House debates

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Statements by Members


1:45 pm

Photo of Josh WilsonJosh Wilson (Fremantle, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for the Environment) Share this | | Hansard source

This Liberal-National government has neglected the environment at every turn. It has denied and ignored the threat of climate change at every turn. Unbelievably, this week's budget goes further. It doubles down on that incompetence and neglect. One thing that's become super clear through the events of the last couple of years is just how much our well-being is inextricably connected to the health of our environment.

Whether it's the rise of zoonotic diseases like COVID-19 or the frequency and scale of unthinkable natural disasters, Australia has experienced what happens when the balance gets out of whack. The harm to human health is enormous, and there is devastating year-on-year impact to infrastructure and economic activity, yet this budget cuts funding to Australia's clean energy agencies by 35 per cent. From the government that refuses to lift its pathetic emissions target even one inch, we now see the funding for our clean energy agencies cut by more than a third, and there's no commitment to fixing a failed environmental protection framework that has Australia's threatened biodiversity on a trajectory of decline. More and more species are on the brink and the government does nothing.

The Australian people should not put up with this rubbish. The Australian people should hold on to the fact that, if you vote for incompetence, incompetence will continue. We simply cannot afford in this country another three years of environmental and climate change failure, which is all you will ever get from those opposite.

1:46 pm

Photo of Ian GoodenoughIan Goodenough (Moore, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

During the last sitting, I was pleased to advocate for federal funding on behalf of the local government authorities in my electorate for a range of minor capital projects, so I'm pleased to announce that last night's budget delivers an additional $4.84 million in federal funding under the third phase of the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program for three local councils in my electorate. The city of Joondalup will receive $1.44 million, the city of Stirling $1.43 million and the city of Wanneroo $1.97 million. This federal funding will support local councils by subsidising the costs of delivering priority local road and community infrastructure projects, supporting local jobs and helping communities recover from the pandemic.

As an economic stimulus measure, the federal funding enables road and community infrastructure projects including maintenance which would have otherwise been delayed. Eligible projects include road safety improvements at dangerous intersections, new or upgraded bicycle and walking paths, community halls, picnic shelters and barbecue facilities at parks as well as projects to support tourism. This additional funding continues to assist every local government in Australia to deliver priority local projects, supporting an estimated 9,000 jobs across Australia over the life of the program.

1:48 pm

Photo of Andrew LeighAndrew Leigh (Fenner, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury) Share this | | Hansard source

A muesli bar, a can of chicken, a jar of Vegemite: what do they have in common? Well, they all have a longer use-by date than the promises of last night's budget, which included a one-off—

Photo of Llew O'BrienLlew O'Brien (Wide Bay, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Fenner will pause for a moment. The minister has a point of order.

Photo of David ColemanDavid Coleman (Banks, Liberal Party, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention) Share this | | Hansard source

Props should not be used.

Photo of Llew O'BrienLlew O'Brien (Wide Bay, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I am aware of the standing order and the context in which it is being used. Continue on, Member for Fenner.

Photo of Andrew LeighAndrew Leigh (Fenner, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury) Share this | | Hansard source

I understand why they want to interrupt this one! All of these products have longer use-by dates than the promises of last night's budget, which had a one-off cash handout in April, a one-off tax payment in July and petrol price relief that ends in September.

The cost-of-living problem might be new to this government, but it's not new to the Australian people. We've just had the worst decade of income growth since the Great Depression, yet the budget had no enduring solutions for cost of living, no comprehensive childcare solution, no powering Australia plan, and it had no answers for declining productivity, which underpins wages; no free TAFE places; no additional university places. If the government hadn't given $20 billion of JobKeeper to firms with rising revenues, it might be able to address the problems of Australian households. Yet, as always, they put billionaires before battlers. Australians know that a government that's past its use-by date, like a stale product, starts to give off a smell. We are looking at a government like that right now.