House debates

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Constituency Statements

Coalition Government, McEwen Electorate: Basketball

10:00 am

Photo of Rob MitchellRob Mitchell (McEwen, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

It's hardly surprising that across Australia people have turned off politics. We've had six years of a chaotic, self-serving government preaching stability but losing control of their own actual ship. They have no plan to govern. At a time of crisis, Australians want a leader who will put the national interests first. Instead, in PM Morrison—

A division having been called in the House of Representatives—

Sitting suspended from 10:00 to 10:12

The coalition government has been overrun by personal ambition, infighting and corrupt processes. Nothing exhibits this rot more than when the PM commissioned his mate and former chief of staff to investigate the conduct of one of his ministers. A politically appointed public servant with what could easily be described as a potential conflict of interest was investigating a minister with a conflict of interest. In what was a shock to everyone, I'm sure, the Morrison-directed Gaetjens report apparently found that the respected Auditor-General's report was wrong; all is good with the rorted Community Sport Infrastructure grant program. How do we know that he arrived at this conclusion? We don't, because the Prime Minister refuses to release the report, which even the Senate has ordered him to do. But, no, the old ad man tells us: 'There's nothing to see here. All is good.' It's like setting the fox to guard the henhouse.

This is a government that has such little respect for the electorate and the parliament that it can't even pretend it's being transparent. It has denied all FOI requests for the report's release, claiming cabinet confidentiality, even though cabinet did not actually instigate it. This government is not being honest with the Australian people. That's why Labor has been calling for a federal ICAC.

Australians are being crippled under the weight of falling real wages. Real wage growth is going backwards. Job security is fast becoming an unreachable dream. The cost of feeding the family and paying the bills is getting higher and higher, and the sideshow government has shown it does not care. Power prices have been surging in outer suburbs like ours, despite promises from the embattled energy minister, Angus Taylor, that he would get electricity prices under control. Like a new Comical Ali, he's been out there with his scripted mendacious claims, saying that power prices are going down and all is good. Great job, Angus! Well done! Fantastic! This is totally opposite to the truth. Last month we received letters from providers telling us about more price hikes, which are hurting Australian families. To be fair, he's been too distracted saving his own backside to look out for the people who put him here in the first place. Instead of focusing on the issues that actually matter for the everyday Australian, what this government is busy focusing on is fighting themselves and rorting taxpayer moneys for their own political gain. Enough is enough.

On a brighter note, I want to congratulate two incredible young basketballers, Maddi Condron and Tess Barnes, who both played a huge part in an amazing win over New South Wales here at the AIS in Canberra. The hard work these girls put in to win at the finals is a source of inspiration for many young people in our communities. They should be very, very proud of their achievements, just as we are proud of them. It's a stunning achievement by two local girls from our very own electorate of McEwen. Ultimately, it's young champions like these the government should be delivering for, not friends in high places who need protection rackets to survive.