Senate debates

Tuesday, 9 May 2023

Statements by Senators

Coronation Of His Majesty King Charles III

1:49 pm

Photo of David PocockDavid Pocock (ACT, Independent) Share this | Hansard source

On 3 May, an official media release went out on the Prime Minister's letterhead. It announced a whopping $10,000 contribution to Friends of the Western Ground Parrot as a coronation gift to His Majesty the King. The laughable mediocrity of this announcement is symbolic of a deeper problem. The government is running around papering over cracks. There are an estimated 100 to 150 western ground parrots left, and $10,000 is a tiny amount for a huge task. What about the swift parrot, the Regent honeyeater, the glossy black cockatoo and the gang-gang cockatoo? There's a very long list of endangered birds. It's great that the government is investing in critically endangered birds, but throwing a token $10,000 donation at them is one step in a very long marathon. It's good that the government is seeking a return for the sale of Australian gas, but, at less than 0.5 per cent of expected earnings, the return we will get is irresponsibly small. It's good that the government is increasing JobSeeker, but if it's an extra $2.85 a day—a mere fifth of what was recommended—it isn't enough to lift people who rely on the safety net out of poverty. It's good that the government wants to build more houses, but refusing to increase the size of the fund and refusing to remove the annual cap on spending or, at the very least, index payments is inadequate. It's inadequate and it's simply not good enough. The government is doing some good things but seems unwilling to show political courage, the kind of courage that Australians want.


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