Senate debates

Thursday, 25 November 2021


Wages and Cost of Living

5:27 pm

Photo of Malcolm RobertsMalcolm Roberts (Queensland, Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party) Share this | Hansard source

[by video link] As a servant to the people of Queensland and Australia, I think it clear that the speakers list for this motion speaks volumes about how little this parliament cares about the wages of everyday Australians. The opportunity to advance ideas on how we can improve real wages should have brought a queue of senators to the speakers list. There are only five speakers out of 76 senators. What a message that sends to Australian workers, that the Liberal Party, the National Party, the Greens and the Labor Party don't give a toss about them. Senator Gallagher is correct in painting a bleak picture of the falling living standards of everyday Australians over the last 30 years. This, though, is where Senator Gallagher's grasp of reality comes to an end.

The Australian average wage-price index rose from the early nineties until 2008 under Labor-Greens and Liberal-Nationals governments. That index fell from 2008 until the start of COVID, under Labor-Greens and Liberal-Nationals governments. The average Australian wage, however, is not the best way of checking how everyday Australians are going, as strong wage growth at the top of the public sector is masking negative real growth in the private sector. The median wage, the midpoint range of wages, is a better measure. The median wage has not increased in real terms in Australia for 30 years. Over the same period, the amount everyday Australians are spending on health care, education and housing has increased 300 per cent. If everyday Australians are feeling like they're working harder and going backwards, it's because they are. This is happening under both Liberal-National and Labor-Greens governments because these parties have the same policies. Once again this week, bill after bill has been voted through on the voices, meaning that both sides of the Senate voted in support. We do not have good government as long as the Liberal-Labor duopoly—the uni-party—are in control. We need a change in parliament. We need to bring in fresh faces from the minor parties.

Debate interrupted.


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