House debates

Monday, 11 September 2023


Petrie Electorate: Survey

7:29 pm

Photo of Luke HowarthLuke Howarth (Petrie, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Defence Industry) Share this | | Hansard source

Residents in my electorate of Petrie would have received the biggest survey in their mailbox. It was an electorate-wide mailout of all of my constituents to get a better understanding of what they're thinking when it comes both to local issues as to where we live in South-East Queensland, in Moreton Bay Regional Council and in Brisbane City Council, and also the national issues. It gives me an understanding about what to speak about as your federal MP when I'm here in federal parliament. So I want to thank everyone who returned one. We had thousands of surveys returned both online and through the post, so thank you very much.

I'd like to share some of the things that people actually spoke about in the survey. Across my electorate and those who filled out my survey, it was no surprise that the majority of people are concerned about cost of living as the main priority. It's the absolute No. 1. Lowering people's taxes was the second-highest issue raised with me, followed by strengthening the economy and improving healthcare services. The cost of living was obviously the main one. It was an overwhelming response. Rising electricity prices, crippling housing supply and a lack of infrastructure investment were also of concern.

On national issues, Rodney Hutchison from Margate wrote that 'the cost of living is through the roof'. Salesh in Bald Hills said, 'Hardworking Australians should be rewarded.' Malcolm Logue in North Lakes wants the government to do more to lower electricity prices. John in Woody Point wants government spending to be decreased to keep more of his taxpayer dollars. Gemma Sinclair in Bridgeman Downs said, 'The housing market is out of control due to insufficient new stock. Government needs to address the supply.' In relation to that, I recently said that, in the last 15 months of the Labor government, they've brought in the same amount of people as the former coalition government did in five years, which is putting massive amounts of stress on housing.

The government has had consecutive interest rate rises since May last year—12, in fact—and it's harder to enter the housing market than ever before. Today in parliament, we had the Leader of the House, Minister Burke, crowing about a $10-a-day increase in wages. He kept repeating '$10 a day' over and over. What he left out, though, is that most people's mortgages have gone up $2,000 a month. Do you know what that works out to a day? That's a $65-a-day increase, and this guy's crowing about a $10 increase in wages. If it's $1,000 a month, it works out at over $30 a day, Minister Burke. So the current government is absolutely failing people when it comes to cost of living. There are higher housing prices, higher rents, higher electricity prices, higher fuel prices and higher food prices all under this Labor government.

Other than cost of living, there are several other national issues that people raise. Peter and Susan Wilkinson in Newport said, 'Protect Australians from Labor's attempt to silence free speech through the misinformation bill.' Robert in Redcliffe wants constitutional recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, but he does not support a voice to parliament. Marlene Kuhn in Newport also does not support a voice to parliament. In fact, quite a few people are disengaged on the Voice. They're annoyed that they've got to vote. They're annoyed that the government is raising this at this time and not focusing on the cost-of-living issues that I raised before.

Kathryn Nielson in Scarborough wants the government to build more dams and investigate all power sources, including small modular emissions-free nuclear power as an alternative. Terry in Deception Bay wants the government to increase manufacturing. Merelyn in Rothwell wants more opportunities for young people finishing school. Darrell Daley in Deception Bay wants national service for school leavers. Not only are national issues important to the people of Petrie but locally, in my electorate, there are issues I want to raise as well.

Gail Holmes in Bald Hills wants Linkfield Road built. The Labor government has slapped this project with bureaucratic red tape, and the minister here in the Albanese Labor government has suspended all of these infrastructure projects under review except those in Labor held seats. People in South-East Queensland are screaming for better infrastructure. We've suffered for years under the Palaszczuk government, and now this minister is kicking the can further down the road.