Senate debates

Wednesday, 28 February 2024

Matters of Public Importance

Dunkley By-Election

4:33 pm

Photo of Jess WalshJess Walsh (Victoria, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

I welcome the opportunity to talk about what this government is doing to help Australians right now today, particularly in the seat of Dunkley. Under our government Australians are earning more today, and from 1 July they will keep more of what they earn, too. While those opposite do their politicking and say 'no, no, no' to every piece of assistance on offer to Australians, we'll get on with the job of making sure that nobody is left behind.

The results we're seeing across the economy today speak for themselves. We see today that wage growth is back in this country, and it is rising at the fastest rate for over a decade, posting 4.2 per cent for the full year. We also see that, while we know there is an inflation challenge that is ongoing, inflation is moderating. That is what is happening across our economy today. It's at 3.4 per cent today—the lowest level in two years, according to just today's CPI data. These figures show what people in Australia know. These figures show what people in Dunkley know. They show meaningful change for Australians who've been feeling the squeeze for too long. Wages are ahead of inflation today, and inflation is moderating. That's because our economic plan is working, and it is delivering for Australians.

Of course, because of the unanimous decision made in this chamber last night, more relief is on the way. Last night this chamber passed our cost-of-living tax bill. It did that unanimously, and it did that for every single Australian taxpayer. We on this side of the chamber want Australians earning more, unlike those opposite. On this side, we want workers to be keeping more of what they earn too. That's why our tax cuts, unlike the old Morrison plan, are for every single Australian taxpayer—every single one of them. On 1 July, 100 per cent of Australians will get a tax cut. On 1 July, 84 per cent of Australians will get a bigger tax cut than what they would have got under Morrison's old plan. On 1 July, 100 per cent of working women will get a tax cut, and 90 per cent of them will be better off than they would have been under the plan of those opposite. This is a tax cut for every single working Australian, not just for some, like those opposite wanted. What we see today is growing wages. We see moderating inflation. We see a fairer tax system for all, including a tax cut for every single working Australian coming on 1 July.

Our changes are making a difference right across Australia and in the community of Dunkley, a community that will be well represented by Jodie Belyea. She is a fantastic woman, a fantastic Frankston local, a businesswoman, and a mum of a child at Frankston High School. She is a person of integrity. She is a person of character. She is a person who will represent Dunkley well. Right across the seat of Dunkley, people can see that wages are moving again in this country, strengthening the connection between fair reward and hard work. They can see that we are prioritising good and secure jobs in our labour market. We know the value of working people on this side of the chamber. What they also know, after last night, is that, come 1 July, 70,000 taxpayers in Dunkley will get a tax cut. Like the rest of Australia, nobody in Dunkley will be left behind under our plan. For the people of Dunkley today, wages are moving. We are focused on good, secure jobs for all, and every single taxpayer in Dunkley will get a tax cut under our government. (Time expired)


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