Senate debates

Tuesday, 6 October 2020


Queensland State Election, JobKeeper Payment, JobSeeker Payment

9:13 pm

Photo of Nita GreenNita Green (Queensland, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

What a speech from the senator opposite! She talked about the next Queensland election and the absolute hypocrisy of the fact that the LNP supposedly wants a majority government yet they've chosen to preference minor parties across the state. But I'll get to that a little later.

Last week we saw millions and millions of dollars taken out of local economies all across regional Queensland when JobKeeper and JobSeeker were cut in the communities that need it most. JobKeeper cuts in Leichhardt affected 7,179 businesses and 27,000 workers. That's equivalent to $24.3 million per fortnight coming out of the economy in Cairns and Leichhardt. The communities that need it most had the money and the support they need right now cut back by the Morrison government. In Leichhardt, when the JobSeeker cuts came in, $5.82 million was ripped out of the economy per fortnight. That's an extraordinary amount of money being cut by the LNP.

We know from experience that the LNP likes to make a lot of promises and announcements before elections, but they're not very good at following up on the delivery of those announcements. It is only after polling day in Queensland that Queenslanders actually find out what the LNP stands for and what nasty surprises they have waiting for them. Queenslanders will never, ever forget when Campbell Newman promised public servants that they had nothing to fear under an LNP government. Fast forward to three months after the election, and Campbell Newman unveiled plans to sack 20,000 workers. Twenty thousand workers lost their jobs under the LNP after Campbell Newman promised them that they had nothing to fear. The axe finally fell on 14,000 workers. Guess who Campbell Newman's apprentice and Assistant Treasurer was. Who was the Assistant Treasurer when 14,000 public servants were sacked in Queensland? It was none other than Deb Frecklington. She was right there next to him, making every single decision, sending 14,000 public servants on their way home. She sacked them. She made sure that 14,000 people in Queensland wouldn't be able to provide for their families.

Photo of David FawcettDavid Fawcett (SA, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Order! Standing order 193 prevents reflections and imputations of improper motives and personal reflections on members of this Senate, the House and state chambers. I require you to withdraw that.

Photo of Nita GreenNita Green (Queensland, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Thank you. I withdraw. It is true, though, that 14,000 people were sacked in Queensland under Campbell Newman's government. We know that. What we also know is that the LNP opposition, under Deb Frecklington right now, have $23 billion in election promises, but they are unable to tell the people of Queensland right now how they're going to pay for those promises. That is because we know that in the LNP DNA it's cuts, cuts, cuts.

Public servants weren't the only ones to get the chop under Campbell Newman. Who will they cut this time? Last time they cut nurses and police officers, and people in regional towns will never, ever forget that. Knock on doors in regional Queensland and you'll meet nurses who got sacked under Campbell Newman. The LNP won't maintain the growth needed for health staff to keep up with the demand over the next four years. That is what we know.

An honourable senator interjecting

I'll take that interjection because the scars that went deep, inflicted by Campbell Newman when Deb Frecklington was his Assistant Treasurer, will never be forgotten by the people in Queensland.

Photo of David FawcettDavid Fawcett (SA, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Order! Senator Green, you are still required to use the correct titles even though they're members of another parliament.

Photo of Nita GreenNita Green (Queensland, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

She was the Assistant Treasurer, and now she's the Leader of the Opposition. When she was the Assistant Treasurer she cut the guts out of the Public Service in Queensland, including nurses. Imagine what would have happened under the LNP in a health crisis. A government that cuts nurses cannot keep Queensland safe.