House debates

Thursday, 30 November 2023

Constituency Statements

Lindsay Electorate: Cost of Living

9:59 am

Photo of Melissa McIntoshMelissa McIntosh (Lindsay, Liberal Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention) Share this | | Hansard source

2023 has been a hard year right across Western Sydney because of the Albanese Labor government. The cost-of-living crisis is crippling families in my community. In parliament this year I've raised this issue time and time again, because cost of living is the key driver of discussions around the kitchen tables of family homes in Western Sydney. It is so dire that mental health organisations are telling me that cost of living is now presenting in issues for children's worries at school and in their surveys and studies. We know kids can take on the burdens of Mum and Dad, but it doesn't have to be this way.

We have a prime minister who promised Australia a $275 reduction in power bills. This has not happened. Energy and gas prices have risen substantially. I have constituents from St Marys in my community that have contacted the office saying they can't turn on the heater because of the cost. With summer around the corner and Penrith being one of the hottest places in Australia, I can only imagine the stress and anxiety going through many families' minds as they consider turning on the air conditioning in a sweltering home. Food and grocery prices are up and real wages have fallen by five per cent over the last 12 months. Many won't be celebrating Christmas with the usual festive spirit; they will purchasing what they can at the shops and making the most of being with family and friends, whilst many will be lining up at food banks when they've never had to do so before.

The Leader of the Opposition and I recently visited Penrith Community Kitchen, where we were told that double-income families were lining up for meals to take home for the very first time. Interest rates have risen time and time again. This impacts my community, with more mortgage holders and renters than average in Australia. Families in Londonderry and Glenmore Park have contacted my office worried they might have to move to the regions as they cannot afford to live locally. These are mums and dads who work in Western Sydney, the kids go to school and play sport in Western Sydney, their families and friends are there. The Albanese Labor government is killing the Western Sydney dream for so many aspirational families working so hard to get ahead.

We need real action to drive down inflation and to turbocharge the economy. We need to back in small businesses and our local Australian manufacturers, which are working so hard but are not getting anywhere under this government. This is what a Dutton led coalition government would do for the people of Western Sydney who are struggling so hard right now. It is not just about cost of living; we have had cuts to major infrastructure projects that our community has needed for so long, particularly with Western Sydney International Airport coming on. Millions of dollars were just ripped away from Western Sydney. With an airport that is due in only a couple of years time, Western Sydney is dying. It is in dire straits and really calling on the Albanese government to listen to the people.