House debates

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Questions without Notice

Labor Government

3:05 pm

Photo of Josh BurnsJosh Burns (Macnamara, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Acting Prime Minister. How is the Albanese Labor government delivering for Australians, and what challenges does the government face?

Photo of Richard MarlesRichard Marles (Corio, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Defence) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for his question. This week, the government's Paid Parental Leave scheme passed the Senate. Today, the National Reconstruction Fund legislation passed the House of Representatives. On Tuesday, we took another step towards recognising our First Nations people in our Constitution. Every one of these was about honouring our commitments that we made to the Australian people at the election last May.

It builds on the promise we made in relation to cheaper medicines, which now are in place. It builds on free TAFE, which has now occurred. It builds on legislating the cut in emissions reductions, which we've now done. And it builds on increasing the minimum wage, which we have now achieved. At every step since the last election we have been completely committed to honouring the commitments that we made to the Australian people to ease the cost of living and to increase the productive capacity of our economy.

But this week we've also learnt a little bit about the opposition. It's an opposition which refused to stand up for manufacturing jobs, an opposition which refused to support building houses for the most vulnerable women, an opposition which has not moved one inch in taking meaningful action on climate change and an opposition which, last December, voted against support for household budgets. But we have learnt what the opposition actually cares about, what really gets them going, and that's maximising the concessions on the earnings of the one half of one per cent of Australians who have more than $3 million in their superannuation. That's what ignites their passions. That's what flames their soul. That's the moment when they say that the government is breaching the covenant on political and civil rights. That's when they say the government is burning the Magna Carta. The fact that they have decided to fight on that ground says everything about how they have completely lost touch with the mainstream of Australian people and—not just that—with their own party.

Of the 14 people who have previously led the Liberal Party, before the Leader of the Opposition, the seats of 11 of them are no longer in their pile. If you want to look at a political party which is completely disconnected from its roots, it's that party opposite. I always understood they were about national security and managing the economy, but they were the most inept national security government in our history, and they were one of the most profligate, high-taxing governments that we've seen. They were a rabble. We were elected to fix their mess, and that's what we are doing. (Time expired)