Senate debates

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers

Energy, Morrison Government

3:23 pm

Photo of Amanda StokerAmanda Stoker (Queensland, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

It's really quite interesting to stand up and take note today, having heard people go on and on about division and conflict and leadership and so forth. They think that if they say it often enough it will become so, but it just doesn't work that way at all. In fact, I find it quite disturbing that those opposite have a culture that finds it so unhealthy, so unusual for people to think for themselves, to debate among themselves and to try and work together to come up with new ideas. In fact, I would like to hope that when each and every one of those people opposite put up their hand to come to parliament they might have thought, even just for a moment: 'Boy, I'd like to contribute some ideas. I'd like to bring my life experience and my learning and my ideas and my community's perspectives into the parliament and debate it with my colleagues so, together, we can come up with a great, refined fabulous policy.' But instead those on the other side come in here and go, 'Yes, I want to be a robot who doesn't think for themselves, who doesn't debate with colleagues.'

In fact, in question time yesterday we even had those opposite criticising a government member of the Senate for having an open mind. Can you believe it? What treachery! What heresy for a person to have an open mind, to think for themselves, to consider evidence on its merits using their brain that the good Lord gave them and to reach conclusions based on that evidence. Isn't that an extraordinary thing! And yet those opposite think that that is heresy. The people of Australia should be horrified to hear that those opposite have a problem with open-mindedness, with thinking, with debate, with people bringing their varied experience and ideas and the perspectives of the different communities they come from into this place to make up a healthy broad church where we work through problems together. You know what? That's exactly what we're doing.

Senator Walsh, in what was a very good-natured display, said: 'We have no plan to take our country forward. Where is your plan?' Thank you for the invitation, Senator Walsh. We have an outstanding plan that we are delivering day in, day out for the Australian people. I don't have enough time to go through all of it, but let's get cracking so we can get through some of the gems. Instead of smashing Australians with $387 billion worth of new taxes, we're all about getting more opportunity into the lives of Australians. We're all about getting more money into the pockets of Australians, not into big government far away in Canberra, because Australians know what they want to do with their money. We have given 8.1 million hardworking Australians around $6.1 billion in additional income. This isn't a gift from government; this is allowing Australians to keep more of what they earn, what they deserve, because they know what they need to do with their money. We're not about redistribution; we are about reward for effort. When Australians want to deliver for their families, we want to deliver for them too, so we give them more of their money back in their pockets. And it has flow-on effects: more ability for people to spend in their local communities, more growth for local businesses and more jobs. That is a virtuous cycle we just love here on the government side of the chamber.

We are always working hard to make sure Australians are getting ahead, every day of the week. That's why we are so focused on jobs. There have been over 1.3 million new jobs created by the private sector in the term of this government. It's an enormous number of new, real jobs. And we won't stop; we will keep on going, because Australians depend on it for their livelihood. That's how we give them choice. It's how we give them the freedom to live a life of their own design, to reach their goals and to reach their potential. We know big government can't design, with its pulling of levers, the perfect life for all people. That is something that can only be determined in the heart of the individual. We are putting the tools back in the hands of Australians so they can design their perfect lives with their money, their time, their family and a whole lot less of the interfering, we-know-best approach that we get from those opposite.


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