobs and investing in infrastructure. We have a plan, we have a government that is capable of delivering, and that is exactly what we are doing not only in Chisholm but across the country.