Senate debates

Wednesday, 10 May 2023

Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers

Answers to Questions

3:17 pm

Photo of Gerard RennickGerard Rennick (Queensland, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

This country was built by the battlers and it belongs to the battlers, and last night there was nothing in the budget for the battlers. The working class Australians didn't get an income tax cut. The one thing that the coalition did when it was in government was to always give a low to middle income tax offset to the lower working-class people of Australia. It cost the budget $11 billion a year. We could have gone back to surplus earlier, but we did the right thing by the battlers. We didn't get caught up on honouring the gods of the foreign banks—'Oh, we've got to pay back their debt.' No, no, no, that's not the way the way the world works. The way the world works is that we keep the battlers' heads above the water. We don't want them drowning.

The Albanese government are out of control on immigration. Last year's budget forecast that 235,000 people would come into this country in this financial year. We've got 400,000 people coming in. What's that doing? We've got a housing crisis and a rental crisis in this country, and it's kicking Aussie battlers out on the street. They are living in the backs of cars. They're living in the old panel vans. Who can forget the old 1970s saying, 'Don't come a-knocking if this van's a-rocking'? That spirit doesn't live on anymore. Well, it kind of does, but the van's not rocking that much, because they're just freezing out there. Imagine living in a panel van in Canberra in this cold weather. That is not easy.

Sorry, Senator Sterle. I know you've got your head down there. I know you're zipped up there. It's all good. I can tell you that we should never turn our backs on the battlers; we know that. What else are we doing? We've got an energy policy from the other side. They're basically importing foreign renewables at the expense of our coalminers and gas workers in Australia. The reason these guys are backing the budget, apart from massive immigration, is that we've had windfall profits from coal and gas companies that are luckily keeping our heads above water. And what do these guys want to do? They want to destroy those industries. Senator O'Neill is from near the Hunter Valley, and what is she doing?


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